- Nepal celebrates more than 50 different festivals with a fixed date as marked in the Nepalese Calendar
- There are Festivals of Hindu, Festivals of Muslim and other various festivals of different religious groups in the country
- Different ethnic communities celebrate different kind of festivals
- Public Holidays are given on the most important celebration days (festivals)
One of the most beautiful things about this world is celebration whether it be of a certain victory, a certain beginning or an end; celebration is what spreads joy and warmth among us. Festivals are a symbol of such celebrations which are conducted worldwide for different reasons while the common ground usually being a religious one. Festivals of Nepal also bring such celebrations out of various communities living in harmony in one common society as Nepalese. Festivals in Nepal are as diverse as its people. With more than 8 religions existing in peace within one identity, Nepal being a secular state glorifies each of the celebrations brought by each religions. Not only that, being a home to more than one hundred and one ethnic groups, Nepal gives space to all of their great celebrations representing the beauty of their ethnical existence while commonly being known as Nepalese Festivals.
“Content your soul with colors and celebrations through the delightful festivals in Nepal which will surely refresh the energy in your heart and spirit"
What more can one know about Nepal’s festivals?
There are more than 50 Nepal Festivals marked in the national Calendar having fixed dates. However, that only doesn’t confine all the other festivals followed by the people of Nepal. Even being a small land, Nepal holds a heavy treasure of culture and traditions with utmost respect and values. Even Nepali’s day to day is driven by such core values which highly focuses on morals which is reminded each year and sometimes within months through their festivals. There are festivals of Hindu, Festivals of Christians, Festivals of Muslim, Festivals of Gurung, Festivals of Magar, Festivals of Tamang, Festivals of Newar, Festivals of Tharu, Festivals of Sheikh, Festivals of Sherpa and Festivals of other many religious and ethnical groups existing in this common land of all. Nepal is certainly a huge treasure for someone who is a true explorer at heart and wishes to know the depth and truth about this world in a broader aspect. The variations and the healthy division of communities is truly a blessing for the country and even the world which gives us more to learn and a greater horizon to reach in the context of knowledge. The Festivals celebrated in Nepal are the highlight of such hidden glories that maintain the grace of Nepal in the smallest ways. And for any nomad wishing to know more about Nepal’s existence, it’d be better for them to take a light dive into the festivals celebrated by the people of Nepal.The following are some of the major festivals celebrated in the country.
DASHAIN or VIJAYA DASHAMI is one of the biggest and longest festivals celebrated in Nepal, which is mainly celebrated by Hindu people of Nepal and other religion people. It is called longest festival because it is celebrated up to fifteen days. The first day starts from Ghatasthapana and ends in fifteenth day, the day of kojagratpurnima. Among these fifteen days, the most important days are the first (Ghatasthapana), seventh (Saptami), eighth (MahaAstami), ninth (MahaNawami), tenth (Vijaya Dashami) and fifteenth (kojagratpurnima) but tenth day is considered as the most important because it is the day where people celebrate wearing Red Tika (red vermillion mixed with yogurt and rice)on their forehead and Jamara(sewn in the Ghatasthapana)on their ears along with the blessings of elders.
TIHAR is another big festival celebrated by Hindu people of Nepal after Dashain. Tihar is celebrated up to Five days. Tihar is also known as festival of lights, as people decorate their house using different lights which lighten up the whole city. The local people especially Newars call Tihar ‘Sunti’and terai region people call it ‘Dewali’. Tihar is celebrated by Hindu religion of variousethnical group in their own different ways.
The first day of Tihar is kaag (crow) Tihar, in this day kaag or crow is worshiped by offering some food.
The second day of Tihar is Kukur (Dog) Tihar, in this day dog are worshiped by feeding them delicious food. People worship dogs by putting red Tika in their forehead and feeding them delicious food and apply the festoon of marigold blossoms in their neck.
