Festivals in Nepal
Festivals in Nepal are a very important part of the life of people ad almost every month has at least one or more festivals. People in Nepal enjoy the festivals with enthusiasm and religious flavor. Festivals in Nepal are one of the ways to express the emotions of people and celebrate the culture and tradition. Festivals are the chance to rejoice in special moments with our family and loved ones. Earlier festivals celebrate to pass the legends, knowledge, and tradition to our coming generations. But nowadays festivals mostly take as a break or a distraction for our day-to-day, exhausting routine of life.
People also say that Nepal is a country where there are more temples than houses, more gods and goddesses than people, and more festivals than days in a year. Being a secular country, all kinds of religious festivals are famous in Nepal. People celebrate each of the festivals in its religious way. Rejoicing the festival with people increases belongingness among the people. Hosting or going to a feast during festivals is the common way for reveling festivals in Nepal. Though festivals in Nepal are eminent by all people, the rituals and beliefs of the same festival may be differing from each culture.
Why are festivals important in Nepal?
Nepali people are one of the most socializing people in the world. A person’s social interaction with their fellow people not only defines happiness but also helps to grow their capacity to learn about other’s culture and traditions. People of Nepal are knowing for their peaceful harmonious behaviors all around the world. The social and cultural heritage of Nepal which are an amazing mixture of customs. Also with traditions, moral values, attitudes, festivals, and beliefs. This culture and etiquette have are coming from one generation to another. Festivals in Nepal are celebrate with the social and economic situation of ancient times.
In today’s busy and chaotic time, mostly happiness is overshadowed by negativity and technologies. So, people in Nepal consider the festival is the time to bring positivity and enjoyment among themselves. Thus, the festival is the chance to forget all the pain and worries and enjoy the positive side of life with their loved ones.
Festivals are the stress buster for the people in Nepal which helps to balance their emotions. Moreover, Nepali’s festivals also provide an incredible opportunity to decrease frictions and bring friends and relatives together in a bond of love. Festivals have been the opportunity of bringing people together. Festivals in Nepal depend upon the religion of the people for example: – Hindu people celebrate Dashain and Tihar, Muslims celebrate Eid and Christian people celebrate Christmas.
Being an agricultural country, many festivals are based on agriculture. That festival that depends on agriculture is often referred to as the harvesting festival. harvesting festivals are Eid, Diwali, and Maghe Sangrati. These festivals fall on the time of harvesting things like rice and potato.
Celebration of Festival and its Importance
Festivals are the reason to increase the relationship among family members. Festivals in Nepal are the chance of widening the culture and tradition of the group of people to the entire world. As Nepali people living in the foreign country, introduce the festivals among the foreign country. people can share their throughs about a problem and ways to solve them. Festival is the time of spreading positivity among the people and having a great time with relatives and family members.
In addition to this, festivals also make cure the mental health of the people. The most important part of celebrating the festival in Nepal is the blessing that the elders give. Festival helps to build and increase the social and cultural relationships among people. technology and modernization have increased the pop culture in Nepal so, festivals are the way of saving our tradition and legacy of the ancient Nepali culture. The festival time is the time to refresh our minds and life. During festivals, people forget all their tensions and enjoy themselves with their families.
Types of festivals famous in Nepal
• National festival
Those festival which helps us to connect with our country are the national festivals. The national festival reminds all the citizens of the country about their duty toward their nation. The national festival is celebrating by all kinds of people where it is Hindus or Muslims inside the country. This type of festival is enjoyed with great enthusiasm and excitement. Some of the national festivals in Nepal are Constitution Day, Martyr’s day and Buddha Jayanti, etc. they are celebrated throughout the country. Especially formal programs and rallies are held on the occasion of these national festivals.
• Religious festivals
A religious festival in Nepal is a festival whose celebration takes place among a particular religious group. For example, people of the Hindu region celebrate Dashain and Tihar whereas Muslim people celebrate Eid. the main motive of religious festival is to make people learn the principle and ethic of the religion. Although these kinds are very different from each religion but in Nepal, people of all religions celebrate all kinds of festivals. During these festivals, people thank and worship their significant god.
