Nepal sandwiched between two big giants is impetus for diverse culture, religion, ethnicity. Being geographically tiny country but catalyst for multicultural, multi religious people where people live sharing joy, happiness with extreme enthusiasm on every religion, festival with harmony and religious tolerance with their religious creed. Nepal unfurls diverse culture, religion furnishing through festivals celebrated throughout the year. So, Nepal is regarded as religious as well as cultural zoo.
Guru Purnima: Guru Purnima holy festival celebrated on full moon day in month of Ashad in Nepal and India in memoir of great sage Veda Vyasa; editor of Hindu holy scripture Vedaand to honor him eulogizing as divine persona. Guru Purnima is dedicated to all academic and spiritual teachers who wipes darkness of ignorance to pave the of enlightenment.
This is marked as special day to pay gratitude to teachers who brightens lives of disciples or students with light of knowledge and wisdom along with receiving blessings from teacher in exchange.
The word Guru derived from Sanskrit denotes disperser of darkness taking teacher as source of wisdom. On this special occasion student worship their teacher with souvenir and fruits for their devotion to illuminate the future with light of knowledge.
Ropai Jatra: Ropai Jatra marked as plantation day of new seedlings is carnival like festival celebrated on 15 Ashad. It has much significance considering country’s much dependency on agriculture for economic growth. On this day Nepalese government with Tourism board organizes special program where many people aa well as tourists gather at muddy ground for plantation and engage in game of throwing mud to each other. On this special day Dahi Chiura (curd and beaten rice) is offered as dinner.
Sawan Sankranti: Sawan Sankranti merry making festival marking the end of paddy plantation. It is celebrated on first day of Shrawan when sun begins to turn southwards from north. On this merry making day several rituals are performed especially ritual of Luto Phalne in evening to ward off disease of scabies and itching.
Janai Purnima: Janai Purnima sacred thread wearing festival is celebrated with great devotion, vibe and vigor all over country on full moon day of Bhadra month. Brahmins and Chetris who have undergone ritual of Bratabandha takes as special day to change sacred thread with three knots representing trinity of hindu god Bramha, Bishnu and Maheshwor whereas other tie thread around wrist believing holy thread would protect against all ills.
Hundreds of pilgrims’ flock to Gosainkund to take ritual dip on icy water of alpine lake during festival. As well as Janai Purnima also celebrated as Rakshya Bandhan marking harmony and love relation between brother and sister. And special food Kwati made up of seven types germinated grains is taken on this pious day.
Krishna Janmastami: Festival that falls on eighth day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) on month of Bhadra is celebrated with zest and zeal on Nepal commemorating birth day of Lord Krishna; eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu,who is adorable child, mischievous son,romantic lover and compassionate friend. During this festival, numerous devotees flock to Krishna Mandir(temple) especially Patan Krishna Mandir onpremises of Patan durbar square and line up outside temple to offer prayers. On this day, temples and houses are illuminated, devotees worship reciting hymns from hindu holy scripture Gita and chanting mantras.
Kushe Aaushi: Khuse aushi revered as father's day is special occasion to respect the achievements of father symbol of teacher savior and protector figure. On this especial day people pay homage to their fathers with souvenirs and sweets where as those who has lost their father offer Sida daan or Pinda daan doing Shraddha.
On this holy festival that falls on months of august, priest brings kush, holy grass on everyone house which is symbol of purity and used on various religious functions throughout the year.
Teej Festival: Teej festival that occurs on third day of Shukla Paksha (bright moon fortnight) of Shrawan is dedicated to goddess Parvati who went for fasting wishing her union with Lord Shiva. So women immerse on this festival with this great respect and observe and fasting for all being, good health and prosperous life of husband whereas unmarried female observe fasting for desiring for better spouse.
On eve of Teej, special programme 'dar khane' is held and on auspicious day Shiva temples are crowded with women and temple with red attire for purpose of offering flowers, sweets and fruits to God and enjoy festival with singing, dancing after offerings, forgetting all worries, sorrows and frustration.
Dashain: Dashain widely known as Vijaya Dashami and Nava Ratri is celebrated for fifteen days starting from Shukla Paksha to Purnima; full moon, with great revere, eagerness and vigor throughout the country.
