Festivals In Nepal

1.  Bisket Jatra (April)

This Jatra heralds the start of the Nepali New Year and famously celebrated in Bhaktapur.This is one of the most exciting annual events in Kathmandu Valley. The Chariot with god Bhairab is hauled by the people to the Khanla Tole. Also, the huge Tug of War between people in the western and eastern town can be seen during the hauling of the chariot.This festival occurs usually in the second week of April. During this occasion sindur jatra - festival of colours is celebrated at thimi.


2.  Mata Tirtha - Mother’s Day (April)

This is the day when one shows the appreciation and gratitude to his/her mother for her unconditional love and undying support. This Festival falls on the last day of the dark fortnight of April. And also those who do not have a mother this day they pay obeisance to Mata Tirtha, a sacred site of pilgrimage and the holy bathing. This place lies six miles south-west of central Kathmandu consisting of two pools the larger for the bathing and the smaller is famous as the place where one looks upon ones mother’s face.


3.  Red Machindranath Jatra (
May)

This is one of the main reasons why the chariot festival of Rato Machhendra which begins every year on the first day of the bright fortnight of Baishakh proves in itself to be the most auspicious occasion for the entire farmers' community-specially for (the Jyapu) farmers of Kathmandu Valley. These are the most enthusiastic people who always take active part in the celebration of this chariot festival. Soon after the festival phenomenon arrives at the door these people set them to the tremendous task of making a most fascinating festival chariot as tall as an ordinary three storeyed Nepalese house which demands a great skill. They become busy doing all kinds of things from carrying the building materials to using them in their most practical way. And also it is the same Jyapus who would pull the festival chariot throughout the different routes of the Patan city during the entire period of the celebration. The chariot is so heavy that it takes at least one hundred people to make it move. Beside this, the Jyapus also have a great enthusiasm for music. No festival in Nepal is considered complete without the musical performance. Their favorite drum locally known as Dhimaya and Bhushya (a pair of big brass cymbals) is a big must for the chariot festival of Rato Machhendra. When they bang beat the Dhimaya and hit hard the big brass Bhushyas people immediately make remarks on their performance and say that here they go for festival. Such an enthusiastic music they produce that it immediately puts the entire festival-watchers into a most enjoyable mood and they just go excited with it. This is all about the enthusiastic participation of the Jyapus in the celebration of the festival that has always a great respect for this rain god, Rato Machhendra Nath.

4.  Buddha Jayanti (May)

People celebrated this day with the great veneration paying the homage to lord Buddha at various places like Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and Lumbini in the month of May. This day the lord Buddha’s birthday, enlightment and the death is observed with many colorful ceremonies.


 

5. Ashar 15 (June)

This festival is celebrated at the time of rice planting on the month of June. The main dish for this occasion is curd with bitten rice.


6. Guru Poornima (July)

This is traditionally, celebrated by Hindus and Buddhist. On this day the disciples

offer the puja and pay respect to their Teacher or Guru. It falls on the day of the full moon.






7. Naag Panchami (Aug)

Nag Panchami is the festival of snakes, where the snakes are worshiped. The Hindu mythology has given due reverence to the snakes, especially the Lord Vishnu’s snake, the snake on which Lord Vishnu rests. Nag Panchami is celebrated nationwide every year. The reference of Nag Panchami goes back to the Puranas, which marks Nag Panchami as one of the most auspicious days. According to the Puranas, feeding of the snakes with milk for 5 days will ensure against any danger to the family.

Nag Panchami is celebrated around the monsoon time, when the snakes are mostly around, and the people pray to the snakes in order to be safeguarded against snake bites. The puja differ from state to state. While most pray in the snake temple, most others pray before a live snake. The snake or the idol of the snake is bathed in milk and the snake music is also played. Lord Shiva is also worshiped on Nag Panchami as he was very fond of snakes and had one wrapped around his neck.

There are legends associated with Nag Panchami. The legend forbids a farmer to till his land, as once a farmer had accidentally killed a young serpent while ploughing his field. The mother of that serpent had avenged its death by killing the farmer and his family, except his daughter who at that time was worshiping the Nag. Because of her prayers, the whole family was revived – the popular belief since that worship of snakes will protect the whole family from snake bites.