• Season festivals
Seasonal festival in Nepal is the festivals which fall on the particular time of the year. The seasonal festival is very important as they are related to the ancient people and an occupation. Season festivals are often referring as the harvesting festival. People of all religions celebrate these festivals with great excitement. Due to modernization seasonal festivals of people of one country celebrate the seasonal festival of another country. Basanta Panchami, Holi, Maghe Sangrati, Aausi, etc are the example of the seasonal festival celebrated in Nepal. seasonal festivals give information about the upcoming season or the end of last season. For example- Holi is the festival of color and is celebrated during the time of Faguln which signifies the end of the winter season and welcomes the bright days of summer.
Dance and shows during festivals
There are different forms of dance in Nepalis’ culture. Every ethnic group of Nepal has a unique dance form. During the festival, each group enjoys performing their significant dance forms. You will get to observe the dance and artwork of the people during festivals. The interesting thing about celebrating festivals in Nepal is that, although the festival is the same among all the communities the way of celebration and the rituals differ from each community. Festivals are a time of enjoyment and people enjoy the festival by dancing.
To show the variety in dance and culture different functions or shows are held in different parts of our country. For example, in the new year of Nepal, a different formal program is held throughout the country. In that program, each community group performs their dance and shows their culture. You can also take part in the cultural shows. The dance form of Newar people is called Bihu, similarly, Tharu, maruni, Tamang, and classical are the forms of dance that are performed in Nepal.
Music is also one of the ways to show our emotions during the festival. The folk music of Nepal is very famous. You can observe the folk music of Nepal during programs and festivals. The instruments used for playing folk music are handmade and traditional. Some of the famous musical instruments are Madal, sarangi, and Bansuri. These musical instruments add traditional spice to the music. The most famous form of music in Nepal is Khaijadi and Dohori. These forms of music were used as the mesa of expressing emotions among one another. People play this music during festivals.
Another important component of celebrating the festival is the feast. People organize a feast at every festival. The feast is the means of getting close with the family and friends. During festivals in Nepal, people invite relatives and friends for a feast. People cook a variety of food during the festival. Many of the festivals in Nepal have their special types of food. For maple people during Dashain and Tihar mainly eat meat, during Maghe Sangrati they eat Khir and during Janai Purnima, they eat beans. Gifts are also part of celebrating the festival while going to the feast, people bring gifts and fruits.
List of festivals in Nepal
Every festival that is notable in Nepal has its significance as well as different rights and rituals. According to Hindu mythology, each day of the weekdays has its own story and reasons. Moreover, different religion like Islam, Christian, and Buddhists in our country has festivals which are related to their beliefs as well as their culture. There are some mythological events and rituals performed in every festival, mostly Nepali people take every happy movement as festivals. Festivals make our life more interesting and exciting. It is the time where family and relatives get together and share happiness.
Maghe Sankranti festival in Nepal
On this month, the ray of the sun is reflected in the southern hemisphere and the temperature begins to rise earlier people celebrate this festival to thank god for his efforts and giving lives to people. on this day, people take a holy bath near the rivers early in the morning. People also say that taking bath at the holy river on this day will wash and remove sin from life people read Bhagwat Gita on the day and sing holy songs. Similarly, people mainly eat Yams(tarul)and Til ko laddu (a sweet made of sesame), and sugarcane paste. During this festival in Nepal, people go to their relative’s houses and attend a feast. People also travel to many temples and religious sites on the day of Maghe Sankranti especially, Devghat.
