Nepal is more than a land of mountains and hills. The people living here have made contributions to make Nepal what it is. The culture and religion that Nepalese follow are unique and have great significance. The best way to understand any ethnic group is by taking part in their important event. In this blog, we shall take a look at the festival in Nepal. It will not only deepen your understanding of the culture but provide you with wonderful memories.
1. Dashain the Greatest Festival in Nepal
When we speak about festivals, the paramount festival in Nepal is undoubtedly Dashain. It goes by many names like Bada Dashain, Bijaya Dasami, and Mohni nakha. This 15-days festival is the most auspicious holiday in Nepal. As it lies in September or October, the weather is great too. This festival holds great importance to the people of the Hindu community.
People worship the 8 Tantrik Goddesses and the 9 avatars of Durga. The temples fill with people praying to the Goddess for good fortune. On the tenth day, people receive tika and jamara from their elders. Also, they receive blessings and Dakshina too. During Dashain, you can see lots of family gatherings and parties. The environment is pretty lively and consequently, it is on our list of the amazing festival in Nepal.
2. Tihar the 2nd Greatest Festival in Nepal
Like Dashain, Tihar is another important festival that Hindus celebrate worldwide. It may go by different names and different methods but the core idea remains the same. It starts 15 days after Dashain ends and Tihar lasts for 5 days. People often refer to Tihar as the ‘Festival of Light’. The streets are beautifully decorated with colorful lights and flowers. The motive behind doing so is to attract Goddess Laxmi into their homes.
The first day of Tihar is kaag Tihar, second is kukur Tihar where crows and dogs are worshipped accordingly. On the third day, people worship cows which are followed by Govardhan Puja and Mha Puja. The final day of Tihar is Bhai tika where sisters pray for their brother’s longevity and progress. This festival in Nepal will help you to understand the Nepalese way of life vividly.
3. Teej- the Festival of Women
The motive behind celebrating Teej stems from the idea to reminiscence the union of Goddess Parvati with Lord Shiva. Nepalese women celebrate Teej with great excitement and vigor. Women celebrate Teej for the long life and prosperity of their husbands and the well-being of spouse and their children. The ambiance in Teej is lively as one can witness women singing and dancing while draped in red dress and jewelry.
This amazing festival in Nepal falls on the 3rd day of Bhadra Shukla Paksha. On the eve, a grand feast takes place where family gatherings occur. The next day, or the main day of Teej, women fast the entire day and visit the Shiva temple. Take part in this festival to understand the meaning of Hindu culture.
4. Buddha Jayanti
Buddha Jayanti falls on the birth anniversary of Lord Gautam Buddha. In this delightful day, Buddhists from all over the world visit the Buddhist sites. Likewise, the ambiance in these Buddhist sites is pretty lively too. For instance, people visit Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath, and other sites. Here, you can witness monks and nuns practicing Buddhism. The whole area is serene and it’ll give you an idea about Buddhism.
Chhath is a quintessential festival of the people living in the Terai region. This 4-day ordeal falls in October or November. In this festival of Nepal, people pray to the Sun God early in the morning and thank him for providing the world with life. Devotees fast during the day and later, offer water to the sun after fasting.
Also, people celebrate Chhath by offering food to the Sun God and taking part in a holy bath. Rivers and ponds see traffic during Chhath. There are even small markets in some parts. Once you observe Chhath from up close, you’ll understand the true essence of Hinduism.
6. Holi the Color Festival in Nepal
Holi is a primitive festival that marks the beginning of spring and the symbolic representation of the victory of good over evil. This festival traces its origin to the Indian subcontinent and is most popular with the people of the Hindu community. A popular story behind Holi stems from the fact that Lord Vishnu protected his disciple Prahlad from the demon Hiranyakashipu. As times progressed, different stories developed but the objective of Holi is the same.
In Holi, people put colors on each other and party. They drink a special drink called ‘bhang’ and other delicacies. The ambiance is filled with music, drums, and laughter. While observing this festival in Nepal, you will feel a certain liveliness and excitement.
7. Krishna Janmasthami
Lord Krishna is an avatar of Lord Vishnu and he’s also the teacher of the Pandavas. This festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. Devotees celebrate this festival by visiting the nearest Krishna temple and chanting the name of Lord Krishna. This festival normally falls on the 8th day of the dark moon of August. However, depending on the calendar, it is subject to change. There are bhajans in the temple and the environment is lively.
Mahashivaratri is the day of Lord Shiva, Inventor of yoga. It falls on the 14th day of the fortnight of Magh and is the darkest day of the year. On this day, stars in the Northern hemisphere arrange themselves in such a way that enhances spiritual energy. Mahashivaratri also highlights the night where Lord Shiva performed his dance called ‘Tandava’.
In this amazing festival in Nepal, people visit Shiva temples and chant the name of Lord Shiva. At night, people light bonfires and offer their blessings to Lord Shiva.
9. Maghe Sankranti
The Maghe Sankranti festival marks the end of the frosty Poush month. People celebrate this festival to mark new beginnings and as a celebration from the oppressive cold. The people of the Tharu community celebrate it as a new year. On this day, you can see Hindus bathing in holy rivers. People eat foods like laddoo, sweet potatoes, and ghee while the head of the household wishes good health to family members.
10. Ghode Jatra
Ghode Jatra falls on the no moon day of the Chaitra Sukla Paksha. In this festival, a horse parade occurs in Tundhikhel. Unlike other festivals that have a religious belief attached to it, Ghode Jatra does not have one. On the contrary, there is a wonderful story associated with it. It states that there is a demon buried under Tundikhel and the horse parade makes sure that it does not return from the burial site.
Furthermore, Nepal Army performs various acrobatics and stunts in this festival in Nepal.
We hope that you now have a thorough idea about the various festivals that make Nepal what it truly is.