DASHAIN

Dashain is one of the greatest festivals of Nepal. It is celebrated by all of the people gorgeously all over Nepal. It is mostly celebrated in the month of September or October for 15 days. On the basis of the Nepali annual calendar, this festival begins with Shukla Paksha and ends on the day of full-moon which is called Poornima in Nepali. It is the festival of the Gods and evil demons. Goddess Durga is the symbol of Power and she is worshipped during this festival.

She killed a demon named “Mahisasur” who always spread horror. It is revealed by one of the stories which exist in the Hindu myths. Dashain represents a similar battle between vice and virtue in the first nine days and in the tenth day adds up to the celebration of good over evil. It is a belief that celebrates Ram over Ravan with the blessings of Goddess Durga.

Ghatasthapana is the first day of Dashain. On this day, people fill a vessel by sand and sow maize and barley seeds. It is covered and worshipped for 10 days. Phulpati is also known as “Saptami”. Maha Ashtami is regarded as the eighth day. On this day, different animals such as buffaloes, ducks, goats, hens are killed or sacrificed to Goddess Kali and meat of them is taken as a prasad (holy food). Kal Ratri is the dark night of the same day. The ninth day of Dashain is called a Maha Navami. On this day, craftsmen, mechanics, traders, etc worship their own machines and tools with the animal sacrifice. The tenth day is known as the Vijaya Dashami which is regarded as the most important day of the festival. On this day, all elders put tika and Jamara on the youngers head and give blessings. In this day elders are treated as the respected people and obey them.

This festival is also known as the festival to get together and having fun. Even though people who lived far away from home will come back home to put Tika on their heads from the hand of elders. And also new clothes are bought for the children by the parents. In this festival, different mouth-watering foods are cooked and ear together and play a lot of games like cards. Different guests come to visit their relatives’ houses to join for a tika and get participate in different fun activities. In this festival, people enjoy flying kites and also build bamboo swings to play on it.

If you are also thinking about being part of this festival, then Nepali people would feel happy to welcome you during the festival season. You will get the experience of enjoying the streets of Kathmandu as Kathmandu is a very busy city in other days and excitements in the eyes of residents. These will be under the background of stunning natural and cultural exquisiteness.

TIHAR

The second greatest festival is known as Tihar. It is also regarded as Diwali or Deepawali. This festival is celebrated in Nepali date Kartkit Month (October to November in English date) and last for 5 days. In this festival, people worship crows, dogs, Laxmi the goddess of wealth and luck, ox, themselves and also to their brothers. It is celebrated with big candles and lanterns to impress Goddess Laxmi. Another name of this festival is the festival of lights.

People worship crows on the first day of this festival. The crows represent “the messenger of death.” They feed rice by putting it on the floor. And by picking it crows will get it. The second day of this festival is Kukur Tihar in Nepali and on this day, people worship dogs. The dog represents ” the guardian for the god of death.” Laxmi Puja is the third day of this festival. On this day people worship Goddess Laxmi. It is done to welcome Laxmi in their houses. Goddess Laxmi represents “the wealth.” The fifth day of the last day is called Bhaitika in Nepali. On this day, sisters worship their brothers and brothers give gifts or present for their sisters.

There is no perfect or formal ceremony for the Tihar festival. It is totally similar to the Christmas and New year Festival of other countries. In this festival, every husband purchases gold or silver jewelry items for their wives. Lights are decorated, Houses will be neat and cleaned and painted in order to give respect and to impress gods and goddess. Every Nepali wear new clothes and start to make a new life. Not only this, merchants use a new book instead of using the old one at this festival.

