Top 10 Major Festivals in Nepal
The state of scenic beauties and Himalayan is not just bound with the Himalayas and up downhills or the unique topography. Being a country of immense ethnicity and traditional value, Nepal celebrates the utmost rejoicing festivals. Every year people work hard to enjoy the time of the festive to the fullest. The diverse country of rites and rituals, a secular state, Nepal respects and supports each salient festival. Moreover, people here in Nepal are more likely to have variations of festivals making it well known as the land of festival.
Here, the people are warm and kindhearted. There is a respective identity for every religious norm in the country. Hindu or Muslim, Christian or Buddhist, Nepal is the country that represents itself in every major festival of the people. The people of Nepal celebrate festivals with ancient literature or mythology. However, most of the people of Nepal follow Hinduism, so Hindu festivals are more rejoicing and grander in Nepal. People in Nepal participate in all the religious festivals, but they celebrate only their religious festivals. Let us talk about the topmost rejoicing and grand festive that anyone can visit at the time in Nepal.
Dashain: The Biggest and Longest Festival of Nepal
Dashain, also known as Vijaya Dashami or Bada Dasai, is the most remarkable and majestic festival in Nepal. The majority of Hindus celebrate this festival of Goddess Durga in Nepal. Due to the diverse rites in the country, people of every religion get a holiday at the time of Dashain. It is festive of family and relatives who gather for each other’s prosperity and success for the upcoming life.
The story of the Dashain festival is within the Goddess Durga that kills the hellhound called Mahisasur. Nepalese celebrate this ceremony to rejoice in the victory of Goddess Durga. Furthermore, there is also a belief of the people that lord Durga granted her power to Ram to win over Ravana. People typically celebrate this festival with substantial norms and values.
According to the Lunar Calendar, Dasai falls in September or October with 15 days of the celebration ceremony. All the public and private firms are closed at the time of Dashain. Moreover, there is the ritual of wearing new clothes and consuming a massive amount of meat. People get back to their homeland for an extended vacation and enjoy their time by play cards and swing in the villages.
Alongside there are various ceremonies practiced by the government of Nepal around Durbar square and Tundhikhel till Navaratri. The crucial days of Dashain are Ghatasthapana, Fulpati, Navaratri, Vijaya Dashami, and Kojagrat Purnima.
Tihar: The Festival of Lights
The glorious festival of lights is known as Tihar. Impatiently, this festival plunge right after the Dashain festival in Nepal. Even after there is a prime festival called Diwali in India, which is like Nepalese Tihar. There are cultural rites in the Tihar festive of Nepal. Generally, the people of Nepal celebrate Tihar by worship the Goddess of wealth, Laxmi. There is religious importance to worship Laxmi. However, there is the belief of celebrating the festival leads to the family’s good wealth by destroying the mischance of the house.
The houses and streets are vibrant with lights and artistic Rangoli to welcome Goddess Laxmi in their area. It is one of the rejoicing and magnificent festivals of Nepal. The Tihar festival is celebrated for five days. In the first two days, they worship Dogs and crows. The third day is the day of venerating the cow. In the evening, there is the lighting of candles and lights in the houses to worship Goddess Laxmi. On the fourth day, they worship oxen whereas, the last day is known as Bhai tika.
The festival of rejoicing brings smiles and happiness to the life of the people of Nepal. The third day of worshipping Laxmi is the prime day of this festival. After worship goddess Laxmi, people go to the houses of people to seek blessings and give good wishes to the people. In Nepali, it stands as playing Deusi-Bhailo. There is also imposing fire cracking and enjoying a full night in the lighted area. Another important day is Bhai Tika. On this day, there is a ritual between brothers and sisters. They worship each other for their prosperity and long-living. In the Newar community of Nepal, there is Mha puja on this day.
Chhath is also well known as Chhath Puja, which is the significant carnival of the Mithila native people of Nepal. It is one of the immensely well-known fairs and is followed by the mortals of the Terai Region. Based on Lunar Calendar, this carnival falls in the months of the festival around October or November. Chhath Puja is the utmost carnival where the mortals of Mithila emphasize by commemorating for four days. The foremost motive of this festive is to worship Sun for granting light and prosperity in the lives. They worship sunrise and sunset as a Lord of our everyday life by fasting for four days.
