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The materials on Nepali Culture
                      

                                          In Nepali

                                          In English

                         FESTIVE   NEPAL


It is said about Nepal that every other structure is a holy shrine and every other day a festival. Well, if the number of annual festivals, both religious and national, is any indication, the saying couldn't be more true. Festivals are an essential part of Nepalese life that garners tremendous local participation. Festivals also offer visitors a valuable opportunity not only for having fun but gaining insight into various aspects of Nepalese culture.

The religious festivals follow the lunar calendar, while national festivals have fixed dates. Wherever or whenever you arrive in Nepal, you can be pretty sure of being at the right time for one or more special events. Some of the major and interesting festivals are presented below:


Navavarsha (April): The Nepalese New Year's Day usually falls in the second week of April, i.e. the first day of Baisakh. The day is observed as a national holiday. The people celebrate it with a great pomp and show. On this occasion, Bisket Jatra is held in the city of Bhaktapur.

Baisakh Poornima (April):As Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Light of Asia, the triple anniversary of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death is observed with many colorful ceremonies on this day. People celebrate the occasion with great veneration paying homage to Buddha at places like Swayambhunath, Bouddhanath and Lumbini.

Red Machchhendranath Rath Jatra (May - June) This festival is the biggest socio-cultural event of Patan. The wheeled chariot of a deity known as Bungdyo or Red Machchhendranath is made at Pulchowk and dragged through the city of Patan in several stages till it reaches the appointed destination (Lagankhel). The
grand finale of the festival is called the 'Bhoto Dekhaune' or the "showing of a vest". A similar kind of chariot festival to Machchhendranath (white)is also held in Kathmandu city in the month of March-April.

Gaijatra (Cow festival):(July- August) It is a carnival that lasts eight days. Dancing, singing comedy and anything that causes mirth and laughter are its highlights.

Krishnastami: (July-August) It marks the birthday of Lord Krishna. On this day, impressive ceremony at the Krishna Temple in Patan and Changu Narayan take place.


Indrajatra: (August-September) The festival of Indra, the God of rain, is observed with great enthusiasm in Kathmandu Valley. The festival lasts for eight days. The chariot of Kumari, the Living Goddess, is taken out in procession through the main streets of Kathmandu. The festival is specially noted for the echoes of drumsand dancing feet of the masked dancers almost every evening.

Dashain or Durga Puja: (September October) The Dashain festival is the most I important festival of the Nepalese. The entire country is in enthusiastic holiday mood at the time of the festival.


Tihar (Deepawali): (October-November) Known as the Festival of Lights, Tihar is celebrated for five days. Houses are illuminated at night and special sweets of different varieties are prepared.

Constitution Day: The new Democratic Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal was promulgated on November 9, 1990. Since then, this day is observed as the Constitution Day.


Vibhaha Panchami: (November-December) This is a famous festival of fanakpur in the eastern Terai. The occasion commemorates the marriage of Sita to Ram, one of the most venerated Hindu divinities. It attracts thousands of pilgrims from India.

Birthday of His Majesty the King:
The Auspicious Birthday of His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the Kingdom.

Prithivi Jayanti:This occasion is celebrated in honor of King Prithvi Narayan Shah, the founder of modern Nepal, with a colorful ceremony in front of the Singha Durbar gate in Kathmandu on January 10/11 (Poush 27th).

Lhosar: This festival is most impressively observed in the month of February by the Sherpas. They organize folk songs and dances on this occasion. These dances can be seen in Khumbu, Helambu and other northern regions of Nepal and also at Bouddhanath in Kathmandu.

National Democracy Day: This day is officially observed as Rastriya Prajatantra Divas or National Democracy Day as a mark of respect to the People's Revolution of 1950-51.It generally falls on February 18, i.e. Phalgun 7.
Maha Shivaratri: (February) Shivratri or the Night of Lord Shiva is observed in February-March. It is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva. A great religious fair takes place in the Pashupatinath Temple and thousands of people from all over Nepal and India flock the temple to worship Lord Shiva.

Ghodejatra: (March-April) Known as the festival of horses, it is one of the most exciting festivals of Kathmandu. Horse race and other sports take place at Tundikhel on this day. In other parts of the city, various deities are carried shoulder-high on wheel-less chariot (khaf) with the accompaniment of traditional music.

Courtesy:NTB,'99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Nepali

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