Nepal is a land of multi-ethnic people. There are different communities with different traditions and cultures. The major religion of the people of Nepal is Hinduism. Therefore, most of the festivals of Nepal are related to Hinduism with one or two of Buddhism. However, Eid and Christmas are also observed. Learn about the top 10 popular festivals in Nepal.
Here is a brief introduction to the top 10 popular festivals in Nepal. Find out about these festivals. Try to book your holiday in the months of these festivals. You will surely feel a different holiday experience. Pack your bags. Hop into an airplane. Join the celebration.
Dashain & Tihar are the most famous festivals in Nepal. The festival of Dashain is the celebration of Durga. It is to mark the victory of goddess Durga over the demon Mahisasura. It is celebrated for whole 15 days throughout the nation.
Tihar is the festival of lights and color. This festival is dedicated to Laxmi the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is celebrated for five days. An interesting thing about this festival is that people worship cow, dog, crow, ox, and themselves. These festivals are of Hindu religion followers. However, it is deeply rooted in Nepalese society. Even if some people are non-Hindu, they celebrate these festivals in their own way. It is now a part of our culture.
Festival of Buddha Jayanti is celebrated to rejoice in the birth of Lord Buddha. He was born in Nepal as a prince in 623 BC at Kapilvastu district of Nepal under the Shakya dynasty. Nepal celebrates this festival on the full moon night of May. Sometimes it falls in the month of June. On this auspicious day, monasteries, gumbas, pagodas, and stupas hold special prayers and programs.
Gaijatra’s exact meaning in English is Cow Festival. It is to commemorate the death of the family members in a particular year. People dress as cows or of different characters and parade around the city. Nepal celebrates this festival to ease the grievances of losing family members.
Nowadays, the festival is time to do some satire as well. Therefore, you can become part of different meals as well. These meals are where you can experience local delicacies and culture.
Rakshya Bandhan or Janai Purnima festival is one of the major festivals of Nepal. It falls in the month of August. People pay their visit to Lord Shiva’s temples across the country. Follow our Gosainkunda Trek Package. Every year a grand festival is organized in the lake.
Families stay together and have “Kwati” sprouted beans on this festival people tie the sacred threads to protect themselves from evil. Festival is also the time to make a bond between brother and sister strong.
This festival is the celebration of women. Nepalese culture and Hinduism have high regard for women. On this day women across the globe fasts and worship lord Shiva. Traditionally, married women visit their birth home and feast together with dad, mom, and brothers. They sing, dance, and rejoice. Women share their success, hardships, and sorrow.
Women eat a special feast called “Dar” before fasting. The following day, they fast for the whole day and worship Lord Shiva. It is believed that whoever does the fasting will get a good husband as well as have their child and husband’s long lives.
The festival is colorful as well. You can see red everywhere. Saris, bangles, tika, and cosmetics used by women are all of a red theme. Come and celebrate the women’s power. Goddess is also a symbol of Shakti the power. Festival is true respect to all women.
Krishna Janmashtami is the birth date of Lord Krishna. He is an avatar of Lord Vishnu. His birth is to destroy the evil Kangsh who is his own maternal uncle. Lord Krishna is a mischievous god and also the symbol of romance/love.
The god loves curd/butter. Therefore, people hold special pot-breaking games. This festival is very enticing. You can be with people and talk about love. Lots of Krisna Mandirs and in Indian society, this festival has lots of meaning. Nepal too celebrates the festival in a grand manner.
Holi is a festival of colors and a symbol of victory over evil. According to Hindu Myth, Lord Vishnu killed demon Holika and saved great devotee Prahalad. Lord Vishnu was in Narsimha Avatar.
People put on colors and splash water at each other. They rejoice and have fun. Almost every street is full of people playing with colors. You can join in this fun. Hilly region celebrates this festival first and the following day is celebrated in the Terai (flatland) region of Nepal.
Maghi is a special festival of the Tharu community. However, everyone celebrates this festival in great spirit. The festival marks the end of winter and the arrival of many festivals.
People eat ghee, molasses, sweet potatoes, yam, and colocasia. It is the new year of the Tharu people as well. Therefore, the importance of this festival is huge from a religious as well as cultural point of view.
Kathmandu Valley is the home of the Newari people. These people are Nepal’s identity characters in terms of culture and traditions. They are fine craftsmen and have a huge traditional background.
There are lots of festivals/jatras. Indra Jatra, Machhindranath Jatra, Bisket Jatra, Kumari Jatra, etc. are a few examples of festivals. These jatras are signs of many festivals to come in the months of the autumn season. Moreover, this season has many festivals of different communities. Jatra and Kathmandu hold the same meaning. The valley is the symbol of culture and tradition. It is because of all the jatras.
Shivaratri is the festival of Lord Shiva. It is one of the sacred festivals of Hinduism. The festival has scientific as well as religious meanings. As per science on the night of this festival, there is a high flow of energy in the atmosphere.
Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal is the center of attraction during the festival. Thousands of people visit the Shiva temples and Pashupatinath on this day. People line up and participate in many puja ceremonies. You can join too. However, non-Hindus are not allowed inside the main temple. Join sadhus and locals outside.
Sadhus and normal people drink Bhang (Hashis Drink) and smoke weeds (marijuana) too. On this day smoking weeds within the Shiva temple premise is allowed. Therefore, lots of non-Hindus attend the festival.
The top 10 popular festivals in Nepal shown here are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many festivals throughout the year in Nepal. People of different origins reside in Nepal. They have their own culture and traditions. Therefore, there are numerous types of festivals. In fact, every day is a celebration here in Nepal. We worship nature to the fullest. It is our root. Nature is part of us.
Join in these amazing festive celebrations in Nepal. Coincide your holiday in Nepal on the months of these festivals. It will become one hell of an experience. Be part of Nepal’s cultural joy. Let’s do adventure and beautiful treks in Nepal in 2022. Find the beautiful treks in Nepal EBC Trek, ABC Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Manaslu. Let’s check the diverse itineraries and affordable packages through the Nepal High Trek.