They visit the bank of the river and settle their shelter along with worshipping materials. The popular dishes they prepare while worshipping the Sun are Anarasa and Thekuwa. After attempting a few commemorations for the first two days, on the third day, they walk ahead towards the riverside. On that evening, they worship the sunset by dipping in the water along with the unique presentation of worship materials to God. They spend their night in the bank. On the next early morning, they similarly worship sunrise. Finally, after returning to their quarters, they break their fasting and take impulsive meals.
However, Chhath Puja is the last carnival of the month of festivals. After ending Chhath Puja, people must go back to their wonted life and wait for the next year for grand celebrations.
Fagun Purnima: Festival of Colors
The carnival of colors is also known as Holi. It is the foremost festival for the people of the Terai region. The people of India also celebrate this carnival of Holi by spraying color and water on one another. This festival falls in February or March. People in the Hilly region of Nepal also commemorate this festival. They celebrate it on the full moon day whereas, the people of the Terai region and Indians celebrate it after a day of the full moon. There is mythology over commemorating this festival.
Humankind believes that there was a worshipper of Lord Vishnu, known as Prahalad. His father and aunt were a demon. His father commanded to kill his son by cremating him on fire. By following the paths of his father, Prahalad’s aunt held him on her lap to lean themselves on the fire. She believed that her powers would save her anyhow and Prahalad will finally get killed. Instead, his aunt’s potency didn’t come into existence that burnt her over, whereas Prahalad walked outside of the blazing flame and local villagers sprayed water on him to save him. As a devotee and rejoice of good over evil, mortals celebrate Holi as an honor.
The humankind of Nepal commemorates this fair in a massive crowd. They spray colors and water in balloons and Pichkari. They also pour colors on one another to celebrate this carnival. Most of the adults drink a lot of beverages and enjoy to the fullest. Recently, there are many unwanted incidents during the time of Holi due to which the government also provides police protection in the most crowded areas.
Teej: The Festival of Women
The only women’s festival in Nepal is Teej. During the month of Bhadra, the women of Nepal are immensely excited for this festive. During the three days of women, they regard Teej to be the most optimistic rejoice and knot the tie of married women with their husbands. For unmarried girls, the belief acknowledges Teej is the chance to find a well-behaved husband in the future. Married women celebrate Teej for the long-living life of their husbands. They also participate in the fasting process to have a healthy married life. Similarly, unmarried girls also fast during Teej so that they get admiring husbands for life long.
Moving forward, on the first day of the Teej, there is the practice of eating heavy and tasty meals to get prepared for the fasting. On the second day, married women get in red Sari, with heavy ornaments of marriage offers. They fast the whole day without drinking a sip of water. Some of them also take light fasting by eating only fruits and dairy products. They dance and worship Lord Shiva to get a husband just like him. In the evening, married women break their fasting by venerating their husbands. On the third day, they worship Goddess Parvati and by eating Chokho food made in Ghee.
Teej is the festival of women with the significance of separate rejoicing within women. Most of the married women also fast during the whole month of Sharwan before Teej by eating fruits and Vegetarian foods.
Maha Shiva Ratri
A rejoice prime festival of Lord Shiva is Maha Shiva Ratri. There is a massive way of commemoration in the Lord Shiva’s temple of Nepal. However, the utmost well-known temple is Pashupatinath. According to the mythology of Hindu, they rejoice this day as the birthday of the Hindu exceptional Lord Shiva. During Maha Shiva Ratri, there is a cosmic fair in the ground of Pashupatinath. Pilgrimages across Nepal and within Nepal. People come to visit Pashupati Nath during this festival.
However, people worship the Shiva Linga of Pashupatinath and other Shiva Temples with fruits, peepal leaves, and sacred water. Later, they get in immense involved in artistic and breathtaking aartis in the temple conducted by holy priests of the Hindu religion. They also spend their day watching devotees of Lord Shiva known as Shadhu, circus, and buying puja materials in the circuses.
