Hindu devotees across Nepal have been celebrating the month long Swasthani Bratakatha festival. The event begins on the first full moon day in the Nepali Poush month and ends on the next full moon day a month later.

Swasthani festival
Nepalese Hindu devotees take part in a bathing ritual Prakash Mathema/AFP

During the festival most Nepalese families gather each night to recite one chapter of the story of Swasthani Brata Katha, a Hindu tale about the lives of various gods and goddesses, including goddess Swasthani and Lord Shiva. The story has 31 chapters- one for each day of the festival. The event is also marked by fasting for the sake of family welfare. Women in the Himalayan nation mark the month-long fast undertake rituals in the hope of a prosperous life and happiness.

When the festival ends, various types of food are prepared to mark the end of the day. The festival conclude with an Ashvamedha Yagya and devotees worship the god Shiva for entire night. In this gallery, IBTimesUK presents some of the best pictures from the month-long festival:

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