People celebrate Lhosar by hosting feasts, family visits, and dancing. People wear new clothes and congratulate each other. They also exchange gifts and eat a variety of foods and enjoy. People who follow Buddhism go to monasteries and pray to Lord Buddha for life and health. Buddhist people of the Himalayan region take Lhosar as their main festival. They also hold many programs during Lhosar. The roads and houses of people are decorated with Buddhist flags. People near Kathmandu visit Sywambhu and Bauddhanth stupa. There is the tradition where people through Tsamop which is made up of roasted barley flour in the air. There are different types of Lhosar that Buddhist people celebrate: – Sonam Lhosar, Galpyo Lhosar, and Tamu Lhosar. Each Lhosar has a different Significance and is celebrated by a different group of Buddhist people.
Basanta Panchami (Shree Panchami)
Mostly children or students celebrate this festival. Buddhist’s people worship the God Manjushree on this day. People in the ancient time celebrate Shree Panchami as the announcement for the beginning of the spring season. Basanta Panchami is also the special day for getting married. In ancient times, Hindu boys were given their first initiation for learning on this day. That is why teaching the first alphabet to children is considered to be very good. On this day people mostly visit Human Doka and Patan to flock to the Kunda. This festival mostly falls on the month of Bishak Shree Panchami is the day when people celebrate education. These days’ people start giving free education to the children who do not have reach to the school and college.
Maha Shivaratri Festivals in Nepal
If you are visiting Nepal during Shivaratri then you must visit the Pashupatinath temple. During these festivals in Nepal, devotees wake up early in the morning and take bath. They visit the shiva mandir nearby their house and worship lord shiva. During this day Pashupatinath temple is decorated and more than 50k people visit this temple. You can see many sadhus and devotee sing-song and dance. People often take fast during this day and eat at the time of evening after worshipping shiva again. Especially in Nepal on the day of the Shivaratri festival, people enjoy burnfire in different places. Children enjoy Shivaratri by standing on the road with the long rope to stop the vehicles and getting money from them.
Falgun Poornima (Holi)
Holi is another famous and exciting festival in Nepal celebrating in Nepal. On this day, people enjoy with each other by putting on colors and playing with water. Holi is celebrating the death of the demon Holika. Holika was the devil with the wicked leg. But she was blessed by Lord Vishnu to be unburnt. She then tried to kill her nephew who was three great admirers of lord Vishnu. So, she took her nephew in her lap and sat on fire. Lord Vishnu killed Holika instead for being a demon and trying to kill the innocent child. Since then, Holi is celebrated as the festival of color and enjoinment.
Holi falls on the Nepalis month Falgun that is why it is also referred to as the Falgun Purnima. People also visit different places and enjoy themselves during Holi. Holi in Nepal is celebrated on two different days, the first day in the Himalayan and Hilly region and the second day in the Terai region. People tend to drink Bhang and dance on the day of Holi.
Bisket Jatra Festivals in Nepal
Bisket Jatra is a typical Newari festival that mostly falls on the month of Bishak and Chait. This festival is mostly celebrated in Bhaktapur for four days. Bisket Jatra is the new year of the Newari people. Rath’s small wooden temple is lifted moves them around the city. People offer blood, meat, flowers, and coins to god. People drink rice beer, eat meats to drag chariots accords the street of Bhaktapur city. Mostly youth drag the chariots during the whole day and wherever the rathe stops they lit the lamp, after that devotees run and overflow into the surrounding. Along with the main, all other gods are also put into the wooden palanquins. All people of Bhaktapur come to see this Jatra. People celebrating Bisket Jatra with great and energies and excitement.
We all know that Mother’s Day is the most important and exciting festival in Nepal. Nepali Mother’s Day and International Mother’s Day fall on two different dates. In this day people buy different kinds of goods for their mother and do many things to impressing their mother. This festival is referring as the “locking at mother’s face” in Nepalis. Daughter and son celebrate this day with their mother and their loved ones. The Nepali style of celebrating Mother’s Day is by putting tika on their mother’s forehead and giving them many gifts. Matha Tirtha is a special kind of Mela which is organizing on this day.
