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 of Nepal are Dashain, Tihar, Holi, Teej, Jitiya, Chhath, Losar, Shivaratri, and Maghe Sankranti celebrated throughout the year. In this article, we’ll explore 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!

Festival of Nepal

Nepalese society is diversity-based and there are many different types of festivals. Different castes and tribes celebrate different types of festivals.

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.

List of Festival Names in Nepal

They fall into FIVE categories; Hindu, Buddhist, Islam, Christian, and Kirat 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:

Festival in HinduismFestival in BuddhismFestival in IslamFestival in ChristianityFestival in Kirat religion
DashainBuddha PurnimaEid al PhitrChristmasUdhoulli Festival
TiharLosarEid al AdhaEaster sundayUbhouli Festival
JitiyaTiji Fesfival
YemoshaYartung Festival
Maghe Sankranti (Khichara)Sakadawa
Saraswati Puja
Chhath Puja
Holi – Phagu
Rato Machendranath Jatra
indra Jatra
Janai Purnima
Vishwakarma Puja
Kushe Aunshi
Mata tirtha Aunshi
Shiv Ratri
Ram Nawami
Bada Dashain
Bala Chaturdashi
Gaura Festival
Nag Panchami
Bada Dashain
Chaitra Dasain
Krishna Janmashtami

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.

Seasonal Festivals of Nepal

Spring Season FestivalsSummer Season FestivalsAutumn Season FestivalsWinter Season Festivals
Ghode JatraGunlaTeejBibaha Panchami
RamanavamiJanai PurnimaJitiyaMaghe Shankranti (Khichara)
Chaitra DashainNagpanchamiYemoshaLosar
Bisket JatraGhantakamaDashainSri Panchami
Kumari JatraGai JatraTihar (Dipawali)Maha Shivaratri
Rato Matsyendranath JatraKrishna JanmashtamiChhathaHoli Festival
Buddha JayantiVishwakarma Puja

Spring Season Festivals of Nepal

Ghode Jatra

Ghode Jatra, which is held in Tundikhel, Kathmandu in March. Held to appease Demon Gurumapa, the President of Nepal is the Chief guest. The principal attractions are horse races, acrobatic shows, and a procession of chariots of the goddesses.


Ramnavami commemorates the epic victory of Rama hero of the Ramayana, over his arch-rival Ravana. Elephants, ox-carts and horses lead thousands of devotees through Janakpur in milling throng. Other Ramnavami celebrations are held in Kathmandu and elsewhere for those unable to travel to Janakpur.

Chaitra Dasain

Chaitra Dashain is one of Kathmandu’s most colorful festivals. It is often referred to as ‘little Dashain’ a reference to Dashain in October, the greatest celebration of the year. The towering chariot of White Matsyendranath is pulled through the city for three days, and sacrifices are offered to Durga, Shiva’ cosort, in one of her most terrifying aspects.

Bisket Jatra

Nepali new year fall in March or April and i celebrated most enthusiastically in Bhaktpur, where it’s known as Bisket Jatra.

The highlight of the festival is the parade of chariots: one houses Bhairav; the other the goddess Bhadrakali. The chariots lumber through the streets, pause of a tug of war between the east and west parts of town, before descending to a field beside the river, where a 25- (82-ft) wooden lingam is erected and then sent crashing down. The New year officially begins with the fall of the lingam. The pennants that flutter from the top of the lingam represent two snakes that were vanquished form princess of Bhaktpur by a visiting prime who was a manifestation of Bhairava.

Kumari Jatra

The next day, in nearby Thimi, is Bal Kumari Jatra, a festival where teams of men from all over Thimi and surrounding districts carry palanquins – known as that – with neighborhood deities on board. Proceedings reach fever pitch with the arrival of that bearing Ganesh.

Rato Machendranath Jatra

The Rato Machendranath 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. Machendranath is 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 of more to complete.

Buddha Jayanti Festival

Buddha Jayanti celebrates the birth of Buddha with an all night vigil of butter lamps and electric lights in late April or early May at the Swamyambhunath stupa in Kathmandu Valley. Read More

Summer Season Festivals of Nepal

Gunla (July to August)

Gunla is a month long celebration marked by massive pilgrimages to the Buddhist shrine at Swaayambhunath.


Snakes and snake gods naga are associated with the monsoon rains. At Nagpanchami, which usually falls in july, Hindus paste pictures of naga on their front doors and make offerings of mild and boiled rice.


Ghantakama 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 jostiling, and effigy of the demon, is symbolically drowned and evil is banished.

Janai Purnima

Janai Purnima is the ful moon Hindu celebration of the renewal of the sacred thread ‘janai’ worn looped over the shoulders of high caste Brahmins. Read More

Gai Jatra

Gai Jatra, which falls in July, is Kathmandu valley’s “Cow festival.” 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 the crowds impersonate cows, holy men, sadhus, or madmen as they walk around the city. In Bhaktpur, celebrations are rowdier, with singing, stamping, joking, shouting and much drinking.

Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna janmashtami, in August celebrates the birth of Krishna, a manifestation of Vishnu in the aspect of Love. 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. Processions bear pictures detailing Krishna’s exploits and at night women gather at the Krishna temple in Patan to sing praise.

Autumn Season Festivals of Nepal


Teej Festival which falls in August or September, is the colorful Festival of Women. Hundreds of thousands of Nepali women, all dressed in striking dresses of various hues of red, gather of the baks of the Bagmati at Pashupatinath.

Married women wear their scarlet and gold wedding saris, and the unmarried sing and dance in their brightest clothes to pray to Shiva and his consort Parvati for a long and happy marriage. They bathe in the Bagmati in honor of their husbands or husbands to be Throughout Kathmandu valley, there is feasting on the first day and fasting on the second and third.


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.

Indra Jatra

Indra Jatra is eight days of noise and color, celebrating the release of Indra, the King of Gods, who disguised as an ordinary mortal was arrested for stealing flowers in Kathmandu. When his mother came down to earth to find him, the people, overcome with remorse, fell down before them and then carried them in triumph through the streets in a weeklong festival.

Ganesh Festival

Aswin, which falls in September or October, is the Ganesh Festival, held in honor of the pot-bellied elephant god without whose blessings no journey or religious ceremony be it private or public, is ever begun. Nepalis believe that even Surya, the Sun God, offers puja to Ganesh before he journeys across the heavens.


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. October is the month of the biggest of Nepal’s national festival: Dashain. Starting at the new moon and lasting for 10 days, this is a time for family and home, a time for gifts and feasts. The ‘nine nights’ navaratri of Dashain are marked by masked dances, and on the eighth night, the “black night”, sacrifices are performed by all who can afford one preferably on a black goat. Another Dashain activity is the erection of swings and primitive ferris wheels at entrances to villages around the country.

Tihar | Dipawali

November sees the arrival of India’s biggest Hindu festival, Tihar Dipawali, known in English as the Festival of Lights. In Nepal Tihar is second only to Dashain. The five days of rituals held in honor of Yama, the God of Death, are probably the most splendid of Nepal’s national festivals. On the third day Lakshmi Puja Kakhmandu valley fills with spluttering oil lamps, which are lit to welcome Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. The fifth and final day is Bhai Tika, when sisters offer gifts to their brothers along with the blessing: “I plant a thorn at the door of death; may my brother be immortal.”


Chhath festival is dedicated to the sun god, and it involves fasting, prayer, and the offering of gifts to the god.

Winter Season Festivals of Nepal

Bibaha Panchami

Bibaha Panchami, which falls in November or December. It is a weeklong festival held in Janakpur commemorating Rama and Sita’s wedding. On the first day, everybody joins the great processions from Rama’s temple. Rama’s idol, dressed as a bridegroom, is placed in a gaily decorated sedan chair that rides on the back of an elephant just as elegantly bedecked in brocades and skills and led to Sita’s temple, Naulakha Mandiar.

Maghe Sankranti

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.


The new moon in February is Tibetan New Year, or Losar. Like Dashain for the Nepali, Losar for the Tibetans is a family celebration. Go to Bodhnat Temple just outside Kathmandu t see lamas parading around the stupa bearing portraits of the Dalai Lama.

Sri Panchami

The beginning of spring in January or February is marked by Sri Panchami, also known as Basant panchami. Celebrations begins on the fifth day of the new moon during the 10th month of the Nepali year, honoring Saraswati, Brahma’s consort and the Goddess of Learning, and Manjushri, legendary Buddhist patriarch of Kathmandu valley, regarded as the God of Learning. It is a festival with special significance for students and scholars.

Maha Shivratri

One of the year’s most bizarre festivals is Maha Shivaratri, held in February or March and honoring the birth of Shiva. Hindu devotees make their way from all over Nepal to Pashupatinath temple, but the main attraction (for foreign witnesses) is the huge numbers of Indian sadhus who have covered vast distances on foot to reach the temple.

Holi Festival (Phagu)

Holi festival is also known as the Festival of Colors. Holi festival falls in March, heralds the coming of the monsoon with a nationwide water festival. The colors are powdered days added to buckets of water everybody hurls at each other. If you’re out and about this day, be sure to wear the sort of clothes you don’t mind getting stained with a kaleidoscope of colors.

Other Festivals

Ghantakarna festival

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.


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.

Mani Rimdu

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.

Along with this, various other festivals are celebrated in Nepalese society. Ghantakarna festival, Hile, Bhoome Puja, Barahi Puja are also celebrated. Many other festivals like this are in prevalent because Nepali society is diversity-based. Many other festivals can be missed here.

Tiji Festival

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.