Gokarna Aunsi (Sanskrit: गोकर्ण औसीं) literally translated as cow eared (Gokarna) and no moon night (Aunsi) and is a late August or early September celebration in Nepal where the Hindu population worships cow eared incarnation of lord Shiva and their fathers. It is also known as Kushe Aausi and Bubako mukh herne din (Nepali for “looking at father’s face”), “Kushe Aunshi”, On this occasion people wish their fathers with gifts and delicious food items including sweets, and show reverence apart from giving gifts, sons perform a certain ceremony: sons touch father’s feet with their forehead and look at father’s eyes, while daughters only have to touch his hand before looking. Fathers are considered as the God. They are an educator, Care Taker, and Protector and they have great respect in family members. This is the unique day to pay regard and praise for each dad by his children. Father, mother, and educator are given the special place of God in Hindu religion. Father, Pita or Baba is master, rakshak and the palankarta. That implies father is an instructor, defender and the friend in need.
As per religious belief of ‘pitridevo bhava’ (respect to ancestors), sons and daughters receive blessings from their fathers, and those whose fathers are already deceased, go to a pilgrimage site and perform shraddha, the holy ritual in remembrance of those who have passed away. By doing this, it is believed that their lineage will remain stable forever. In Kathmandu people go to Gokarna (a place east in Kathmandu) to do the Sraddha or pinda daan to their deceased father and some do Shradha at home or at the near river or at any holy place nearby.
Legend about Gokarneshwor Mahadev
Once Lord Shiva and Parbati disappeared from Himalaya Parbat. All the gods were very surprised and started searching them all across the universe. Brahma and other gods, caught Lord Shiva and his wife Parbati in Deer’s life hiding in Shleshmantak forest in Pashupatinath. Shiva was caught by Brahma in his horns. Those horns of Shiva came out in Brahma’s hand. Then Lord Shiva asked Brahma and Bishnu to establish those horns as Shiva linga in anywhere in Nepal as they think fit. Brahma placed it in Gorkarna. Since then, it is believed that worshiping Shiva in Gokarneshwor Mahadev and doing pinda daan (homage to dead) is equivalent of visiting Gaya 10 times (Gaya is another Hindu holy place).