Newar devotees circumambulate Kathmandu’s Seto Machhendranath temple. The cult of this idol is one of the oldest and most revered in the valley’s religion. The god is identified by the local Buddhist as Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattava of compassion, and by Hindus as Yamaraja, lord of death. Hindus come to light a candle before the idol when someone in the family is in danger of death. The idol receives a ritual bathing each winter before making its public appearance riding in a rath, or chariot, several weeks later.