Traditional Dresses of Nepal: A Celebration of Culture and History

Nepal has many traditional dresses used to celebrate various occasions throughout the year, both religious and secular. These special dresses are usually traditional-styled, and take into account the culture of the area in which they’re worn. The most common traditional dress in Nepal are sari, daura suruwal & kurta suruwal for women and shirts, pants, suruwal, etc for men which can vary by region or even village; however, some other types of traditional clothing have also been worn for centuries, such as jackets and vests.

Over the centuries, Nepal has produced many different cultural influences that are still evident in the country’s dress. Through trade with other Asian countries, especially from its neighbouring countries from ancient time to modern time, there have been numerous migrations of people into the landlocked country, leading to an amalgamation of cultures and traditions that still has an impact on the style of dress today.

While western influence can be seen in Nepalese clothing today, traditional dresses are still worn by men and women alike, as both a form of historical tribute and cultural identity. In this blog post, we are going to dive deep in the topoic of traditional dresses of Nepal.

What Are Traditional Dresses?

While most people are quite familiar with clothing, some aren’t always familiar with traditional dress. Traditionally, though, clothing has been used as a way to distinguish someone’s position in society; they have also been used to identify different groups within a society. For example, during ancient times dresses worn by upper-class women were often very different from those worn by lower-class women—and men. People used to have different types of clothing based on their culture and ethinicity. In fact, many cultures had strict rules about who could wear what type of clothing and where. Today, we may not be able to tell much about someone based on their clothing—but that doesn’t mean we don’t still celebrate our cultural heritage through fashion!

Importance Of Cultural And Traditional Dresses Of Nepal

Traditional and cultural dresses of Nepal have a huge importance among Nepalese in the country. The traditional dresses of Nepal speak to the culture and history of the nation, and are often worn during special occasions such as festivals or special events. Each region has its own traditional dress, though there are some commonalities that many share in style, material, or purpose. Not all dresses are used equally across the country, as some communities may have more specific needs than others do (i.e., heavy snowfall or high amounts of precipitation), leading to slight differences in what’s appropriate to wear during the day versus night-time activities.

Different Traditional Outfits From All Over Nepal

Daura Suruwal, Ghunyou Cholo, Dhoti, Teej dress, Sari, etc are few example for Nepalese cultural dresses. While some Nepalese dresses have become famous all over world, others still remain part of special events such as during Teej in Nepal. For example, during Teej festival women wear saree, tika, bangles, and other attires which are mostly red and green. Women also decorate their hair by wearing flowers and beads. Men too have their own traditional outfits to wear during festivals like Dashain, Tihar etc. During Dashain men wear white dhoti-kurtas whereas on Tihar they put on shirts along with dhotis-pants. They also decorate their hair, put up tika or tilak on forehead along with flower necklace around neck. There are many such traditional and cultural dresses in Nepal.

Colors In Nepali Traditional Dress

Because certain colors are believed to have certain properties, Nepali women know that wearing a red sari on a Tuesday will bring them wealth. But there’s much more to it than that. Certain colors can denote things like cultural and marital status. The following list details some of these meanings. Keep in mind that not all cultural groups ascribe to all of these beliefs; it’s wise to do your research before you wear any particular color! Also note that many shades of each color may be acceptable—in fact, it is common for multiple shades to be worn at once.

1) Red: Since Hinduism is a majority in Nepal, red color has a great significance in Hindu culture. It symbolizes many things including love, commitment, bravery, strength, desire, etc. That’s why in most of the auspicious events like marriage or religious events, women are mostly seen wearing red color dresses.

2) Orange: This is considered an auspicious color for most Hindu communities. It symbolizes purity and good luck and is often used during weddings or other festive occasions. While it’s acceptable to wear orange clothing, it’s important to note that some people believe it’s inauspicious to use orange dye on one’s hair.

3) Green: Green is associated with fertility and new life. Green is also the symbolic of the happiness, peace, and harmony. The darker shades of green are believed to bring good luck in business or financial matters, while lighter shades are said to bring wealth and prosperity.