Different colorful lights are stored by each and every family at night. Sky will be decorated with wonderful fireworks. Many friends, relatives, and family will get together and change their presents and greetings with each other. On the third day of this festival, small girls’ kids come in a group dancing with Tihar songs, singing, in different houses to collect money and having fun. They give blessings in the last part. As they are considered as the Goddess Laxmi by themselves. The next exciting part is another day, the fourth day. On this day small boy kids come to play Deusi which is sung in front of the houses. On this day, Newari groups worship themselves and they believed themselves a god or goddess. The climax of Tihar in Nepal is bathing in the holy river to purify the body and mind. In addition, to pray to the gods for the health of the whole family, Nepalis also pay special respect to Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and luck.

After Dashain, Tihar festival is celebrated. If you want to participate in this festival, then don’t hesitate to contact us. We Nepali loved to welcome you to the festive season.

HOLI

The festival of colors is regarded as Holi. It is mostly celebrated in Nepal and India country. It is also known as the national festival of India. As Nepal is the nearest country or neighbor of India, the same tradition is followed by Nepal too. So, In Nepal also it is celebrated fantastically. This festival indicates the accessible of the spring with the different colors which are used at the time of the festival. It is also indicating the meaning of representing the various colors that can be looked at the time of spring season itself. Not only In Nepal and India, different countries like Pakistan, the Philippines, Srilanka, and etc. It also shows that winning well over the devil. According to the old story, there was a sister of the demon king named Hiranyakashyap and a small young son named Prahlad who was the son of her own brother. He was tried to killed by the sister many times but the mission was unsuccessful. As he was blessed with not getting harmed by fire. At the time she put him in her lap and sit in a huge fire, although Prahlad was not harmed instead the Holika burned. The name Holi has arrived at that time because of Holika.

BISKET JATRA

Bisket Jatra is the festival celebrated in Bhaktapur City on the day of the New Year. This festival does not pursue the lunar-based Nepali Calendar. After the special Tantric practice in the Bhairab Temple in Taumadhi Tole in Bhaktapur, it is commenced.

After that, there is Rathas in Nepali especially known as Chariots near the temple. The God Bhairav and Goddess Bhadrakali are kept in the large Rathas in order to pull by crowds of the wondering viewers. At the time of this festival, a drama which was of ancient ages, are replayed by the people.

The Rathas are pulled by both sides of it as same as the tug of war. This is the actual tog of war between the two opposite areas which is in the eastern and western sides of town. In the evening of the next coming day, people do the same tug of war and pulled down the big pole. Only after this Nepali celebrates the New year.

Not only in Bhaktapur city, In Thimi and Balakhu it is celebrated. But here it is celebrated in a vastly different way. It is called Jibro Chhedne Jatra and Sindur Jatra respectively. Here the festival is celebrated for several days with spiritual entrancement, dancing and merry-making and so on.

INDRA JATRA

Indra Jatra is celebrated for eight days in September. It is considered one of the most astonishing and cherishes festivals that are of the Newar community of the Kathmandu Valley. It represents the starting of the fall season. This festival starts with the accomplishment of the pole made of wood, pine at erection Basantapur Durbar Square which is located in front of the old Hanuman Dhoka Palace.

At the Palace Square and also near temples, a huge number of people gather together for raising the pole. The living Goddess Kumari in Rathas is taken out over the main streets of Capital city Kathmandu. Crazy crowds get together near this place for the Living Goddess Ratha in order to catch an impression of the small Newari girl who has been regarded as Kumari. She represents the Goddess Taleju.

The other two small Rathas follow the Chariot of Kumari. They represent the Gods Ganesh and Bhairav. The festival of Indra Jatra ends with the lowering of the (lingam) pole bearing Indra’s flag amidst religious ceremonies.

 

GAIJATRA

This festival is one of the festivals of Nepal in which different activities like dancing, singing, mirth, and laughter are performed. A cow is the main part of the festival which represents the death of loved ones in the Capital Valley Kathmandu. Mostly children are dressed as cows and believe them a cow. This festival is celebrated in nearly July or August.

Gaijatra is celebrated in order to remember the lost ones and also to reduce the inside pain. The word Gaijatra is the combination of two words, they are Gai and Jatra which means Cow and festival in English respectively. The cow is the national animal and regarded as the goddess of wealth in the Hindu religion.