Hindu beliefs regard Lord Shiva as the superior of all the gods and goddesses. There is the utmost reason for Hindu people to rejoice in the birth of the prominent Lord. People also consume a hulking amount of alcohol on this day by the belief of mimicking Lord Shiva. In the evening, people are seen flaming the wood in a crowd and distributing prasad of Lord Shiva to the visitors. Hence, to enjoy this fiesta, you must visit Nepal during February or March in a year.
Janai Purnima is the utmost festival of siblings in the month of Shrawan. In Nepal, it has the name of Rakhasya Bandhan or Rakhi alike in India. An astrologer predicts this holy day according to the Lunar Calendar. On this sacred day, the men members of the Hindu community change the sacred thread known as Janai that they wear around inside their clothes. There is a special commemoration on this day celebrated between a brother and a sister. Then a sister ties a holy thread known as Rakhsya Bandhan around their brother’s wrist. This thread is a symbol of protection and well-wishing to a brother from a sister. Moreover, there is a special dessert and worshipping to the brothers. As a blessing to their sisters, a brother presents gifts or money in return. This propitious moment ties unbreakable relation between a sister and a brother that mean they are always with each other to protect and bless them to choose a correct path.
On this propitious day, Buddha Jayanti reflects the commemoration of the birthday of Buddha in 543 B.C. The pilgrimage and the fellow monks of Buddha travel to Nepal. On this day, they visit the places of Gautam Buddha as Lumbini, Bauddha Nath, and Monkey Temple Swayambhunath. The monks among the Buddhist community enchanter the mantras of Buddha and praise Lord Buddha in the stupa. However, they must not eat non-vegetarian food and avoid alcohol on this flattering day. The fellow Buddhist covers stupa with colorful flags and butter lamps to decorate the area for celebrations.
Cultural people of Buddhist Nepali people have adapted to the traditional festival of Tibetan culture called Loshar. However, Buddhists of Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and India celebrate it as a Tibetian New Year. In Nepal, there are three different types of Loshar. Each community of Buddhists in Nepal celebrates it on an incompatible date. Gurung celebrates Tamu Loshar that remarks this date as the beginning of a new year in the Gurung community. It falls in December or January. On this occasional day, just like other religions, they consume unusual dishes, sing, dance, and be part of various rallies of the Gurung community.
Similarly, the Tamang community of Nepal celebrates Sonam Loshar. In the month of Magh, on the day of the full moon, they celebrate their new year. The people of the Tamang community have unrelated cultural aspects while commemorating this festival. Their way of celebration is much like Tibetian Loshar. Moreover, with the tradition of symbolling 12 different animals, the Tamang community has been following it in the same way as a thousand years ago. They wear traditional dress along with a righteous hat by boys and girls. Furthermore, these people celebrate Loshar by consuming delicious feasts and by singing and dancing with their community people.
Gyalo Loshar is the utmost festival for the people of the Sherpa community. Therefore, the Tibetan people influence this festival to Sherpas. All the rites are related to gods and hellhounds; this festival lasts for utter two weeks. The Tibetan traditional beer called Chhang is the well-known cuisine of this festival.
Gai Jatra is the utmost prime festival for the people who have lost their relatives in a year. Moreover, it has an ancient significance to celebrate this festival in August. Maybe it is only the unique festival in the world that commemorates the carnation of deal with people with such rejoice. Similarly, in Kathmandu Valley, the Newari people repeatedly celebrate this festival more than other communities. On this day, they decorate the cows with Tika and a magnificent wreath. Young boys also dress like cows and roam around temples and streets. There is also a heavy practice of exchanging fruits and sweets among families. Hence, it is the festival over the dead member of the family or relatives, so that they can please Yama to let their lost ones enter inside heaven. The main highlights during this festival are the Mask dance and the small kids dressing like a cow.
Therefore, these are various utmost well-admired festivals in Nepal. Every religion of Nepal has its traditional carnival to commemorate. You can visit Nepal to observe any of these festivals based on their respective months. Each religion celebrates these festivals in their way. Hence, being a small country, it has everlasting cultural importance due to the colossal diversity in the ethnicity of Nepal.