Nepal is home to a rich cultural heritage, which includes a wide range of festivals that are celebrated throughout the year. Among the most popular festivals in Nepal are Dashain, Tihar, Holi, Teej, Jitiya, Chhath, Losar, Shivaratri, and Maghe Sankranti celebrated throughout the year.
Nepal is a unique country in the world, with a vibrant culture and many interesting festivals throughout the year. From the Holi festival to the Gai Jatra and Indra Jatra, Nepal is a great place to experience the joy of celebrating.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most popular festivals in Nepal and discuss how you can experience them for yourself. So, get ready to learn about this amazing country and immerse yourself in the festivities of Nepal!
23 Major Festivals in Nepal
HARDLY A WEEK PASSES IN NEPAL WITHOUT A FESTIVAL. They fall into three categories; Hindu or Buddhist festivals. Historical festivals commemorate the royal family or an epic event from the past. Seasonal festivals, where offerings are made for good harvests. Here is a list of some of the major festivals that are celebrated in Nepal:
Teej is a Hindu festival that celebrates the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. This festival is celebrated primarily by married women, who dress in their finest clothes and visit temples to pray for the health and well-being of their families. Additionally, many unmarried women also take part in the festivities, as they pray to get married soon.
Jitiya is an important festival which is celebrated by Tharu women and girls in Nepal. During the festival, women and girls fast for a day and pray for the well-being of their families and good luck in the coming year.
In this festival, women and girls wear colorful and traditional attire and participate in various activities such as singing, dancing and exchanging gifts. This festival is a time for women and girls to come together to celebrate their community and culture.
The most popular festival in Nepal is Dashain, also known as Bijaya Dashami. This is a Hindu festival that lasts for 15 days and celebrates the victory of good over evil. People celebrate this festival by gathering and exchanging gifts, performing rituals, and eating special dishes. It is a great time for families to come together and celebrate the traditions of their culture.
This festival, also known as Deepawali, is a time for lighting lamps, praying to the gods, and celebrating the bond between humans and animals.
Chhath festival is dedicated to the sun god, and it involves fasting, prayer, and the offering of gifts to the god.
Another popular main festival in Nepal is Losar, which is the Tibetan New Year, and it is celebrated with prayer, dance, and the exchange of gifts. This festival typically occurs in late February or early March and lasts for up to three weeks. During this festival, people gather at temples to pray and offer food to deities. Additionally, many people make traditional dishes such as momos and tsampa as part of the celebrations. T
Janai Purnima is the full moon Hindu celebration of the renewal of the sacred thread – Janai – worn looped over the shoulders of high caste Brahmins.
Celebrations center around the Khumbheshwer temple in Patan. Pilgrims mark the occasion by making a pilgrimage to Gosainkund, the sacred lake at the head of Trisuli valley, 4,300m (14,100 ft) above sea level, and which is said to have a subterranean connection with the lake at Khumbheshwar temple.
This festival is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, and it is marked by prayer, fasting, and the offering of gifts to Shiva.
Holi is a festival that is celebrated throughout Nepal. This festival is known for its vibrant colors and people often throw colored powder and water at each other in celebration.
This festival is a celebration of the birth of the Buddha, and it is marked by prayer, meditation, and the offering of gifts to the Buddha.
This festival is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. It is marked by the performance of traditional rituals and the exchange of gifts.
This festival is a celebration of the beginning of the sun’s journey to the northern hemisphere. It is marked by the exchange of gifts and the performance of traditional rituals.
This festival is a celebration of the goddess Durga. It is marked by the performance of traditional rituals and the exchange of gifts.
This festival is a celebration of the birth of the Hindu god Krishna. It is marked by the performance of traditional rituals and the exchange of gifts.
Rato Machendranath Jatra
The Rato Masyendranath Jatra festival is held in the first month of the New Year (April to May), but the actual date is decided on the basis of propitious signs by Hindu priests… Matsyendranath is a patron of the rains, and with the monsoon imminent he is drawn through every neighborhood of Patan, on a meandering route that may take a month or more to complete.
This is a Tibetan Buddhist festival that is celebrated in the monastery at Tengboche in Nepal. It is marked by the performance of traditional rituals and the exchange of gifts.
The Tiji Festival is an annual event celebrated in the Mustang district in Nepal that is full of vibrant colors, music, and dancing. This exciting three-day festival is held in the springtime and is dedicated to the expulsion of the demon deity, Dorje Jono. During this time, locals gather to witness the ceremonial masked dances and to celebrate the victory of good over evil. With a strong focus on cultural heritage and spiritual traditions, the Tiji Festival is a unique and wonderful way to experience Nepalese culture.
This festival is a celebration of the New Year for the Tamang people of Nepal. It is marked by the performance of traditional music and dance and the exchange of gifts.
Krishna Jatra, in August, celebrates the birth of Krishna, a manifestation of Bishnu in the aspect of Love. Processions bear pictures detailing Krishna’s exploits and at night women gather at the Krishna temple in Patan to sing praise.
Ghode Jatra, which is held in Tundikhel, Kathmandu in March. Held on appease
Demon Gurumapa, the King of Nepal is the Chief guest. The principal attractions are horse races, acrobatic shows, and a procession of chariots of the goddesses.
Gai Jatra, which falls in July, is Kathmandu valley’s “cow festival.” This festival is a celebration of cows, which are considered sacred in Hinduism. Cows, it is believed by Hindus, lead the way into the other world after death. This festival is held in memory of those who have died in the past year. Cows, cow effigies, and children dressed as cows are paraded through the streets.
It is also a day for merry-making and fancy dress-in Patan the crowds impersonate cows, holy men, sadhus, or madmen as they walk around the city. In Bhaktapur, celebrations are rowdier, with singing, stamping, joking, shouting, and much drinking.
Ghantakarna, held in Kathmandu in July, is one of the most riotous Newar celebrations. It celebrates the slaying of Ghantakama, a demon whose name means “bell ears”, a reference to the bells he wore on his ears to drown out the name of Vishnu. On the last day before the new moon, worshippers place tripods of fresh reed stalks at crossroads and indulge in cheerful obscenities. At twilight, amid much good-humored banter and jostling, and an effigy of the demon is symbolically drowned and evil is banished.
Most festivals are local affairs, but there are some large national ones too. All dates are based on Nepal’s lunar calendar and are approximate only.
Cultural Events in Kathmandu Nepal
Mention Nepal and most people think of mountains. But while it’s impossible to visit Nepal without at least catching a glimpse of the towering Himalayas, many visitors are content to admire these peaks from afar and restrict their sightseeing to the cultural attractions of Kathmandu valley.
Less touristy performances are held at the Hotel Vajra (01) 272719, P.O. Box 1084, Bijeswori, Kathmandu. You will need to check for times. Performances vary from folk dances to modern productions, but a trip out to this hotel near Swayambhunath temple is always worth the effort.
The Everest cultural Society performs folk dances daily from 7 pm at the Hotel de 1’ Annapurna. The New Himanchuli Cultural Group stages classical and folk dances together with songs and music at the Hotel Shankar’s Cultural Hall daily from 6:30 to 7:30 PM (November to February), and 7 to 8 pm (March to October).
Early European visitors to Kathmandu valley came away with tales of a land in which every second building was a temple. This is an exaggeration, of course; but to refer to the valley as a “treasure trove” of art and architecture is to do no more than state the obvious.
where all the major hotels provide cultural entertainment of one kind or another in the evenings. It is also worth checking the notice boards in Thamel or announcements of performances. Some of the better restaurants in Thamel have live traditional music.