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Nepal Festivals
Nepal Festivals

Nepal is not only the land of mountains; it is also the land of festivals. There are more than 50 festivals celebrated in Nepal every year. While the national festivals have fixed dates, religious festivals are set by astrologers following the lunar calendar.

Chaite Dasain

Chaite Dasain used to be the original day of the grand Dasain festival (which takes place exactly six months later now), but because people got their stomachs upset after feasting on spicy food during the warm month of Chaitra, the grand celebration was shifted to the cooler season. But the religious fervor is still evident in the celebrations of the day.

Dashain

During the month of Kartik in the Bikram Sambat calendar (late September and early October), the Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain. Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout the country. The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon. Thorough out the kingdom of Nepal the goddess Durga in all her manifestations are worshiped with innumerable pujas, abundant offerings and thousands of animal sacrifices for the ritual holy bathing, thus drenching the goddess for days in blood.

New Year

It is known as “Navavarsha” in Nepal. Nepal has its official calendar that begins from the first day of the first month Baisakh. This very first day is observed as Nepali New Year which usually falls in the second week of April.

Tihar

The Nepali festival Tihar is also known by many names such as Dipawali or Bhai Tika or Laxmi Puja or as a festival of lights. It is a five-days festival, which comes soon after the Dashain Festival, and Tihar is all about worshiping of different animals such as crow, dog, cow, and worshiping of the Hindu Goddess of Fortune or Wealth (Goddess Laxmi), and cooking great meals at home, brothers and sisters shopping for gifts, flying kites, decorating homes and streets, playing cards with friends, resting and relaxing, and finally ending the festival with an exchange of a special temporary mark on forehead (tika in Nepali)

Baisakh Purnima

Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. The anniversary of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death is observed on a full-moon day in May every year. People celebrate the occasion by paying homage to Buddha. Lumbini and Swayambhunath, Bouddhanath in Kathmandu are thronged with devotees during Buddha Jayanti.

Dum

Dumji ji is one of the sared ceremonies of the Sherpa community. It is celebrated in the month of July. Dumji is celebrated by the Sherpas in Namche region.The Sherpas of Kathmandu and Helambu regions also participate in dancing on this day.

Gai Jatra

Gai Jatra is an eight-day carnival of dancing, singing, mirth and laughter. The festival usually falls in Julay or August. As part of the festival family members of those who died in the past year send people dressed as cow to parade on the streets.

Ghanta Karna Chaturdasi

This festival celebrates the exorcism of the mythical demon Ghantakarna.It is also called Gathemangal festival which falls on trayodashi of the month Shrawan

Mata Tirtha Snan (Mother's Day)

This is one of the widely celebrated festivals that falls on the first month, Baisakh (April/May), of the Nepali Year.It is also called Mata Tirtha Aunsi as it falls on a new moon night.

Buddha Jayanti

This day is celebrated to mark the birthday of the Lord Buddha which dates back in about 543 BC.It falls on Jestha Purnima (Full moon night-May/June).

Gokarna Aunsi (Father's Day)

The most auspicious day to honour one's father is Gokarna Aunsi . It falls on the dark fortnight of Bhadra or in August or in early September.It is also known as Kuse Aunsi.

Teej Ko Darkhane Din

"Teej" is the fasting festival for women. Through this religious fasting, hindu women pray for marital bliss, wellbeing of their spouse and children and purification of their own body and soul. It takes place on Tritiya of Bhadra (August/September).

Indrajatra(Holiday Only in Kathmandu)

This festival falls in the end of Bhadra (August/September). Both Hindus and Buddhists unite to celebrate the festival of Indra Jatra with great enthusiasm.

Maghe Sankranti

Maghe Sankranti is the beginning of the holy month of Magh, usually the mid of January. It brings an end to the ill-omened month of Poush (mid-december) when all religious ceremonies are forbidden.

Bagh Jatra

The Bagh Jatra of Pokhara is another cultural baggage brought by Newars from Kathmandu, celebrated in early august. The festival has been celebrated in Pokhara for about 150 years. It expresses the people's joy at their deliverance from a marauding tiger

Mani Rimdu

(Full moon of the 9th Tibetan month) Mani Rimdu is the biggest event of the year for the Sherpas of the Khumbu region. Sherpas from the Khumbu region congregate at Thyangboche Gompa, the picturesque monastery situated on a spur at 3,870 meters from where both Mt. Everest and Ama Dablam can be seen.

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