The day is also marked with a gay parade along with many people dressed in weird clothes. In Bhaktapur, the festival lasts for eight days. The origin of this celebration goes back to the reign of the Malla rulers. It is said that the Malla Queen was in mourning for a long time after the untimely death of her son. The king in an attempt to console her asked every family that lost a loved one to come out in a procession to show the queen that she was not alone with her suffering. That is why there is much joy and joking during the procession that goes through the streets.

YOMARI PUNHI

Yomari Punhi is a harvest festival celebrated by the Newari people. The festival gets its name from Yomari, fresh-harvest rice sweetmeat, prepared especially during the festival and enjoyed by all.

People of the Kathmandu Valley offer worship to Annapurna, the Goddess of Grains, for the rice harvest on this full moon day. According to the legends Suchandra and Krita, a married couple, first experimented with a fresh yield of rice from their field at present-day Panauti in ancient times. And what took shape turned out to be known as Yomari.

The new delicacy was eventually distributed among the villagers. As the food was liked by all, the bread was named Yomari, which literally means ‘tasty bread’ in the Newari language. Yomari is a sweetmeat of rice-flour (from the new harvest) dough, shaped like fig and filled with molasses and sesame seeds, which is then steamed.

This delicacy is the chief item on the menu during the post-harvest celebration of Yomari Punhi. Groups of kids go to the neighborhood to requesting for Yomari cakes from housewives in the evening. Sacred masked dances are performed in the villages of Harisiddhi and Thecho at the southern end of the valley to mark the festival.

 

MAHASHIVARATRI

This festival is also one of the main festivals of country Nepal. It represents the “Night of Lord Shiva.” According to the Hindu Lunar calendar, it is mainly celebrated on the 14th day of the shade half-month of the Magha month.

It is believed that on this day, the stars in the Northern Hemisphere are at most optimum positions to help raise a person’s spiritual energy. It is also believed that the Shiva principle is most active on this day of the year. At this festival, people celebrated because of the meeting of Shiva and Shakti is made on this day. On this day, Lord Shiva dance in the form of Tandav.

Tourists are seen enjoying the ambiance with curiosity, as colorful and naked sadhus are seen meditating, posing for photographs and interacting with disciples.

Special attendance camps are set in the courtyards of the temples. Children are seen collecting donations from passersby on this day preparing for holy meal and bonfire in celebration of the special night.

 

TAMU LOSAR

Another name of the Gurung people of Nepal is known as Tamu and whereas Losar refers to New Year. The Gurung people gather together to celebrate this festival. In the Capital city Kathmandu, all the Gurung community gathered in Tundikhel floor with different colorful stalls and community. They will be flooding inside on Poush 15 under Nepali Bikram Sambat Calendar. The end of winter is in Poush 15 and the beginning of spring which brings hotness and beauty to Tamu Losar. They celebrate this festival in their new year. The Tamu Losar marks the beginning of the Tamu Sambat or Gurung Calendar Year. Tamu Losar is celebrated on every 15 Poush of the Nepali calendar (in December/January). This year Losar is on 30th December 2013 on Sunday.

GODHE JATRA

The festival of Horses is called Godhe Jatra. Godhe means horse in English. In this festival, a grand horse ceremony takes place at Tundikhel which is regarded as the central point of the city. In this place, not only this many events are organized. Here, the horses are raced, and yeah celebrated in mid-march or early April.

Around a thousand people arrived here to watch this festival however they are restricted to enter the Tudikhel. Over here, the army gets a chance to show their talent as paratroopers.

Similarly, the next festival which is very similar to this festival is taken at Bal kumari located in Patan. In this festival, a horse is given alcoholic spirits continuously as fas as it is drunken and also given alcohol to the traditional Newari person to ride it. After this, people starts screaming to discourage and irritate the horse until it runs wildly with the rider clinging on to it for dear life.