Lakhey is a demon in Newari culture. The fierce carnivore with the fangs that eat humans. Majipa Lakhey is also one of them. But, Majipa Lakhey is worshipped as a god and lakhey dance is famous in Kathmandu Valley. Majipa Lakhey is a special attraction in Indra Jatra who is worshipped as Calm Bhairab and only comes out during Indra Jatra for eight days.
There is a mythical story on why a demon who eats the human is worshipped and it all begins with the love story…
According to myth, Majipa Lakhey fell in love with a beautiful girl from Majipa. Back then, Majipa referred to Manjupatan or Manjushree city (Present-day Kathmandu Valley). The beautiful girl was the single daughter of the sick parents who had to go to the farm all alone for agriculture.
One day, The Majipa Lakhey saw her on the banks of river farming and instantly fell in love with her. The demon then started to take a form of a human and meet the girl. He used to help the girl in the farming. The girl also fell in love with him. Majipa Lakhey went to propose to her parents for the marriage. Upon being questioned about the detail, her parents figured out that the person is a Lakhey. The parents were horrified and told him to leave before they would call others to capture him. The Lakhey refused to leave and said he truly loves her and wants to marry her. He would rather die if he cannot marry her. The girl also said that she also truly loves him and would die if she cannot marry him. The parents were horrified and called other villagers. The villagers knowing that the person is Lakhey captured it and presented him to the King.
The Lakhey pleaded to the King to allow him to reside in the city with his lover and promised that he wouldn’t harm anyone. The king questioned him, “What will you eat if you don’t kill us?” The Lakhey answered that he would just eat meat and eggs. Originally, the Lakhey was not named until this point, so the king named him LAKHEY (in the Newari language, la means meat, and khey means egg).
The King also made the proposal that he will allow him to live in the city with his lover if he vows to protect the children from other demons.Majipa Lakhey agreed and then started to live in the city with the people and his lover. But people were afraid that he might eat them. So, they sent a child to check if Lakhey would harm him or not. The child went slowly to Lakhey and teased him. The Lakhey didn’t harm him but instead teased him back by chasing him away. The boy was scared at first but upon realizing that Lakhey won’t harm him, he went again to tease him. Again, Lakhey teased him back by running after him. The boy was enjoying this and kept doing the same, the Lakhey was irritated and kicked the boy three times and left him.
Seeing Lakhey not harming the child, People started to trust Majipa Lakhey and even invited him to participate in the annual festival of Yenha Punhi ( Indra Jatra). This is how true love between a demon and a young girl made the demon worshipped among the gods.
There is another version of the story of Majipa Lakhey. The story is beautifully illustrated by Yomari Cartoon Series. You can read them here.
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