The third day of Tihar is Laxmi puja, the day where Goddess Laxmi is worshiped for the wealth.In the evening, people clean their homes with the blend of red mud and cowdung, and a few footsteps are set from the main entrance to the puja kotha, which are accepted to drive Goddess Laxmi inside the house. At night, every one of the houses are made splendid with the lighting of candles, or the 'pala' (these are being supplanted by the jolted lights today) in the entryways, fundamental passage, windows and rooftop. This is the very day when individuals begin playing 'deusi' (which is sung for the most part by young men) and 'bhailo' (which is sung for the most part by young ladies). Sparklers are likewise blown at night.
The fourth day of Tihar is Mha puja. Mha puja means body worship. This pujais done by the Newars inside or outside Kathmandu valley. This puja is mainly done by the Newar community and it is believed that this puja purifies your souland body.
The fifth and last day of Tihar is Bhai Tika. It is one of the important day for sisters and brothers. Sisters apply red Tika in the forehead of their brother and pray for their long life.
Buddha Jyanti is a festival of both Hindu and Buddhist. People celebrate Buddha Jyanti as the birthday of Gautam Buddha. People of both religion visit Swayambhunath, Bouddhanath stupa to worship and to pay homage to Buddha. Buddha jyanti is celebrated on the full moon day (purnima). The birth place of Gautam Buddha is Lumbini, the place where all the Buddhist gather to worship. Lumbini is the beautiful place birth place of Gautam Buddha where we can see the Pilgrims of King Ashok and other religious monastery made by other countries.
FALGU PURNIMA/ HOLI
Falgu Purnima is the festivals of colors and also known as Holi. It is not only celebrated Nepal but also in India. Indian People celebrates Holi the day after Falgupurnima.Holi symbolizes inviting of the spring with the various colors that is utilized during the celebration which likewise is an emblematic importance of demonstrating the different colors that can be seen throughout the spring season itself. But Nepal and India, Holi is generally celebrated in nations like: Pakistan, Sri-lanka and Philippines. Holi additionally symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Legend expresses that Holika, the sister of the evil presence ruler Hiranyakashyap had attempted to execute the youthful child Prahlad, of her sibling, as she had been honored of not being hurt by flame, she had baited Prahlad into her lap and entered an enormous blaze, yet as Prahlad was a devotee of Narayan, he recited his divine beings name and left the flame safely while Holika was burned into ashes. The name Holi originates from her name, "Holika".
As from the name Falgupurnima, Holi comes at the month of Falgun in the calendar. Holi takes an environment a weeks before its starts, askids play with water pistols, water balloons and shoot them at people, the use of colors is additionally satisfactory as people enjoy the bubbly condition of Holi as they welcome the Spring, the energy in the essences of the kids, after all Its the celebration of colors where peoplemeet up to have a fabulous time, and celebrate.
