The festivals of the four months (Caturmasa) differ from other celebrations held in the Kathmandu Valley (Nepal) in their overriding concern with death. These sacrificial feasts deal with the enigma of life and death in the Hindu-Buddhist context of South Asia. As collective and supralocal events, the Caturmasa festivals cross the border between the northern and southern parts of Kathmandu, involving the entire town as well as the former king of Nepal, who was both sacrificer and victim. The two main themes of these celebrations of death are sacrifice and kingship. Bert van den Hoek (1951-2001) had undertaken more than twenty years of research in South Asia before his untimely death caused by a road accident in Mumbai (India). At the time, he was conducting fieldwork aimed at composing a comprehensive scholarly analysis entitled The Ritual Structure of Kathmandu in which many other Newar festivals, rituals and myths were to be included. Caturmasa: Celebrations of Death in Kathmandu, Nepal will appeal to all those interested in South Asian, particularly Nepalese culture, society and rituals. Book Edited by Jan C. Heesterman, Bal Gopal Shrestha, Han F. Vermeulen and Sjoerd M. Zanen (Slightly revised and updated edition with a foreword by David N. Gellner, Oxford)

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