As Gautam was born in Nepal, the festivals in Nepal is celebrating by all the Nepalese where they are Hindus or Buddhists. Buddha Jayanti is the day when Siddhartha Gautam aka Gautam Buddha was born. Lumbini which is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, this day is very important there. Buddhist monk persuasions this day fully and going through all the Buddhists place. On the honor of Lord Buddha. On the birthday of Lord Buddha, people from different rallies, social events, or charity events. Gautam Buddha is famous for his good works and spreading happiness among people, so people do charity events on this day. You can also visit Swayambunath and Baudhanatha stupa during this day.
As most of the Festivals in Nepal are based on the sacrifice of animals in ancient times. On Nag Panchami, in Nepali people worship the god of the serpent. Nag Panchami is an important day for Astrology and horoscope. People celebrate Nag Panchami on the month of Shrawan due to rainfall and high-temperature snakes come out from their hibernation. On this day people offer milk to the snakes. The history of Nag Panchami is when Lord Krishna killed the snake on this day and saved all the villagers. That is why Nepalese people worship the photo of the snake and paste them on the gateway of their house.
Janai Purnima (Rakshya Bandhan)
Janai Purnima is an important festival of Nepal of Hindus which falls on the month of Ashar and Shrawan.
Mainly Brahmins celebrate this festival on the Full moon. The word Janai is the Nepali word which is the sacred thread. Nepali men wear this thread or Janai on their body and chest with some rituals. On the Janai Purnima women and children visit the temples and wear the holy thread (mostly of red and yellow colour) on their wrists.
On the day of Janai Purnima people also celebrate Rakshya Bandhan. This is the festival when people celebrate the relation between brother and sister. Sister makes their brothers wear the thread on their brother of Wrist and thanks for the protection of their sister. Sister give gifts and sweets to their brothers.
Gai Jatra is an important and historical festivals of Nepal that has an interesting significance. It is mostly celebrating in Kathmandu valley. As the name, Jatra itself suggests worshipping the cow. At the festival of Gai Jatra, all the cows are decorating with flowers and tikas and, the cow is walking on the entire street. The significance of Gai Jatra is to remember the dead people of each family. The cow is decorating in honor of the dead member of the family who died that particular year. people believe that walking the cow in the street and offering grass to the cow will open the gate of Heaven to that dead person.
Children are also dressed very differently at this festival. Nowadays the celebration of Gai Jatra has been decreasing in the other part of the country. But in Kathmandu valley, people celebrate this festival with a great amount of excitement and enjoyment. If you want to enjoy the real beauty of Gai Jatra you can visit Patan and Basanta Durbar Square. Another interesting ritual about Gai Jatra is that on Bhaktapur, a special apparatus is made up of bamboo and it is wrapped with clothes. Then people carry the bamboo apparatus and then it is walking down the street.
This is the day when the dark god Shree Krishna born. Shree Krishna was the one who taught Arjun about Karma in the holy book Mahabharat. Krishna Janmashtami is mostly falling on the earth night of the dark moon of August. Shree Krishna is often referring as the god of love. He taught people to love and maintain peace in their lives. during this day people visit Krishna mandir nearby their house and offer to take fast. There are different temples where you can visit during Krishna Janmashtami, although people tend to visit the Krishna mandir of Patan on this day.
People dance and sing Krishna’s song on this day. The amazing deeds of Shree Krishna are also calling as Rashlia. Priests tell the story of Lord Krishna on the temple. Then after midnight people gather in the temple and people perform an act of when Krishna was born. People go to different meals and fairs on the day of Krishna Janmashtami.
It is in Nepal is calling as Kushe Aaushi. Father’s Day o Nepal falls on the month of Bhadra of Nepali month. Unlike, Mother’s Day, there are many rituals on this day. Sons and daughters bring different gifs to their fathers. Apart from this a special kind of plant also known as the Kush is worshiping. And then the plant is placing on the temple or the ritual place of the house. The plant believes to guard the house against negative energy. Father’s Day also calls Bau ko Mukh Herne din which means watching the father’s face. People celebrate Father’s Day by putting a tika on the father’s forehead and offering him sweets and gifts.
