Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/306

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196
SKETCHES

of the year. The custom is, in one form or another, almost universal, and in India on Christmas Day it is not unusual for the European resident to be considerably embarrassed by the huge quantities of miscellaneous food, flowers, and fruit contributed by his subordinates to the "Protector," out of the fulness of their hearts. This manner of celebrating any festive occasion is in the East of great antiquity, and the ancient bas-reliefs of Egypt often depict interminable processions of menials, bearing in that characteristic attitude of the style, trays of good things as a thank-offering to their overlord. To be suddenly confronted with one of these pageants in the flesh, as if the mute figures had stepped down from the granite wall on which they had stood for thirty centuries, into the life of the present day, is naturally somewhat startling, but such is what takes place in the streets of Katmandu on every burra din of the Dassera. A long procession of five hundred servants, marching two and two, each one carrying his gift to the Maharaja, is one of the lesser sights at this time of peace