4) Blue: This is another auspicious color that symbolizes purity, happiness, and tranquility. In some communities, blue is considered a masculine color and thus it’s often worn by men; in others, it’s considered feminine and thus only worn by women.

If you’re looking to travel to Nepal, you may be wondering what to expect from the country’s culture and traditions. In addition to finding information about places to visit and sights to see, it can also be helpful to learn more about the people who live there and how they live their lives on a daily basis.

This can give you an idea of the authentic experiences you can expect while visiting this gorgeous country and help you decide which parts of the experience are most important to you!

The people of Nepal live in one of the most diverse cultures in the world, and it’s reflected in their traditional dresses. Often made out of hand-woven fabric or hand-embroidered with silver or gold, these beautiful traditional outfits are as much art pieces as they are clothing. Take a look at our list below to learn more about the 10 most popular traditional dresses of Nepal!

1. Dhaka Topi

traditional dresses of Nepal

The Dhaka Topi is a traditional Nepali hat that is worn by men on special occasions. It is made of fine cotton and has a long cloth strip that hangs down the back. The Dhaka Topi is usually white, but it can also be found in other colors such as red and blue. The hat is an important part of Nepali culture and is often seen in photos and paintings of Nepali people. Although now, Dhaka Topi no longer dominates Nepalese fashion, it still remains an integral part of the Nepalese society and Nepalese identity. While many Nepalis now seldom wear a cap unless they are attending some cultural programme, many other men and women still wear costumes made from Dhaka on a regular basis.

2. Daura Suruwal

traditional dresses of Nepal

The Daura Suruwal, along with Dhaka Topi is the national dress of Nepal for men. It consists of a pair of loose trouser, known as Suruwal, and a double-breasted shirt, called Daura. The dress was popularised in Nepal when the Nepalese Prime Minister Jang Bahadur Rana wore the Daura Suruwal on the unofficial visit to the United Kingdom in the 19th Century. Being impressed with this dress, the Queen of United Kingdom gifted him a coat. After that he started wearing coat with the Daura Suruwal, and the trend is stil alive. Apart from being historical dress, Daura Suruwal also hold some mythological facts. The Daura has 8 strings used to tie the Daura which are denoted as Astamatrika-Singini. According to Nepali mythology, eight is a lucky number. The pleats or Kallis signify the Pancha Buddha or Pancha Ratna. The closed neck of the Daura signifies the snake around the Lord Shiva’s neck.

3. Dhoti & Kurta

Dhoti and Kurta have been serving as the traditional dress of people of Terai from a long time. Dhoti is a long piece of cloth, usually around four to six meters in length, that is wrapped around the waist and then between the legs. Kurta is a loose collarless shirt worn by men in many regions of South Asia. The kurta is traditionally made of cotton or silk. It is worn plain or with embroidered decoration, such as chikan; and it can be loose or tight in the torso, typically falling either just above or somewhere below the knees of the wearer. The front and back of a traditional kurta are made of rectangular pieces, and its side-seams are left open at the bottom, up to varying lengths, to enable ease of movement. The dhoti can be made from a variety of materials, but cotton is the most popular choice. The dhoti is touted as the male counterpart of the sari worn by females to religious and secular ceremonies (functions). Dhoti has been a very traditional and historical dress for men in Hinduism. People in Terai still wears Dhoti and Kurta during the religious events and marriage ceremonies.

4. Sari

traditional dresses of Nepal

The first traditional dress on our list for women is the beautiful sari. Worn by women all over Nepal, the sari is a long piece of cloth that is wrapped around the body and can be worn in a variety of different styles. Whether you opt for a simple design or a more ornate one, the sari is sure to make you feel like a Nepali princess. Apart from being a formal dress for women in Nepal, variety of sarees are worn by Nepalese women on many auspicious events like festivals or marriage ceremonies.

5. Gunyo Cholo

Gunyou Cholo is the traditional national dress of Nepal for women. It consists of a cholo(blouse) and a skirt accompanied by lots of jewellery. The dress is specially given to the girls of 7 to 8 years to make a mark of her womanhood and celebrate the fact that she is slowly turning into a woman. The dress is mostly worn by girls during special occassions like poojas or during festivals like Dashain and Tihar.