Teej is the main festival of Nepali women. This is the historical festival celebrating in honor of the goddess Parvati. In ancient times Goddess Parvati fought with demons and kept fast for the protection of the life of her husband Lord Shiva. that is why Nepali women fast on Teej. They pray for the good health of their family and their husband. Nepali women celebrate Teej for two days. On the first day, they dance and eat different variety of food. According to the tradition of Teej, married women go to their mother’s house and enjoy dancing. At the midnight of this day women prepare a special kind of food of milk and a different ingredient called “Dar”.
The first day of the Teej also calls as Dar khane din. On the second day, women take bath and wear clean clothes and visit the Shiva temple. Women generally wear red clothes during Teej. After returning from the temple, women sing and dance for the entire day, and at midnight women break their fast. Devotee mostly visits Pashupatinath during Teej. Unmarried women also fast on Teej for getting a husband like lord shiva.
We all know that Dashain is the main festival of Hindu people. As the majority of people in Nepal are Hindu, the people of Nepal celebrate Dashain as the main festival. This is the longest festival celebrates in Nepal as Dashain lasts for 15 days. Each day of Dashain has its importance and story. Ghatasthapana is the first day of Dashain. On this day people harvest a special plant name “Jamara”.
On the first nine-day of nine different forms of goddess Durga which she kills the demon Mahisasur also worship. People clean their houses on Dashain. Dashain especially falls on the month of Kartik. Another interesting ritual about Dashain is on the eighth- and ninth-day people worship their vehicles like cars, bike, cycle, etc. on the tenth day of Dashain people put tika and Jamara from their elders. Elders tend to give blessings and money to the younger. People play cards, games, and swing on Dashain.
Tihar is the festival of lights and color which comes after Dashain. It is celebrating for 5 days. In these five days, people worship different animals and the goddess Laxmi who is the god of wealth. People celebrate Tihar in Nepal with great enthusiasm. They clean their house and wash everything in the house. People in Nepal believe that, if they keep their house clean then goddess Laxmi will reside in their house. Kojagrat Purnima is the first day of Dashain where birds especially Crow are worship.
And on the second day Dogs are worshiping. similarly on the third- and fourth day cows are worshiping. The famous thing about Tihar is playing Deusi and Bhailo. Especially children go to their neighbor house to sing and dance and collect money. The fifth day of Tihar calls Bhai tika. On this day brothers and sister put tika on each other faces. The tika is generally long with seven colors. Sisters give clothes and fruits to their brother as a gift whereas brothers give money to their children. Entire Nepal delights with lights and flowers. In addition to this people also burn fireballs and enjoy.
Christmas Festivals in Nepal
Christmas is the main festival of Christian people. Though the number of Christian people in Nepal is slightly less all people celebrate Christmas with the same amount of excitement. You can visit different churches during Christmas. This is the day when the founder of the Christian religion Jesus Christ was born. People celebrate Christmas in Nepal by gathering with family and visiting churches. Children are most excited on the occasion of charismas as they will get many presents during Christmas. Public holidays also give on the occasion of Christmas.
Festivals in Nepal are the most exciting part of our lives which increase the cultural and individual relations of the people. They bring us today with our region and our family. Festival is enjoyable only if it celebrates in an enjoyable way. Nowadays people take festivals as the occasion of drinking and spending money. People spend lots of money during the festival, the tradition of showing and spending money has taken place. Because of this festival comes harshly on the people with the low economical condition.
People should celebrate these festivals in Nepal with harmony and peace. One should always respect and enjoy the festival of other religions. People should understand the deep thought and reasons for celebrating the festival. In addition to this, scarifying animals are also the negative rituals of the festival. Peoples should stop scarifying innocent animals as the rituals of celebrating festivals. Festival time in Nepal is very special, as the entire country decorates with lights and flowers.