Farming communities across Nepal came out by their hundreds of thousands to transplant rice seedings on Tuesday, which is officially National Paddy Plantation Day.
Most wore masks as the men waded knee-deep into flooded terraces to level the soil, so that the seedlings could be planted, a work traditionally done by women.
Despite the pandemic and deadly floods this month, most farmers were happy to be out in the fields to take advantage of a monsoon that arrived on time with plenty of rain. Paddy plantation day also coincided with a relaxation of Covid-19 lockdowns this week.
The 15th day of the Nepali month of Asar is marked as National Paddy Planting Day, and a day for celebration, not just work. Farmers plant their paddy to song and dance, partake in joyous mud-slinging, and enjoy the traditional feast of ‘dahi-chiura’, curd and beaten rice.