HaritalikaTeej is celebrated by both married and unmarried women of Hindu Religion. The most important thing on the Teej is fasting. Married women fast for their long life of husband and unmarried women fasts hoping to get a good husband. Teej is celebrated for straight 3 days. Both married and unmarried women put on a makeup and try to look best on the day of Teej. On the first day of Teej all women gather at one place to dance sing and to eat. The first day is also known as ‘daarkhaney din’. At second day women do fasting without drinking a single drop of water but some of women eat fruits for energy to dance with all her fellows and visit Pashupatinath temple, a temple devoted to Lord Shiva. It is believed that Parvati the wife of Lord Shiva took the fast in hope of getting married to Lord Shiva. The third day is rishi panchami, in this day women clean up with a red mud found on the foundations of datiwan bush. It makes us to accept that it tooks every one of the wrongdoings away and make us pure soul…
Maghe Sankranti is a Nepali celebration which is praised on first of Magh consistently, as indicated by Bikram Sambat Nepali calendar.The word 'Sankranti' represents first of consistently in Nepali, and subsequently the main day of month of Magh is praised as Maghe Sankranti. Otherwise called 'Makar Sankranti'. This day is accepted to be the coldest day of the year, and celebrated as individuals trust in the spring season to come extremely not long after this. This celebration is praised just by the Hindus of Nepal, and a modest quantity of Indian Hindus commend it as 'Makar Sankranti'.Despite the fact that celebrated by all Hindus of Nepal, the 'Maghe Sankranti' celebration is viewed as a major one for Newars in Kathmandu valley, and the Tharu people group in western Terai, in Kailali, Kanchanpur, Banke, Bardiya and Dang areas. In Newar people group it is acclaimed with the name of Ghyachakusahlu. In Newari language, Ghya implies ghee, chaku implies Molasses and sahlu implies sankranti. The Tharu people group consider Maghe Sankranti (they want to call it as 'Maghi') their most noteworthy celebration, and praise it for very nearly seven days (from a days ago of Poush to third of Magh) by singing and moving, like the 'Deusi' of Tihar celebration. They set up an extraordinary supper called 'Dhikri' produced using rice flour, and furthermore have a great deal of mixers and meat of pigs, chicken, pigs or ducks.
Maha Shivaratri (generally known as Shivaratri) is a Hindu celebration night of Falgun Krishna Chaturdasi under Hindu Lunar Calendar, in love of God Shiva. Celebrated as the commemoration of birth of Lord Shiva, this celebration additionally denotes the association of God Shiva and Goddess Parvati.Since the Pashupatinath Temple is one of the biggest, most established and most significant temple of God Shiva, a large number of people assemble in this temple to worship the God and observe Shivaratri in this day. A large portion of the people originate from a few pieces of Nepal and India, making it an exceptionally jam-packed spot. Alongside the normal devotees, the vast majority of the Sadhus (holy people) of Lord Shiva additionally come here to venerate. A large number of Sadhus can be seen here, and since hashish is legitimate and free in this day, the majority of them can be seen smoking and being high constantly.
IndraJatra is one of the biggest and main festivals of Kathmandu Valley. Newars call IndraJatra as Yenya .IndraJatra starts each year with the great celebration throughout the street and is also called the biggest street festival. The festivals keep going for eight days from the twelfth day of the brilliant fortnight to the fourth day of the dim fortnight of Yanla, the eleventh month in the lunar Nepal Era schedule (Nepal Sambat).
The chariot parade starts three days after the beginning of the Jatra. Three chariots conveying human portrayals of the divinities Ganesh, Bhairava and Kumari, joined by melodic groups are pulled along the celebration course through Kathmandu for three days. On the primary day, the chariots are taken from Basantapur to Jaisidewal, Lagan, BramhaTole, Bhimsen Than and back to Basantapur. On the subsequent day, the chariots are driven along Basantapur, Ittkha, Nara Devi, Tengal, Baangemudha, Asan, Indrachowk and back to Basantapur. Following a two-sunrise, the chariots are taken to Mahankal from Basantapur and after that back to Hanumandhoka for the finish of the celebration. Additionally, since 2012, the chariots have been pulled by an all ladies' group on the third/last day of the chariot celebration.
On the final day of Jatra, the yosin post raised at Durbar Square is brought down in a function known as YosinKwathalegu. It denotes the end of the festival. Not only chariots parade there are also other performance done in front of the chariots, masked dance performance by various deities such as pulukisi dance, Lakhey dance, SawaBhaku dance, Devi pyakha, MahakaliPyaka and many more.
GaiJatra is celebrated by Newars of Kathmandu, Kritipur, Bhaktapur, and Patanto honor the demise of loved ones. In this festival, that family who has lost their loved ones should take part and walk to the roads of Kathmandu taking a cow. On the off chance that a cow is inaccessible, a little fellow from the family, dressed as a cow is viewed as a reasonable substitute. There is music and devouring all around. It is an extraordinary method to recuperate the injuries made by the loss of friends and family.