6. Dresses Specific To Caste & Ethinicity

Nepal is a country with a rich culture and history. There are many different ethnic groups and castes, each with their own unique style of dress. More than 100 different caste and ethinicity live in Nepal, each having their own traditional dresses and jwelleries. These dresses reflects the history and cultural of these different ethinicity which are quite different from each other. Below, we will discuss about the traditional dresses of some ethinic groups.

1. Traditional Dresses Of Gurung

Gurungs are the ethinic group in Nepal who mostly lives in the hill and mountain regions of Nepal. The traditional dress of Gurung people for men consists of a blouse called Bhoto tied with laces on the front of the body and a garment in the shape of a skirt called Jama that wraps the waist up to the centre of the thigh. A long piece of cloth is tied around the waist like a belt in which they handle Khukhri. Above these, they also wear topi to complete the dress, and during the time of winter or wet weather, they use woolen blanket over the dress.

The traditional dress of Gurung for women consists of a blouse called Cholo that is tied to the front, over a long pleated skirt called phariya, that is usally dark red. Also, a band is wrapped around the waist and a head cloth is used to complete the dress.

Read In Detail About The Dresses Of Gurung

2. Traditional Dresses Of Magar

Nepal is home to many different ethnic groups, each with their own unique culture and traditions. One of the most popular and widespread ethnic groups in Nepal is the Magar people. The Magar are known for their colorful and beautiful traditional dress.

The traditional dress of Magar for men consists of Kachhad or wrap-on-loincloth, a bhangra, a bhoto or a vest, and the usual Nepali topi. While the traditional dress of Magar for women consists of phariya, chaubandhi cholo, or a closed blouse and the heavy patuka or waistband, and the mujestro or shawl like garnament on the head. Magar women wear different ornaments to complete their dress while men don’t wear ornaments, but some wears silver earrings.

3. Traditional Dresses Of Newar

Nepal is home to many beautiful and traditional dresses. The Newar people, who live in the Kathmandu Valley, have a rich culture and history. Their clothing is colorful and vibrant, and each piece reflecting their culture and history. The traditional dress of Newar has its own seperate history.

The traditional dress of Newar for men is Daura Suruwal. It consists of a cap called Tapuli, long shirt called Tapalan, and trouser called Suruwa. The traditional dress of Newar for women chherparsi called sari, and a long length sawl called Gaa. While performing some rituals, they wear different traditional dress. Ritual dresses consist of pleeated gowns, coats, and a variety of headress. There are different castes in Newar, and Jyapu is one of them. Jyapu women have a distinctive sari called Hāku Patāsi which is a black sari with distinctive red border. Jyapu men also have a distinctive version of the tapālan suruwā. Similarly, a shawl (gā) is worn by men and women. As a part of tradition, Newar women wear a shoe made out of red cloth which is decorated with glitters and colorful beads.

4. Traditional Dresses Of Tharu

The Tharu people are an ethnic group indigenous to the Terai region of Nepal. The women of the Tharu tribe are known for their unique and beautiful dress. The typical Tharu woman’s outfit consists of Choli worn as a top, a white cloth called Nahagi, and Uporona which is worn around the chest area. These dress are worn with a gold or silver necklaces and earrings. A red bindi is worn on the forehead, and the hair is often styled in a topknot. The typical traditional dress of Tharu for men consists of a Dhoti and a piece of cloth worn known as Kachhad to cover the lower part of the body.


Nepal is home to some of the most beautiful and intricate traditional dresses in the world. Nepal has many traditional dresses in its repertoire, reflecting the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of its people. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, you will notice a huge diverse in the dresses of people in Nepal. From brightly colored saris to beautifully embroidered cholis.

So next time you’re looking for a truly unique and special outfit, be sure to check out the traditional clothing of Nepal. We hope you like reading this blog post. If there are any misinformation that you have found about the traditional dresses of any ethinic group of people living in Nepal, let us know in the comment box. Also share your opinions with us regarding the traditional dresses of Nepal!

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