Festivals in Nepal


Nepal is known for its continuous festivals. Nepalese are said to observe more festivals then there are days in the year. Some of the major and interesting festivals are listed below:

Navavarsha

The Nepalese New Year’s Day usually falls in the second week of April. i.e. the first day of Baisakh. The day is observed as a national holiday. The people celebrate it with great pomp and show. On this occasion, Bisket Jatra is held in the city of Bhaktapur.

Baisakh Poornima (April - May)

As Nepal is the birth place of Lord Buddha, the Lights of Asia, the triple anniversary of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death is observed with many colorful ceremonies on this day. People celebrate the occasion with great veneration paying homage to Buddha at places like Swayambhunath and Lumbini.

Red Machchendranath Rath Jatra (May - June)

This festival is the biggest socio-culture event of Patan. The wheeled chariot of the deity known as Bungdyo or red Machhendranath is prepared at Pulchowk, and dragged through the city of Patan in the several stages till it reached the prescribed destination (Lagankhel). The grand final of the festival is called "Bhoto Dekhaune". A similar kind of chariot festival of Machhendranath (white) is also held in Kathmandu City in the month of March-April.

Dumji

It is celebrate in Sherpa Settlement in the month of July. The Sherpas of Kathmandu and Helambu regions participates in dancing on this day.

Gaijatra (Cow festival) (July - August)

Gaijatra (Cow festival) It is a carnival-type of festival lasting eight days. Dancing, singing, comedy and any thing that cause mirth and laughter are its highlights. Those people whose family members have died during the years send out persons dressed up as a cow to parade the main through of the city on the first day of the festival.

Krishnastami (July - August)

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 takes place.

Indrajatra (August - September)

The festival of India, the god of rain, is observed with great enthusiasm in Kathmandu Valley. The festival is celebrated in August-September lasting for eight days. The chariot of Kumari, the living Goddess, is taken out in procession through the main street of Kathmandu. The festival is specially noted for the echoes of drums and dancing feet of the masked dancers almost every evening.

Dashain or Durga Puja (September - October)

The Dashain festival is the most important festival of the Nepalese. It takes some time in the month of September-October.

Tihar (Deepawali) (October - November)

known as the festival of lights "Tihar" is celebrated for five days in October-November. On the occasion of houses are illuminated at night and the special sweets of diverse kinds are prepared.

Constitution Day

The new democratic constitution of the kingdom of Nepal was promulgated on November 9, 1990. Since then, this day is observed as the Constitution day.

Vivaha Panchami (November - December)

This is the famous festival of Janakpur in Dhanusha district in the eastern Terai. The occasion commemorates the marriage of Sita to Ram, one of the most venerated Hindu divinities. It attracts thousands of pilgrims from India.

Prithivi Jayanti

This festival is celebrated in honour of King Prithivi Narayan Shah, the founder of Modern Nepal, with a colorful ceremony in front of the Singha Durbar Gate in Kathmandu of January 10/11 (Push 27th).

Lhosar

This festival is the most impressively observed in the month of February by all the Tibetan speaking populations. They organize folk songs and dances on this occasion. These dances can be seen in Khumbu regions of Nepal and also at Bodhnath in Kathmandu.

National Democracy Day

This day is officially observed as Rastriya Prajantra Divas or National Democracy Day (it generally falls February 18th i.e; 7th of Phalgun as a mark of respect to people’s revolution of 1950-51)

Maha Shivaratri (February)

Shivaratri of the night of Lord Shiva, is observed in February–March. It is celebrate in honor of Lord Shiva. A great religious fair takes place in the Pashupatinath Temple and thousand of Hindus from all over Nepal and India visit temple.

Ghodejatra (March - April)

Known as a festival of horses, it is one of the most exciting festivals of the Kathmandu city. Horse race and other sport take place at Tundikhel on this day. In other parts of the city the various deities are carried shoulder high on wheel less chariot (khat) with the accompaniment of traditional music.