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Festivals of Nepal
  • Nava Barsha
    • The Nepalese Nava Barsha (New Year) day usually falls on the second week of April, that is the first day of Baisakh in the Nepali calendar. The day is a national holiday and people celebrate it with great pomp. On this occasion, annual Bisket Jatra is also held in the city of Bhaktapur.

  • Dashain Holidays
    • 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.

  • Tihar Holidays
    • Tihar, the festival of lights is one of the most dazzling of all Hindu festivals. In this festival we worship Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth. It heralds the month of Kartik (October/November) starting with Kukur Puja-Narak Chaturdashi.

  • Baisakh Purnima (BUDDHA PURNIMA)
    • The Baisakh Purnima takes place in the month of April - May. Since Nepal is the birth place of Lord Buddha - the light of Asia - the triple anniversary of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death is celebrated with many colourful ceremonies on this day. It is a national holiday. People celebrate the occasion with great veneration paying homage to Lord Buddha at places like Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and in Lumbini.

  • Rato (RED) Machhindranath Jatra
    • This festival falls in the month May - June. This festival is the biggest socio-cultural event of Patan City. It lasts for more than a month or so. The wheeled chariot is prepared at Pulchowk and dragged through the city of Patan in several stages till it reaches Jawalakhel for the final celebration of the festival called Bhoto Dekhaune or ‘Bhoto Jatra’. It is the longest festival in Nepal lasting for several months. A similar kind of chariot festival of Machchhendranath (White) is also held in Kathmandu city in the month of March -April and lasts usually for four days.

  • Gaijatra (COW FESTIVAL)
    • Gaijatra is held in the month July - August. It is a carnival type of festival lasting for seven days. Dancing, singing, comedy and anything that causes laughter are its highlights. Those people whose family members have died during the year send out persons dressed up as a cow to parade the main thoroughfare of the city on the second day of the festival.
  • Krishnastami

    • Krishnastami falls in the month of July - August. It marks the birthday of Lord Krishna, one of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, an epic hero of the MAHABHARAT. On this day there is an impressive ceremony at Krishna Mandir temple of Patan City and Changu Narayan. Folk dances and songs are on this occasion.

  • Indra Jatra
    • Indra Jatra takes place in the month of August -September. This is the festival of Indra - the god of rain and is observed in the Kathmandu city with great enthusiasm. The celebration of this festival lasts for 7 days. The chariot of Kumari - the Living Goddess is taken out in the procession through the main streets of Kathmandu city three times within 7 days. The Kumari is placed on a decorated chariot which is pulled through the street by the devotees. The whole celebration is largely confined to the traditional market and residential areas of Kathmandu like Durbar Square of Hanuman Dhoka which echoes of beating of drums and dancing feet of the masked dancers almost every evening. The king always pays a homage to the Living Goddess on this day.

  • Vivaha Panchami
    • Vivaha Panchami falls on the month of November- December and is the famous festival of Janakpur of Dhanusa District. This occasion commemorates the marriage of Sita with Ram one of the most venerated Hindu hero.Each year in Janakpur, idols of Ram and sita are brought out in bright processions and their Hindu wedding ceremony is enacted.

  • 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).

  • 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 (July/August).

  • Janai Purnima, Rakshya Bandhan, Khumbeshwor Mela Patan
    • Janai Purnima is the festival of Sacred Thread.On this day every Hindu ties a sacred thread on the wrist.It is also called Rakshya Bandhan.On this day, there is a big Mela (fair) at Khumbeshwor, Lalitpur.It is again on a full moon night.

  • 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).

  • 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. Even if it is considered the coldest day of the year, it marks the coming of warmer weather and better days of health and fortune.

  • Shree Panchami
    • This festival falls in mid Magh (January/February).It is celebrated as the birthday of Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning. She is the lily-white daughter of Shiva and Durga in spotless white robe and seated in a full-blown lotus. This day is also dedicated to the martyrs of Nepal and hence celebrated as Martyr's Day.

  • Maha Shiva Ratri
    • This day is the celebration dedicated to the Lord Shiva which falls on the Trayodashi of the month Fagun (February/March).

  • Ghode Jatra
    • Ghode Jatra, the Horse Racing Day, falls on the month of March - April and this festival is known as the festival of horse race and entertainment. It is one of the cultural festival of the Kathmandu City.A grand horse parade takes place at Tundikhel, the central point of the city reputed to have been in the former days the largest parade ground in Asia. Horse races, acrobatic sports and military tattoo also take place at Tundikhel on this day. In other parts of this city, the various deities are carried shoulder-high on wheel less chariots, accompanied by traditional music.

  • Shree Ram Nawami
    • Ram Nawami is celebrated in the mid of Chaitra (March/April) as Lord Ram's Birthday. It is celebrated with much pomp at Janaki temple in Janakpur city, which lies in southern Nepal.

  • Bagh Jatra
    • Ram Nawami is celebrated in the mid of Chaitra (March/April) as Lord Ram's Birthday. It is celebrated with much pomp at Janaki temple in Janakpur city, which lies in southern Nepal.

