Nepal is a land of God and Goddess and it is also a land of festivals; more than 50 festivals are celebrated in Nepal round the year. Festivals in Nepal are not just the annual event; they are a living part of rich cultural heritage. Nepal Festival gives an insight into the rich cultural essence that is celebrated with full of life, colors and enthusiasm in a lively environment. These festivals also resemble the regional, cultural and traditional diversity of Nepal which holds greater importance for local Nepalese people.
Festivals in Nepal bring the Nepalese people of diverse cultural background and beliefs into one nation. A foreigner experiencing such events for the first time may find it overwhelming and very special.
Some of the major festivals in Nepal;
It is the major festival celebrated all over Nepal by Hindus and Buddhist. The festival falls on the month of September-October and is celebrated for 10 consecutive days. According to the legends the goddess Durga conquered evils on the Dashain day. During the time of the festival reunion of distant and nearby relatives occurs in every household. The market is filled with shoppers seeking new clothing, gifts, luxuries and enormous supplies of a temple offering for the gods, as well as foodstuffs for the family feasting. As the Dashain approaches, Kites flying became more common. Playing cards and buying new clothes are another way of celebrating Dashain.
Tihar is the most vibrant, colorful festival celebrated in Nepal. It is a five day festival, which comes right after Dashain. During the Period of this festival House are illuminated at night and special sweets of different varieties are prepared. Hindu people worship goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is also a festival for brothers and sister, sister worship their brother and wish for brother’s success, progress and long life.
Holi is a colorful festival celebrated with the arrival of spring after harsh winter. Playing with color powder and dancing wide open in the street is the right way to celebrate Holi.
Teej is the most popular festival among the Nepalese women. It falls in the month of August or early September. Women fast on this day for the long life of her husband and long and firm relationship between them until the death this life and all the lives to come. Unmarried girls also observe fast on this day for a good husband.
Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in Reverence of the god Shiva. It is the day Shiva was married to the goddess Parvati.
Buddha Jayanti (April-May):
Buddha Jayanti is the birth day of Lord Gautam Budhha. Budhha’s original name was Sidhartha Gautam. Siddhartha Gautam was born about 543 BC in Kapilvastu of Nepal. Buddha Purnima Festival or Buddha Jayanti Festival is the most sacred day in Buddhist calendar. It is the most important festival of Buddhists, and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Although Buddhists regard every full moon as sacred, the moon of the month of Vaisakh/Baisakh (April – May) has special significance because on this day Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, and Nirvana. This strange, three-fold coincidence, gives Buddha Purnima its unique significance. The event is celebrated by gentle and serene fervour, keeping in mind the very nature of Buddhism. People, especially women, go to common Viharas to observe a rather longer-than-usual, full-length Buddhist sutra, as something like a service. The usual dress is pure white. Non-vegetarian food is normally avoided. Kheer, a sweet rice porridge is commonly served to recall the story of Sujata, a maiden who, in Gautama Buddha’s life, offered the Buddha a bowl of milk porridge after he had given up the path of asceticism following six years of extreme austerity. This event was one major link in his enlightenment.