The most widely celebrated festival in Nepal, Dashain is of great Nepali significance. Celebrated as a means to cherish Goddess Durga’s victory over Mahishasura, Dashain attracts hundreds of Nepalese to worship the Goddess, conduct family gatherings, and enjoy individual and family feasts. Lasting for 15 days, Dashain also hosts events such as kite flying.
Dates: 26 September to 9th October 2022
Also known as the festival of lights, Tihar is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi. Tihar Festival or Diwali in Nepal is the 2nd most celebrated among the festivals in Nepal after Dashain (Dussehra). In this festival, people not only celebrate the Gods but the animals and birds which share a close relationship with them. Hosting fantastic celebrations with peak zeal, candles and lanterns are lit up on the day of Tihar. Lasting for 5 days, the whole country lights up during this time.
Dates: 22nd October to 27th October.
Celebrated country-wide, Buddha Jayanti marks the birth of Lord Buddha. This festival witnessed intensely decorated temples like Monkey Temple and Boudhanath Temple with candles, lamps, and prayer flags. On this day, devotees chant Buddhist mantras and resist consuming alcohol.
Dates: 16th May 2022
Maha Shivaratri is a significant Nepali festival where numerous people gather at Shiva temples to worship the Shiva Linga. On the night of Maha Shivaratri, devotees offer their respect and devotion through fasting. Some of the common sightings during the festival are lamp-lit temples housing followers conducting aarti and making offerings at the Shiva temples.
Dates: 1st March 2022
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Gai Jatra is a Nepal celebration dedicated to commemorating the death of loved ones. Various offerings, such as food, are distributed by the family of the deceased. During the Gai Jatra, Nepal witnesses people singing and dancing to turn their sorrow into joy. Young boys with mascara smeared faces and painted as cows move barefoot on the streets of Nepal to celebrate this festival. Also known as the Sa Paru, the Gai Jatra hosts find tons of Nepalese singing, dancing and laughing together on the streets. Celebrated by the Newar community on the outskirts of the Kathmandu region, the Gai Jatra is said to be one of the most unique festivals in the world.
Dates: 12th August, 2022
Fagun Purnima, also commonly known as Holi, is one of the most lively and vibrant festivals celebrated in Nepal. During the festival, people light a bonfire as a celebration of the death of Holika, the demon. Fagun Purnima is celebrated with dry colours, water balloons, and water guns. Lassi mixed with bhang is a common practice as well.
Date: 19th March 2022
Celebrated at the beginning of Nepali Bisket month, Bisket Jatra marks the end of serpents. With an enormous rally and tug of war held during the festival, Bisket Jatra also has locals indulging in activities such as singing, dancing, playing with colours, and tongue piercing; a common event during the Bisket Jatra.
Date: 14th April 2022
Indra Jatra is one of the most widely cherished festivals in Nepal. The significance of the festival lies in the hope for a good harvest. Raksi, the traditional Nepali liquor is widely consumed by the Nepalese who also indulge in masked dance performances.
Date: Starts from 9th September 2022
On the festival of Teej, women partake in a heavy breakfast, before beginning a full-day fast. The fast is held as a prayer for the husband’s and children’s good health, and for self-purification. Various sweets are relished once the fast is broken, along with songs and dances.
Date: 30th August 2022
One of the most popular festivals in Nepal, Losar is synonymous with the Tibetan New Year. Losar, a very lively festival, involves devotees from all over Nepal rejoicing through various dance forms, songs, and exchanging gifts. People also consume local Tibetan drinks, as a celebration of the new year.
Date: 3rd to 5th March 2022
Chhat is an ancient Hindu festival, celebrated by cherishing and thanking Surya (the sun) for helping us to sustain life on Earth. The sun is worshipped during Chhat by making offerings and by gathering at river banks. Chhat also includes fasting and holy bathing.
Date: 30th October 2022
Marking the birthday of Goddess Saraswati, Basant Panchami is also believed to bring good fortune along with the season of spring. Flowers, sweets, candles, and the like are offered to the Goddess, hoping that this day would bring devotees a happy life. Popular belief also holds this day to be a good day to begin married life.
Date: 5th February 2022
The land of notable festivals, Nepal is an astounding place for everyone who seeks to explore different cultures and religious customs! Each of the festivals mentioned above has great significance, with wide celebrations all across the country, making it indispensable to indulge in the Nepali life!
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