Most people in the world think of Nepal as the land of Mt. Everest, the Birthplace Of Lord Budhha, the High Mountains, and few others. But in reality, even being a very small country in size, Nepal isn’t only about the above-mentioned things. Besides all these, Nepal is known for its festivals that are celebrated here.
Festivals are a very important part of the culture in a country like Nepal where the country has huge diversities in religion and tradition of people. Nepal isn’t simply tagged as a land of festivals. Probably, Nepal is a country celebrating the most number of festivals every year. Festivals represent and reflect the cultural and religious heritages from the local levels to the national level of a country. Festivals in Nepal have great significance and you will experience this too when you will visit Nepal.
There are more than 50 festivals including all the national and religious festivals that are celebrated in the country throughout the year. Though Nepal is a secular country, more than 85% of the population of Nepal follows Sanatan Dharma, widely known as Hinduism. So, the most celebrated festivals in Nepal are either Hindu festivals or Buddhist festivals.
If the festivals haven’t been a part of Nepal, then the Government Of Nepal wouldn’t have given National Holiday in most of the festivals that are celebrated in the country.
Festivals Of Nepal That Are Mostly And Only Celebrated Here
In this article, we are going to list out the names of the festivals that are celebrated in Nepal only or mostly celebrated in Nepal.
Some of these festivals will amaze you!
Teej is one of the most celebrated festivals in Nepal. This is a women-oriented festival and is celebrated by the Hindu women and girls in Nepal.
Teej is also known as the Moonson festival because this festival is considered to welcome the monsoon season of the year. Besides this, this particular festival of women and girls is primarily dedicated to Goddess Parvati and God Shiva.
Women celebrate this by dancing and singing with praying to god. They keep fasting by not eating anything for the long life of their husband.
The festival of Asar 15 also known as Dhaan Diwas(National Rice Plantation Day) is an agricultural festival of Nepal for over the centuries.
With the start of the monsoon, the Nepalese farmers welcome the rain and start planting paddy from the 15th day of the month of Asadh of the Nepali calendar.
On the morning of Asar 15, people gather together and go to the fields and celebrate and welcome the monsoon by planting paddy. Being from a country known for agriculture and to dedicate this special day to all the farmers of the country people of cities also go to the rice field and perform paddy plantation.
Jatras are the type of festivals of the Newari community of Nepal that involve street festivals, and different carnivals. There are a number of Jatras that is celebrated in the different parts of the country throughout the year.
Here is the list of some popular Jatras in Nepal.
- Indra Jatra
- Bisket Jatra
- Bhoto Jatra
- Janmadya Jatra
- Bungdya Jatra
- Bisak Jatra
- Sindur Jatra
- Rato Machhindranath Jatra
Though these Jatras are especially celebrated by the Newari community of Nepal, other Nepalese people too take part in these Jatras and celebrate with full enthusiasm.
Buddha Jayanti is the day when all the Nepalese celebrate the birthday of God Of Enlightenment Gautam Buddha. It is also known as Buddha Purnima or Buddha’s Birthday. There is a grand ceremony in the Lumbini of Nepal, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha every year.
Budhha Jayanti is celebrated on the first full day of the first month of the Hindu lunar calendar.
Except for Nepal, many Asian countries too celebrate these festivals where there are Buddhist. But in Nepal, everyone celebrates this day of Gautam Budhha.
Maghe Sankranti is one of the widely celebrated festivals in Nepal. It is celebrated on the first day of the month of the Magh of Bikram Sambant calendar.
From this day, it is believed that the Sun starts moving towards the Northern Hemisphere, meaning that the cold will begin to decrease. This is quite similar to the solstice festivals in other traditions in other countries of the world.
On the morning of Maghe Sankranti, people take bath in the rivers and eat foods especially like laddoos, curd, beaten rice, and other sweets.
Losar is a festival that is also considered as the New Year according to the Tibetian calendar. This festival is also celebrated in Tibet, Bhutan, and some places in India.
During this, people gather with their families and celebrate the festivals with prayers, different ceremonies, singing, and folk dances.
In Nepal, there are three types of Losar that are celebrated by the different ethnicities of Nepal. They are:
It is celebrated by the Gurung community of Nepal and it is the major festival celebrated by this community. Tamu is also another name of Gurung. So this festival literally means the festival of Gurung.
Sonam Losar is celebrated by the Tamang community of Nepal and like Tamu Losar, this is also the major festival of the Tamang community.
On this day, Tamang peoples wear their traditional dress and celebrate the festivals by dancing, singing, eating different traditional foods, and attending rallies.
Gyalpo Losar is celebrated by the Sherpa community of Nepal who lives in the Himalayan region of Nepal. This festival is also celebrated as the New Year according to the Tibetan calendar.
This Losar is celebrated for almost 2 weeks where people sing, dance, eat different foods, and perform various traditional and ritual activities.
Crow, Dog, And Cow Tihar
Nepal is the only country where animals like Crow, Dog, and Cow are also worshiped in the festivals.
There are days in Nepal where each of these animals is worshiped.
Kaaj Tihar, worship of Crows is celebrated on the first day of the five-day-long Tihar or festival that is celebrated in Nepal. Tihar is the second most celebrated festival in Nepal after Dashain. The day is celebrated by offering food and sweets to the crows. They keep food and sweets in their yards so that crows can get and eat them.
Kukur Tihar, the worship of Dogs is celebrated on the second day of Tihar by offering garlands, tika, and delicious foods to the dogs to cherish and acknowledged the relationship between humans and dogs.
In the same way, Gai Tihar is the third day of the Tihar when Cows are worshiped by the people. According to Hinduism, cows are considered a symbol of prosperity and wealth. So the people show their respect to the animal by offering garlands and the best grass.
Mohani which is also known as the Mohni festival is one of the most important festivals of the Newari community of Nepal. This festival is considered the equivalent of the biggest festival of Nepal Dashain.
People of the Newari community celebrate this festival with joy and enthusiasm. People gather with their family, invite their relatives, and offer feats to them. This festival brings happiness and joy to the people.
This is the festival that is celebrated in the Mithila community of Nepal where the moon is worshipped.
On this day, the female of the family does fasting the whole day and in the evening when the moon is about to out and appear in the sky, they offer Puri, Kheer, Mithai, and several fruits like Banana, Apple, Coconut, and Pomegranates that are kept on the leaves of banana to the moon.
After worshipping the moon, everyone in the family is served with the prasad.
These are the festivals that are either mostly celebrated in Nepal or only celebrated in Nepal. Let us know in the comment box if there are more festivals that are celebrated in Nepal only that we have missed.