YomariPunhi is celebrated by all the Newars of Kathmandu valley.YomariPunhi means the end time of the harvest, and is praised with a Newari delicacy called Yomari. Individuals of Kathmandu commend this celebration by offering Yomari to Annapurna, Goddess of Food Grains to say thanks to her for the reap they've had. At the night, youngsters visit one way to other, mentioning Yomari.Yomari actually converts into "Delicious Bread". It is a sugary treat of recently reaped rice flour mixture molded like fig, and loaded up with sesame seeds and brown cane sugar, which is steamed later. Individuals accept that Yomari removes the cold. Likewise it is said that the longer the Yomari's tail is, the shorter the winter is.
Chhath puja is celebrated by the Hindu religion, mainly the people of terai region. It is believed that people celebratethis festival thanking the sun god for preserving and saving the life on the earth.It is said Sun God favors their worshipers with prosperity, flourishing and bliss. The puja and ceremonies on the relating days are devoted to Surya, Kartik, Agni and ChhathiMayya individually. The fundamental ceremonies of the entire celebration happen on the 6th and seventh day during the Shukla Paksha or waxing period of moon. The significant customs incorporate exacting fasting and contributions to Sun God on stream bank or seashore.
SonamLoshar is celebrated by the Tamang people in the start of New Year.SonamLoshar generally falls on the month of Magh as per the Nepali Calendar.In this celebration, the houses and region are kept perfect, sacred garments lifted and pooja led by worshiping Lord Buddha. The Lama and masters assemble, and moves are performed in the Tamang people group. Religious communities are alluringly enhanced with beautiful enriching things. Individuals take endowments from priests for their advancement, flourishing and bliss. The occasions are trailed by broad eats in houses. Little girls and sisters are welcome to get gifts alongside trading of welcome among each other. In Kathmandu valley, the day is typically set apart by sorting out a few social projects pursued by a few of variegated nourishment slows down and play work for kids. Likewise, a rally is taken out in the Tundikhel region where a three-day-long celebration and Miss Tamang rivalry are additionally held. The extraordinary sustenance like pigs, duck, chicken and sweet deserts are set up for the family assembling. Melodic projects are additionally performed with TamangSelo and Damfu (A conventional melodic drum). Tamangeople have some good times, and take extreme happiness in this celebration sharing and safeguarding their hundreds of years long culture and convention.
TamuLoshar is celebration of the Gurung people of Nepal. This festival generally falls on the month of Poush (December) according to Nepali Calendar. It is believed that this festival is the beginning of Tamusambat. The government has given holidays in this day on the Nepali Calendar.In this day, the relatives of all ages have a colossal social gathering, and cheer and celebrate by trading adoration and welcome. For this, they accumulate in a typical spot and have some social projects like singing and dancing in the society melodies also. The day begins with neighborliness welcome of one another with plates which has 'Sel roti' and 'Achar'. In Kathmandu, countless Gurung individuals assemble in ‘Tundikhel’ in Kathmandu, in their alluring and charming social dress. The men wear Bhangra, a white material shirt-like attire tied over the chest and open like a sack at the back (for conveying things), and a Kachhad, similar to a short sarong or kilt. The Gurung ladies, the two youngsters and youths, wear Ghalek (pullovers), which is upgraded by enormous gold studs and semi-valuable stone pieces of jewelry.
