But this year, Nepal is already half-way into the monsoon season and there has been 30% more rainfall than normal, causing floods and landslides that have killed more than 150 people.
Because of the lockdown, the festival could not follow its traditional schedule this year. Once every 12 years, the chariot is also pulled from Bungamati across the Nakhhu rivulet to Patan. This tradition was also disrupted in 2015, when the earthquake struck, damaging the chariot. It was dismantled and rebuilt before carrying on its journey to Patan.
A few thousand people showed up at the chariot in Jawalakhel on Saturday despite fears of the virus, but most of them were wearing masks, including the priests, devotees, members of the Gurju Paltan dressed in their historic black uniform carrying muskets. Volunteers were seen handing out masks to those who did not have one.