Nepalese have preserved and continued thousands of years old festivals and traditions. Hence, you will find an innumerable number of colorful festivals throughout the year. No matter in which season you visit Nepal you will find one kind of festival or another.
Nepal has many kinds of festivals. All Nepalese observe the national festivals. Some regions celebrate regional festivals. Different ethnic groups observe local festivals. All Nepalese together have more than 50 major festivals they celebrate not less than 120days a year. The interwoven prevailing pattern of Hinduism and Buddhism allows the devotees of one religion to take part in the other’s festival. Nepalese have the holidays during the national festivals and regional holidays for regional festivals. The following festivals listed under different months indicate how often Nepalese celebrate their festivals
Sweta (white) Machhendranath enjoys a week-long festival in which he is bathed, oiled, perfumed, and painted. The Goddess Kumari visits him at his elaborate temple near Asan Tol. If he is pleased by the music, offerings, and attentions of his devotees, the people of the Valley can look forward to satisfactory rainfall in the planting season.
Goddess Swasthani's three eyes burn like the sun. She is the ultimate gift grantor; if insulted, she can make life miserable. By worshipping Swasthani, Parbati attained Lord Shiva as her husband. In the worship rites of Goddess Swasthani, outlined by Parbati, the Swasthani scripture is read every evening for a month. Worshipping Swasthani will bring together parted relations, remove curses, and result in limitless gifts.
In the holy month of Magh the sun enters the southern hemisphere, and the days begin to grow longer and warmer. Lord Vishnu the Preserver, is thanked for his efforts. On Maghe Sankranti (the first day of Magh) people take an early morning bath in a holy river, visit the shrines of Vishnu, and present flowers, incense and food to him.
Lord Shiva is one of Nepal's most popular gods. During Maha Shivaratri, his ` `Great Night", followers throughout the Indian sub-continent crowd the Pashupati temple to worship him. On this occasion
Sherpas and Tibetans welcome their New Year with feasts, family visits and dancing. Families don their finest clothes and jewellery and exchange gifts.
Fagu Purnima is one of the most colorful and playful festivals of Nepal. The chit pole, decorated with colorful flags and erected on the first day of Fagu at Kathmandu's Durbar Square, is a formal announcement to all; hide your good clothes, for througout the week you may be splashed with colored powder and water balloons.
Red vermillion powder, family blessings, and goat and duck sacrifices are essential to praise the victory of Ram, hero of the epic Ramayana, over the evil king Rawan.
Visitors are often amazed by the fine horses of the Nepalese army, and Ghode Jatra is a time for the most graceful of these animals to perform before the public eye. Legends relate that this "horse festival" was begun after the Kathmandu people buried a demon under the soil of Tundikhel showgrounds. They say that he may rise again and cause worry to the world if he is not trampled on by horses each year.
During this important festival, the old kingdom of Bhaktapur and its neighboring areas replay a drama passed on over the centuries. Images of wrathful and somewhat demonic deities are placed on tottering chariots. They are offered blood sacrifices, flowers, and eosins.
The Bikram Era is Nepal's official calendar. This solar calendar was started by King Bikramditya. The New Year 2057 of the Bikram Era corresponds to 2000-2001 of the Christan Era. New Year's Day is an official holiday.
Until a few decades ago, before the Kathmandu vaIIey became a pureiy commercial hub, it was an agricultural land which depended upon the rainy monsoon for its important rice crop. Today, though traditional farming practices have reduced,
The ever benevolent Buddha was born in Nepal, and the religion he preached is the, second most popular in the kingdom. On May 6, a full moon day, the Lord's birth, enlightenment, and salvation are applauded throughout the valley with celebrations.
The monsoon has arrived, and the fields have been planted. It is time for Kathmandu Valley Buddhists to observe Gunla. The month-long festivities celebrate a "rains retreat" initiated twenty-five centuries ago by the Buddha:
It marks the birthday of Lord Krishna, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. On this day, an impressive ceremony at the Krishna Temple in Patan and Changu Narayan take place
On Janai Purnima, a full moon day, high-caste Hindus chant the powerful Gayatri mantra and change their Sacred Thread (janai), while a raksha bandhan, a red or yellow protection cord,
The gai or cow is holy to Hindus . She represents Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, and guides the souls of the departed to the gates of the Netherworld. But Gai Jatra is not a somber occasion. Satire, jokes, fancy costumes,
Pashupati, the temple of Shiva, is drenched in crimson during Teej as women in their fine red wedding saris crowd the temple grounds. This unique women's festival is marked by fasting, folk songs,
Indra, King of Heaven and controller of the rains, has once again blessed the Valley. As the end of the monsoon nears, farmers look forward to a rich harvest everyone is grateful to the deva for his help.
Dasain is the longest and most favourite festival of Nepal. Everyone stays home with their families, offices close and Radio Nepal plays Dasain music. The skies of Kathmandu are filled with kites and the marketplaces are filled with farmers bringing their buffaloes,
Mani Rimdu is a Sherpa festival celebrated during the fall at Tengboche Monstery in the Everest region. For five days, Lamas and Sherpas gather for "the good of the world". There are plays, masked dances, prayers, and feastings. Demons are quelled and the pious rewarded.
Tihar, known as the Festival of Lights, is a time of candlelight, tinsel decorations and festive colored sweets:. On different days, there are offerings and small celebrations for crows, dogs, cows and oxen.
This simple, festive day takes place in the ancient forest surrounding the temple of Pashupatinath. It is one of the oldest traditions of the Valley. Families who have lost a loved one in the last year keep an aIl night vigil in the forest, lighting oil lamps and singing songs.
AIl the people of the Hindu world know the story of the marriage of their hero Ram and the princess Sita, as told in the epic Ramayana. King Janak, Sita's father, proposed a test of strength for the suitors of his daughter: to string the great bow of Lord Shiva.