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major festivals in Nepal2018-05-28 18:08:31

Festivals in Nepal

Nepal is a country where more than 125 several ethnic groups has been settled in different part of the country. People of different ethnic groups has their own lifestyle, culture and traditions. Nepal is probably the richest country in the world with its diverse culture. Almost all the culture and tradition are associated with colorful vibrant festivals. Each of the ethnic groups has their own beliefs and ethic to celebrate the festivals. Due to the variable of several ethnic groups, festivals are celebrated in particular region of Nepal at different dates. Festivals in Nepal are celebrated based on important events from ancient folklore and epic literature. It is not that much surprising Nepal is called the land festivals. Numerous festivals is one of the main reason that people are living in strong bond of brotherhood and tolerance among the people.

Some of the major and most conspicuous festivals in Nepal are explained in brief:

Dashain:

Dashain is one of the major festivals in Nepal celebrated by mostly Hindu people. This festival falls under the month of October. Gathering the family members and relatives, this festivals is celebrated in unique way. Children are busy in playing Kites outside whereas the markets are busy and as attractive as you will see itself. Worshipping to goddess Durga to celebrate her victory over the evil is the major purpose of this festival. People sacrifice animals like goat, Buffalo and chicken for the sake of goddess. From the first day of Gatasthapana this festival is celebrated for 15 days. Putting Tika, Jamara and getting bless from elders is the unique way of celebrating dashain.

Tihar:

This festivals is the second major festival of Hindus in Nepal. This festival is observed for 5 days which takes place after a week of Dashain celebration. The first day of Tihar is celebrated by worshiping crows, second day dogs, and third day people worship cows during the day time and lit the candle by worshiping Goddess of wealth -Laxmi in the evening time. There is belief that by worshiping the goddess of wealth and inviting her brings prosperous in family. On the fourth day Oxen in worshppied and Govardhan Pooja is done in the evening time. 4th day of Tihar is important for Newar people as well, as they celebrate Mha pooja. On the last day Bhai tika is conducted as sisters make offering to their brother by putting Tika and garlands of flowers. This festival is also known as festival of Lights.

Fagun Purniam (Holi)

One of the most unique and interesting festival of Nepal in Holi which is also known as the color festival. This festival is observed in the months of late February or on early march. There is belief that death of Holika is the meaning of celebrating Holi. Holika once tried to kill the devotee of Bishnu but Holika was burned down to death.  People play with several flavor of colors which develops the feelings of friendship and brotherhood among the people of the nation. This festival has been gaining popularity throughout the country.

Indra Jatra

By worshiping and honoring lord Indra this festival is observed for 8 days. The celebration of this festival takes place in historic Kathmandu Durbar Square. According to the ethics of this festival, Lord Indra was caught by the Local people while he was fetching night Jasmine. As soon as the local knew that it was Lord Indra they released him. Indra’s mother blessed the city of Kathmandu after the release of her son. It is believed that those blesses of Indra’s mother has positive impact in the city as city receives enough water for the cultivation. Apart from worshiping lord Indra, people wear the mask of different god and goddess and perform dances in public.

Lhosar

Lhosar is celebrated by several Buddhist communities of Nepal such as Gurung, Tamang, and Magar etc. Lhosar means New Year. Lhosar is celebrated at different times in a year by different communities. Generally there are three Losar-Tamu Losar, Sonam Losar and Gyalbo Lhosar. Gurung Community celebrates Tamu Lhosar whereas Tamag celebrates Sonam Lhosar and lastly Gyalbo Lhosar is celebrated by Sherpa people and Tibetan people settled in Hilly terrain. This festival is observed by eating, dancing, and gathering family members and relatives. In Lhosar most of the stupas and Gumbas are decorated by adornment.

Teej

Teej is the festival of all Hindu Women in Nepal. Teej is celebrated in the month of September. They believe that fasting and worshiping Lord Shiva will increase the prosperous life of their husband. Similarly unmarried girl fasts, wishing for good husband in the future. They celebrate this festival by dancing and singing about womanhood. Before and after the nights of fast they enjoy the feast by visiting their relatives.

Mahashivaratri:

Shivaratri means “nights of Lord Shiva”, which falls under the months of Late February or early March. This festival is celebrated by dedicating the praise towards lord Shiva. Lord shiva is the most praised god in Hindu religion. More than thousands of pilgrims travel Pashupatinath Temple from India and Southeast Asia in order to pay homage on the occasion of Lord Shiva’s birthday. In this festival devotes take deep bath in holy lakes, and fast for whole day. Likewise devotees also freely pander using marijuana and other hallucinogenic substances, as there is belief that these kinds of stuffs are legal in this sacred day.

Ghode Jatra (Festivals of Horses)

Ghode Jatra means the horse parade, which is celebrated in the months of March-April. There is no any religious belief or background under this festival but this festival unites the number of people of the valley. Thousands of gathering parties and Newar community merge together in Tundhikhel during this festival. Different acrobatics, parades, athletics etc. are performed in Tundikhel by professional Nepalese army. Though some of the goddesses like Bhadrakali, Kankeshori and Bhairav are worshiped during this festival.

Source: Adventure Discovery Treks blog updates

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