Category: Festivals in Nepal
Known for its rich cultural diversity, Nepal is a home to different ethnic groups. Each ethnic group has their own ritual, culture, and lifestyle. They have their own festivals which they celebrate different time of the year. Festivals they celebrate have their own meaning and are performed based on different folklores. In these festivals, they worship gods, weapons, machineries, tools, vehicles, and other daily used objects as well as nature. Most of the festivals in Nepal are celebrated for a day, but some festivals they celebrate are week or even a month long. Each ethnic group celebrates their festivals with joy, happiness, and brotherhood and each festival have their own norms and value.
Festivals in Himalayan Region
Being close to the Tibet, in the mountain regions, most of the rituals and festivals are similar to Tibet. Most of the people here are Buddhist and celebrate festivals like Mani Rimdu and Lhosar. These are the biggest festivals for the people living in this region. Mani Rimdu is celebrated by the Sherpa people living in the Khumbu region. This festival takes place on the night of full moon on the 9th day of Tibetan New Year in Tengbochey Monastery. Lamas and Sherpa gather in the monastery and pray for the world peace. They perform mask dance, role plays, and feasts. This is a colorful festival which also attracts most of the tourists during trekking whereas Lhosar is a New Year for Tibetan people which falls on February / March. People organize dance, singing, and feast in this festival.
Festivals in Hilly Region
Most of the people living in hilly region celebrate festivals like Dashain – festival to celebrate different avatars of goddess Durga; falls during September and October, Tihar – festival of lights and Newari New Year; falls during October and November, Holi – festival of color and water; falls in the month of February and March, Buddha Jayanti – celebrate to mark birth of Lord Buddha falls in the month May and June, Shivaratri – festival dedicated to Lord Shiva; falls in the month February and March, Bhairav Kumari Jatra (Dolkha) – festivals dedicated to Bhairav and Kumari which is celebrated for five days; falls during August, Gaur Parva – celebrated to honor lord Krishna and is celebrated for two days; falls during August and September, Gunla – a sacred month to worship Lord Buddha, different chariot festivals mostly celebrated in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, and Dolkha; Bisket Jatra – festival celebrated for 8 days in Bhaktapur to celebrate New Year, Tamu Dhee (Pokhara) – celebrated by Gurung people to be safe from evil spirits; falls during August, Tansen Jatra (Palpa) – lord Ganesh, Bhimsen, and Narayan are worshipped in this festival; falls during August, Taya Macha (Pokhara) – celebrated in order to bring peace to the departed souls, performed by a group of dancers accompanied by local musicians; falls during August and September, Yomari Punhi – popular Newari festival celebrated during the full moon day of December; a special dish prepared with a flour shaped like fig filled with brown cane sugar and sesame seeds and then steamed, and many more.
Festivals in Terai Region
Though most of the festivals celebrated in the Terai region are similar to that celebrated in Hilly region, some of the festivals are only celebrated mostly by the people living in Terai region. Festivals like Chaath Parva; celebrated few days after finishing Tihar to worship the rising and setting sun for the good health and better life of self and the family members; Holi or Fagu Purnima – the colorful festival, celebrated with different colors to friends and families, Maghi – celebrated mostly by Tharu and Magar community people. This is also New Year for the Tharu people.
Other than the above-mentioned festivals, there are many festivals that are celebrated throughout different time of the year by different communities. All these festivals have their own religious as well as cultural aspects. This help to preserve and promote the culture to the future generation as well as these festivals will be a new experience to the people who travels to Nepal.