Every Nepalese household believing in Lord Swosthani recites the story of Swosthani every year during the month called Magha. After the evening meal all family members and some neighbors who have no Swosthani readers gather together and sit to listen the story every night for the whole month.
Traditionally, anybody could read out the story, and a reader does not need to perform purification rituals; so, anybody willing to recite the story might sit and take the meticulously hand-written rectangular unbound book usually wrapped in a piece of red cloth and revered as a God Swosthani in Nepal Bhasa and read it out. Currently, printed books are available in the market in Nepal Bhasa and Nepali language, too. The reader performs a simple ritual of worship to the holy book and lights an incense stick to it before reading it. A small wicker basketful full of tidbits is placed nearby the Holy Scripture at the time of reading it out. After reading a few sheets of the book for a night, the reader distributes the tidbits to all listeners as the blessing from the god. The Swosthani story is about the creation of earth and the life on it. Then, it tells about mainly Lord Shiva, his two spouses, and two sons. His first tricky marriage with Satidevi ends up in tragedy, as Dacche Prajapati: father of Satidevi could never accept the unequal marriage. After the untimely death of Satidevi, Lord Shiva almost goes insane and carries the corpse on his back being unable to accept the reality of death of Satidevi. As the organs of the dead body of Satidevi falls one by one, each organ fallen at each place becomes a deity and takes the names of the organ. Satidevi in her next incarnation becomes the daughter of King Himalaya, and gets the name of Parbati. When she reaches puberty, her parents think to give her in marriage to Lord Vishnu but she dedicates her life to Lord Shiva and ultimately gets wedded to Lord Shiva.
The divine couple of Lord Shiva and Parbati have two sons called Ganesh and Kumar.Ganesh becomes an elephant-headed. After a long time out of his abode called Kailash, Lord Shiva comes back and finds Ganesh at the entrance guarding her mother Parbati to take a long bath in her inner sanctum, and refuses let him in not recognizing Lord Shiva. Fiery Lord Shiva in his anger cut off the head of Ganesh and enters his abode. Parbati finding Lord Shiva unexpectedly showing up in her inner sanctum feels something must have gone wrong to Ganesh. Lord Shiva realizes his mistake and asks his attendants to go immediately to the east and cut off the head of any living being they meet first on the way and bring it home. They bring a head of an elephant. Lord Shiva fixes it on the shoulder of Ganesh and revives him.
Lord Ganesh receives the boon of the privilege of having the first offering among the Hindu deities. When both Ganesh and Kumar come of age, the parents want to bestow a boon on one of them that completes a round trip to Mount Sumeru first. Kumar having a peacock as his vehicle immediately flies on it to Mount Sumeru but Ganesh having a mouse for his vehicle remains helpless and gets upset. His steed mouse finding its master so upset repeatedly asks Ganesh the reason for being so upset. Ganesh tells the reason. Then the mouse counsels Ganesh how to please his parents. Following the counsel of the mouse Ganesh goes to his parents and asks them to stand together and then makes three circles around them saying, you are the parents and the mount Sumeru for me. Then, Lord Shiva and Parbati together bestow on Ganesh the privilege of receiving the first offering among the deities. So, none of the Hindu deities accepts the offerings made to him/her without first offering to Lord Ganesh.
After the story of the divine couple, the story of the mundane folks starts.
A childless couple gets a girl child. A childless couple serves a holy man for years and pleases him. Then, the holy man gives them a lump of fresh cow dung and asks them to keep it under the cover of a brass bowel for twenty-one days and then see it on the twenty-second day. The couple follows the instructions and finds a girl child and names her a Go-maiju means born of cow dung.
Go-maiju becomes a spellbound. One day while Go-maiju was sorting small stones out of the rice spread on a large wicker cake, a holy man comes begging for alms. Go-maiju takes time to attend the holy man. The holy many burning with anger casts a spell on her: you at the age of seven be married with 77-year old man.
None can escape from such a spell and revoke the spell; even the spell-caster cannot do so at that time. So, Go-maiju gets wedded with a man of 77 years of age. Go-maiju gives birth to a son. The husband goes to get some auspicious items required for performing purification rituals of the birth of a child. He never returns home.
Nawraj: son of Go-maiju goes in search of his father and finds his remains and performs the funeral rituals to the remains of his father and completes the duty of a son to the father and sets the soul of his father in peace.
By the favor of Lord Swosthani, Nawraj becomes the king. Go-maiju is the devotee of Lord Swosthani and makes offerings to Lord Swosthani and listens to the story of Swosthani every year for a month. By the merits she has earned, her son Nawraj becomes the king but his spouse Chandra-woti falls in a swollen river and suffers for a long time, as she disrespects Lord Swosthani. She regains everything after atoning for the disrespect shown to Lord Swosthani. Thus, ends the story of Lord Swosthani.
A religious festival is held at Shalinadi River about 25 Km northeast of Kathmandu for a month starting on the full moon day of the month Magha and ending on the next full moon day. Hundreds of men and women devotees take a religious retreat at the shrine to Lord Swosthani on the bank of Shalinadi River for a month. They eat a single meal a day after fasting for a whole day and performing various religious rituals and listening to the story of Lord Swosthani.
Most of the believers in Lord Swosthani visit the Shalinadi River at least once during this auspicious month to revere Lord Swosthani. They also revere Chandra-woti her two carriers, and Nawraj in stones dedicated to them on the bank of the Shalinadi River.
The large plot of agricultural land turns into a car parking lot, and hosts a number of makeshift eating-places, and some sorts of stores for serving the pilgrims visiting the Shalinadi River for revering Lord Swosthani. About two-kilometer long road from the parking lot to the Shalinadi River becomes full of walking pilgrims from and to the Shalinadi River for about four hours in the morning every day for the month of Magha when the festival of Lord Swosthani is held.