The 12 Major Festival in Nepal
01: DASHAIN (Bijaya Dashami)
Dashain is the biggest and longest festival of Nepal. This festival usually falls in the month of September or October and is actually celebrated for 15 days. Among the 15 days for which it is celebrated, the most important days are the first, seventh, eighth, ninth and the tenth. This festival is also known for its emphasis on the family gatherings, as well as on a renewal of community ties. People return from all parts of the world, as well as different parts of the country, to celebrate together.
- Ghatasthapana “Sowing Holy Jamara at Dashain Ghar”
- Fulpati “Presenting Sacred Flowers water, banana stalks”
- Maha Asthami “Worship and sacrifice to Durga and Kali”
- Maha Navami / Kal Ratri “Visiting Taleju Temple”
- Vijaya Dashami “Receiving Tika from the elder relatives”
- Kojagrata Purnima (who is awake) “Worshiping the goddess of wealth”
02: TIHAR (Diwali) – Festival of lights
Tihar is the Hindu festival of lights, also known as Deepawali. Tihar is the second biggest Nepalese festival after Dashain. The festivals that is celebrated for five days in October or early November every year. It starts with Kag Tihar followed by Kukur Tihar, Laxmi Puja, Goverdhan Puja and Bhai Tika.
- Kaag Tihar “Worship of Crow, to bring good luck in their houses”
- Kukur Tihar “Serve delicious food to dogs” the cherished relationship between humans & dogs
- Gai Tihar & Laxmi Puja ” In the morning worship of Cow & evening Laxmi, Goddess of wealth”
- Govardhan Puja “Goru Tihar or Goru Puja” (worship of the oxen)
- Bhai Tika “Sister’s prayer for her brother long live/ close relationship between brothers and sisters”
Teej is a festival celebrated by women for three days, it is also called Haritalika Teej. This festival is celebrated by Hindu Nepali women all across the world. This festival women ask for special blessings by Lord Shiva, to have a good husband in their life. Teej is celebrated by women, for the long life of her husband and long and firm relationship between them in this life and all the lives to come.
- Festival dedicated to Goddess Parvati and her union with Lord Shiva
- Day 01: Dar Khane Din “Women full freedom of expression, start dancing, eating and singing devotional songs”
- Day 02: Fasting Day ” Women live without food & drops of water, to hope of being blessed with a good husband”
- Day 03: Rishi Panchami “Women pay homage to seven saints , offer prayers to deities, and bathe with red mud found on the roots of the sacred datiwan bush, along with its leaves”
04: GAI JATRA
Gai Jatra is a festival celebrated in Nepal, mainly in Kathmandu valley by the Newar community. The Gai is known as cow and jatra is known as festival in Nepal. It often falls in Nepali Bhadra month (July to August). Each of the Kathamndu valley towns and those outside the valley celebrate the festival with several variations.
- Worshiped Yamaraj, the god of death
- Cow procession, drum music, masked dances at Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Patan & Kirtipur.
- Experience Nepali traditional singing, stick dancing, unique comedy.
05: MAHA SHIVARATRI
Maha Shivaratri is the festival devoted to lord Shiva. There is a Shivaratri in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 13th night/14th day (February). It is believed that the people who fast on this night and offer prayers to Lord Shiva bring good luck into their life. During these festivals, people from all over the world come to worship at Pashupatinath temple at Kathmandu.
- Visit Pashupatinath temple, one of the major centers of pilgrimage for Hindus
- Visit Aghora/ Sadhus/ Sanyasi in Pashupatinath Temple during Shivaratri
- To see Sadhu dressed as Lord Shiva at the Maha Shivaratri in Pashupatinath
06: INDRA JATRA
Indra Jatra is the biggest religious street festival in Kathmandu, Nepal. It is also known as “Yenya” by the Newars. According to Hindu religion, Indra is a Lord of Rain and the king of Heaven. Both Hindus and Buddhists celebrate this festival Indra Jatra. It is a eight day long one of dancing festival of Nepal. The main venue of the festivities is Kathmandu Durbar Square.
- Visit Living Goddess Kumari, hanuman dhoka Kathmandu
- Visit anent city of Kathmandu valley.
07: FAGUN PURNIMA (Holi)
Fagu Purnima is a Hindu festival celebrated on a full-moon day at the month of Falgun, from February to mid- May spring season. It is a most popular festival of Nepal with colors friendships and love. People are gathering and put colors on each other as token of love. The people of Terai of Nepal celebrate Holi next day of Kathmandu. It’s a great experience for every visitors from different world.
- Festival of colors, laughter and love
- Play water and color at Kumari House in Basantapur, Patan, Thamel, Bhaktapur and others part of Nepal.
08: BUDDHA JAYANTI
Buddha Jayanti is the birth day of Lord Gautam Budhha, It is a special day for both Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal. On this day people celebrate the life of Lord Buddha; his Birth, Enlightenment and death of the Buddha. The Buddha’s birthday is observed every year on Nepali Baishak month (April to May).
- Visit Lumbing, birth place fo Lord Buddha
- Celebrate the life of Lord Buddha at two great stupas Swyambhunath, Boudhanath
09: JANAI PURNIMA
Janai Purnima is a Hindu festival celebrated all over the country. It is mainly concerned Brahmins and Chhetri ethinics and its lies in the full moon fortnight of Bhadra (August).
10: SHREE KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI
Shree Krishna Janmashtami, also known as the birth celebration of God Krishna month of (august or September). It is believed that lord Vishnu reincarnated in the form of God Krishna on the auspicious day of Janmashtami.
- Visit Patan Durbar Square, is crowded with thousands of Hindu Pilgrims and devotees during Krishnastami
- Visit World Heritage site of Nepal
11: MAGHE SANKRANTI
Maghe Sankranti is a Nepalese festival observed on the first of Magh in the B.S calendar (about 14 January). Observant Hindus take ritual baths during this festival, notably at auspicious river locations. These include Sankhamul on the Bagmati near Patan; In the Gandaki/Narayani river basin at Triveni, Devghat near Chitwan Valley and Ridi on the Kaligandaki; and in the Koshi River basin at Dolalghat on the Sun Koshi.
- Visit Hindu religious place Bagmati, Gandaki, Triveni, Devghat ect.
- Celebrated by getting together with Tharu community, Terai part of Nepal.
- Feel harvest festival celebrate in Nepal
12: LHOSAR (Tibetan New Year)
Losar is a festival in Tibetan Buddhism. This festival is mostly celebrated by Sherpa, Gurung, Tamang, Magar, Thakali, Manange, Helmuli and Tibetan. It’s celebrated in February, but the exassct date varies each year according to the lunar calendar.
- Explore the traditions and customs of Tibetan culture
- Celebrations Tibetan new year
- Visit Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Nepal