Activities and Events
In Nepal festivals are very important for the inhabitants. They mark the seasons or honor the many gods in Nepalese religions and sometimes last several days. Visiting Nepal during festival events enables you to experience the rich culture and tradition in a festive way. We provide a summary of the main festival
Tihar is called the festival of light and may be compared to the Diwali festival in India. People honor Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, by inviting her into the houses with colored paths and lights. Houses are being decorated by candles and lamps, which looks very colorful. Every day a different animal is being worshipped. For that reason you can see dogs and cows with bright color decorations and paint. At the end of the festival, during Bhai Tika, the brothers within the family are honored by their sisters.
Dashain is by far the longest and greatest festival in Nepal and celebrates the victory of the goddess Durga over an evil demon. Durga is a blood thirsty goddess and people try to contain her anger by animal sacrifices, especially goats and buffalo’s. Dashain is a typical family festival, when Nepalese travel to their birth villages to celebrate with their family members.
Holi is the festival of colors. People celebrate in the streets, wearing old clothes and throwing powder colored
water to each other as a symbol for unity.
The Festival is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.
The festival has, in recent times, spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours.
Gai-Jatra (July/August) is the
cow festival. Every family who lost a relative in the past year participates in a procession with a cow or a young
boy dressed as a cow. The cow, it is believed, helps the deceased reach heaven.
The festival commemorates the death of people during the year. During the festival, cows are marched in the streets and generally celebrated in the Nepalese month of Bhadra (August–September). It falls on the 1st day of the dark fortnight of Gunla according to the lunar Nepal Era calendar. Peoples also distributes food to others. The festival of cows is one of the most popular festivals of Nepal.
Bisket Jatra marks Nepalese New Year celebration. Especially this festival is interesting to watch at Bhaktapur. The streets are crowded with people and Nepalese pulling giant chariots through the city as in a contest. The winners will be blessed with a year of good fortune.
Nepal generally does not use the western calendar. Nepalese use an own calendar with different months. For that reason the festival dates are vary every year. The dates for festivals may not be fixed until one year in advance. Please keep in mind that the dates may differ sometimes. To be sure you may search the internet to compare dates.