  • Bhairav Kumari Jatra
    • This is one of the major religious celebrations in Dolkha, an historic town in north-eastern Nepal (133 km from Kathmandu off the highway to Tibet). The festival falls on early August; and consists of masked dances that go on non-stop for five days. Escorted by musical bands, dancers representing the deities Bhairav and Kumari and other gods and goddesses swirl and sway through Dolkha, visiting its many temples. On the occasion, devotees also undergo fasting and worship Bhairav and Kumari. The ceremony has a history going back more than five centuries.

  • 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.

  • Gaura Parva
    • Gaura Parva is another celebration honoring Lord Krishna's birthday. It is celebrated in far western Nepal with much gusto for two days (August/September). Apart from the many ceremonies that happen during this festival, it is the occasion for married women to put on the sacred thread. The deuda dance is a major part of the festivities in which participants hold hands and form a circle as they step to traditional music.

  • Gunla
    • Gunla is a sacred month dedicated to Lord Buddha. This festival commemorates the auspicious "rains retreat" when the Buddha, over 2,500 years ago, led his close disciples into solitary meditation and preached to them the essence of his principles.

  • Guru Purnima
    • Teachers come second (after the gods) in the Hindu hierarchy of respect. The full moon day of the month June/July is set aside for students to pay homage to their teachers and receive blessings from them in return. At a place called Vyas on the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway, special worship is performed to Maharishi Vyas, the saint who wrote the great Hindu epic, Mahabharat. For Buddhists, the occasion (Dilla Punhi) is sacred as the day when the Buddha-to-be entered the womb of Queen Mayadevi. Religious functions are held at monasteries and temples to commemorate the event.

  • Lhosar
    • Lhosar is the Tibetan New Year which falls on February/March. This festival is mast impressively observed by all the Tibetan-speaking populations. They organize folk songs and dances on this occasion. These dances can be seen in Khumbu, Helambu and other northern regions of Nepal and also at Boudhanath in Kathmandu.

  • Rato Macchendranath Jatra
    • (Begins on the full moon day of Baisakh)This is the longest as well as the most important festival of Patan. It begins with several days of ceremonies and the fabrication of a wooden-wheeled chariot at Pulchowk, near the Ashoka Stupa.

  • 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.

  • Mata-yaa
    • Celebrated in mid-August Mata-yaa is one of Patan's popular festivals. It consists of a day-long procession of devotees going around the Buddhist courtyards of the town and offering worship at the shrines there. Carrying lighted tapers and joss sticks in their hands, Mata-yaa participants rush in a meandering file and visit the hundreds of Buddhist sites scattered all over Patan. They toss rice grains, flowers and coins at the shrines as they pass by. Some devotees wear elaborate and amusing costumes. Musicians also take part in the parade.

  • Neel Barahi Pyakhan
    • Neel Barahi Pyakhan is a sacred masked dance which is shown over four days(August/September)in different parts of Bode. Nineteen persons representing the town's guardian pantheon take part in the dance performance. Music is provided by a 27-piece traditional orchestra. The ceremony invokes peace and harmony, and is dedicated to the deity Neel Barahi whose temple is located in a jungle outside Bode. Bode adjoins Thimi which is 8 km east of Kathmandu.

  • Rath Yatra
    • Biratnagar in south-eastern Nepal brings out a spectacular chariot procession to mark Lord Krishna's birthday (August/September). The parade sets out from the Radha Krishna temple and goes around the town. The six-meter tall chariot carries the images of Krishna and his consort Radha and is drawn by hordes of devotees. The annual chariot festival was started in 1932 to commemorate the building of a temple dedicated to Krishna.

  • Tamu Dhee
    • Tamu Dhee (also known as Trahonte) is a Gurung holiday (august). Ceremonies are performed to purge the neighborhood of evil spirits and to safeguard one's farm and farm animals from hostile elements. The festival can be observed in Pokhara. Groups of people beating on different kinds of drums form a colorful procession and make house-to-house visits. Participants with their faces smeared with soot and wearing feather headdresses parade through the town to drive away negative influences and ensure peace and security.

  • Tansen Jatra
    • The hilltop town of Tansen in central Nepal exults in a week-long festive spree beginning with Janai Purnima, when Hindus change their sacred threads. The next day, Gai Jatra is marked by parading figures of cows made of bamboo and cloth. Ropai Jatra is the rice planting ceremony and participants perform plowing and planting acts on the streets. During Bagh Jatra, actors dressed up like tigers and hunters march through town. Then there are the parades. Images of Ganesh, Bhimsen and Narayan are placed on palanquins and carried around Tansen. The celebrations climax on August 12 with Bhagawati Jatra, the procession of the town's protective goddess.

  • Taya Macha
    • The Taya Macha dance is shown in different parts of Pokhara as part of the Gai Jatra observances. The five dancers, four dressed up as angels and one as a clown, are accompanied by a group of traditional musicians. It is believed that the performance will bring peace to the souls of those who have passed away during the previous year. The festival has its roots in the Kathmandu Valley. It was brought to Pokhara by Newars who migrated here centuries ago.

  • Yomari Punhi
    • Yomari Punhi is one of the popular Newar festivals observed every year during the full moon of December. A yomari is a confection of rice-flour (from the new harvest)dough shaped like fig and filled with brown cane sugar and sesame seeds, which is then steamed.

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