The celebrations will be as every year, where the people will bathe the snake or the snake idol with milk, and there will be music and a fair organised which will feature magic shows and acrobatic feats. 


8. Janai Purnima/ Rakshabandhan(Aug)

This is the time for both Hindus and Buddhist to change a sacred thread (Janai) tied along their neck through body. Also, it is the time to tie the Raksha (a red yellow thread believed to have power to protect)





9.    Gai Jatra (Aug)

The festival of "Gai Jatra", the procession of cows, is generally celebrated in the Nepalese month of Bhadra (August-September). The festival of cows is one of the most popular festivals of Nepal. The whole complex of Gai Jatra festival has its roots in the ancient age when people feared and worshipped Yamaraj,"the god of death". However, the ironical sessions synonymous with the Gai Jatra festival came into tradition in the medieval period of Nepal during the reign of Malla Kings. Hence, the present form of Gai Jatra is a happy blending of antiquity and medievalism.

According to the traditions since times immemorial, every family who has lost one relative during the past year must participate in a procession through the streets of Kathmandu leading a cow. If a cow is unavailable then a young boy dressed as a cow is considered a fair substitute. In Hinduism, a cow is regarded as the most venerated among all the domestic animals. It is believed that the cow, revered as a holy animal by Hindus, will help the deceased relative's journey to heaven. According to Hinduism,"whatever a man does in his life is a preparation to lead a good life, after death".


10. Krishna Janmasthami 
(Aug)
This is the special day for all the Hindus. On this occassion  lord Krishna's birthday is celebrated. It falls on the month of august. Each year this festival is celebrated with great joys and happiness. All people gather together and then they stick poster of Lord Krishna to different place of Kathmandu. They worship and visit to certain places by carrying feather of peacock.






11.    Teej (Sept)

This festival is specially celebrated by the Nepali women. Dancing, folk songs and the red colors of the women’s wedding saris dominate the day of teej.


12.    Indra Jatra
 (Sept)

This festival is observed with the great enthusiasm in Kathmandu valley. This day Indra the god of Rain is worshipped. Also the living Goddess – kumari along with chariot is taken out for the procession through the streets of Kathmandu.




13.    Vijaya Dashami (Oct)

This is the most important festival for all the Nepalese. People worship Goddess Durga and also people take blessings from their elders. The whole country celebrates this festival enjoying the holidays.




14. Tihar 
(Nov)

This festival is known as the festival of lights. This festival is celebrated for the five days. In these five days people worship Goddess Laxmi, the dogs and the crow. Also, this is the festival when people perform the purification of the soul through Govardan Puja and also the Bhaitika ceremony is performed.








15. Maghe Sankranti (Jan)

This is the festival when lord Vishnu is worshipped thanking for his effort in making the days longer and warmer. Devotees take bathing in the holy rivers. This festival is observed in the first of Magh.

 

16. Basanta Panchami and Saraswati Puja(Jan)

Basanta or spring, ushera in the loveliest time of the year. crowds gather at AKathmandu's Durbar Square while His Majesty the king and other dignitaries welcome the season as s band plays the traditional songs of spring. A different celebration occurs at Swayambhu and at the Nil Barahi shrine near Lazimpat, Saraswati, the goddess of learning, arts and crafts is worshipped at her temples. Artists, musicians, teachers and students bring flowers, unbroken rice, and other gifts to please her.


17. Lhosar
(Jan/ March)

This festival is mostly celebrated by the Sherpa’s. This festival is also celebrated by other caste such as gurung & lama. They organize folk songs, dances on this occasion. Also, people offer prayers to the gods and the monasteries, streets are decorated through the colorful flags on the rooftops.


18. Maha Shivaratri (March)

This is one of the most important festival of Nepal celebrated on the month of March. Maha Shivaratri or the night of lord Shiva is observed. A great religious fete takes place in Pashupatinath. On this day one will find impossible to visit Pashupatinath because of the packed crowed to worship lord Shiva.




19. Fagu Purnima - Holi (March)

This is also called the festival of colors. This day is all about splashing colors and water to other. This festival falls on the month March.


20.    Ghode Jatra (March)

This is known as the festival of the horses. This is one of the most exciting festivals of kathmandu. Horse race and the other sports take place at Tudikhel on this day.