RATO MACHHENDRANATH JATRA
RatoMachhendranathJatra is main festival for the Newar community of Kathmandu Valley. It is known the longest celebrated festival of Kathmandu valley as it goes on for a whole one month. The chariot is built over 60 feet tall and decorated with various garlands. The chariot is embellished with a wide range of festoons and different adornments. The chariot is built at Pulchowk at the western part of the bargain when the chariot has been finished the picture of Bugs Dyah is introduced in the chariot which is brought from BungaDyah's temple. Machhendranath is a divinity of rainfall and when the Rath is pulled it generally rains, to mean that the god is satisfied by what the admirers are doing. This celebration is generally celebrated by the Hindu and Buddhist of the Newar people group. The rath pulling and the Jatra exclusively are accepted and done by the individuals of the Newar people group themselves. It is accepted that the Machhendranath is the gatekeeper of Kathmandu valley, this conviction has been going on since medieval occasions. Like in Patan, even in Kathmandu a rath is pulled, however this rath is of SetoMachhendranath. The rath of the Machhendranath brings upon great wellbeing, and good karma. Another chariot which is of Manianath is pulled together with the Machhendranathrath is pulled by little youngsters. Together with the rath different Newari instruments are spot, for example, DhimeBaajaa and woodwinds and different instruments one of a kind to the Newar people group.
BisketJatra is one of the important Jatra of Bhaktapur. This week long celebration is interesting to Bhaktapur itself, and It denotes the start of the New year of Nepal. During this week long celebration , A Rath for the sake of different divine beings and goddesses are raised, the Rath is comprised of huge wooden tires, a thick wooden base and over that base dwells the hallowed places of different divine beings. A linga is additionally raised as it denotes the start of another year. In Bhaktapur the celebration is commended with energy. What's more, in Kathmandu and Lalitpur there are different Raths raised, these Raths regularly have a place with the Kumari, Bhadrakaali and different divinities. As it is the New Year, the surrounding is loaded up with an alternate joy and quality. Hear the Traditional tunes being played, the Instruments and you can likewise observe individuals moving to the tunes of the Newari tunes, particularly women, the moves of women in Newari customary moves are hypnotizing and excellent. Newari Culture itself being a lovely culture, Being ready to encounter it direct through these different social occasions that hold such a great amount of significance through the course of time something to observe.
KRISHNA JANMA ASTAMI
Krishna Janma Ashtami marks the introduction of Hindu Lord Krishna. Thought about the eighth manifestation of Lord Vishnu, Krishna is the most significant character in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. On this day, Hindu fans visit Krishna sanctuaries. Specifically, a huge number of aficionados accumulate at the stone Krishna Mandir in Patan Durbar Square. Lovers quick for the duration of the day and, at the stroke of 12 PM when he should have been conceived, they revere his adolescence, which is put on a swing. Everyone makes a point to give the swing a push or two, singing a bedtime song of sorts. This occurs in all Krishna sanctuaries all through the nation just as in the puja kothis (petition rooms) of Hindu homes. Just as getting a charge out of the shading and fun of the celebration, this visit offers you a look into Nepalese life at a homestay in Panauti, in the Kathmandu Valley, and two or three days in Chitwan, where you will see an altogether different way of life remaining with Tharu families there.
Christmas is commended more among the Christian people group in Nepal. Notwithstanding, different networks likewise take an interest in gatherings and non-religious festivals during occasion with Christians. At the end of the day, individuals of Nepal observe Christmas as a national celebration as they celebrate different celebrations.
People begin shopping from the earliest starting point of December. Christmas trees are raised at homes with loads of enrichments on it. Trees are enriched with ringers, begins, reindeers, blessing boxes, and numerous different beautifications. The Christmas trees are lit up with twinkling lights. Individuals go to administrations in the congregation during the mid-night. In the first part of the day individuals visit the places of companions and pass on their all the best. Blessings are being traded. In the nights the Christian homes have uncommon Christmas feasts. The dining experience contains simmered chicken, vegetable plate of mixed greens and other Nepali nourishments alongside turkey, pumpkin pies and Christmas puddings. The sustenance and festivity relies on the status of individuals, in any case, all commends the introduction of Lord Jesus with energy and eagerness.
These were some of the major festivals among many, followed in Nepal, however if you wish to know further, please contact us at Nepal Nomad where we’d be more than excited and happy to help you.