Immensely sacred festival Dashain captures worshipping of goddess Durga on many manifestations; first day is Ghatsthapana when barley seeds are sowed for purpose of using as Jamara. And seventh day is Fulpati whereas eighth day is Maha Astami on which all Durga temples are soaked with blood of sacrificed goats, hen, duck etc. The prominent day of festival is tenth day when family member takes tika and jamara with blessings from elders marking as union day.
Each and every member of family separates time to rejoice uniting with family members from their hectic lifestyle.
Tihar: The most sparkling festival also known as Deepawali and Yamapanchak is five days long festival of lights and colours instigating with Kag tihar and concludes with Bhai tika.
Tihar symbol of harmonious relation between brother and sister also revered as festival of worshipping several animals and birds including crow, dog cow as well as hindu goddess of fortune and wealth. All houses are decorated and illuminated with oil lamps and twinkling light and also hear spellbinding echoes of special song Deusi, Bhailo with dancing during festival.
Chhath Puja: Chhath Puja dedicated to sun; god of energy, celebrated for three days especially on Terai region of Nepal offering gratitude to Lord Sun for bestowing liveliness on Earth forever and pray for well-being, progress, success of their family members.
The whole procedural of worshipping sun happens on bank of holy lake which are decorated for Chhath puja. As first day, devotees take ritual bath or dip on lake water early in the morning and prepare offering whereas on second day, they do fast for whole day and worship setting sun on dusk wishing for long life of family members. Then enjoy time chanting hymns, mantras on bank of holy lake. And on final day, devotees worship rising sun early in the morning.
Especially religious city hosts thousands of pilgrims during this festival. Now a day’s festival is taken as symbol of harmony among hilly region and Terai region people.
Vivaha Panchami: Vivaha Panchami auspicious ceremony honored to commemorate heavenly marriage between Lord Ram and Sita that happened when Lord Ram lifted heavy bow of Shiva and string it on Swayamber ceremony as per rules of marriage.
The week long sacred festival that falls on month of Mangsir marks conjugal life Lord Ram and Sita and taken as divine marriage. Ceremony is enacted with idols of Ram and Sita on which idols are decorated as groom and bride and people participate on procession that is all the way to Janakpur from Ayodhya.
This festival is widely cherished by people from Nepal and India. Thousands of people flock to Janaki temple situated on Janakpur to participate on pious festival Vivaha Panchami with great enthusiasm, vigor. It is best moment to explore culture and traditional values of place.
Tamu Lhosar: Tamu Lhosar, marked as new year on Gurung calender is celebrated on 15 poush of Nepalese calender. Lhosar festival perfect moment for family members of all generation to be together and share love and greetings.
On this festival, people rejoice in several cultural feastings engaging on cultural programmes. At Kathmandu, carnival like festival is organized at Tundikhel to celebrate Lhosar where many stalls are adorned with colorful items and mobs of people wander around Tundikhel on their traditional apparel and accessories to enthrall on festival.
Saraswati Pooja: Saraswati Pooja regarded as Basant Panchami held on fifth day of bright fortnight of Magh month is celebrated all over country as birthday of goddess Saraswati.
The festival dedicated for worship of Saraswati; goddess of knowledge, enlightenment to invoke the blessings of goddess also marked as welcoming of blossoming nature. On this festival schools and colleges are embellished with festoons whereas yellow color is given priority which is symbol of prosperity and love. On this auspicious occasion parents take their children to nearby Saraswati temple to initiate their learning.
Holy festival: Holy Festival; festival of colors is the most vibrant festival celebrated for two days as symbol of joy and celebration and also heralded as onset of spring season.
The festival of friendship and joy brings more splash of color, fun, music, and excitement creating affable and harmonious atmosphere breaking barriers generated from ego.
Holy Festival of color, and fertility also reminds greatness of faith and colors smeared on face of each other are not mere colors but colors of bliss. Each and every person are in jovial mood enjoying festival with ecstasy roaming the narrow street of Kathmandu commemorating the day as victory of good over evil.
Shiva Ratri Festival: Feel the fever of carnival like Shiva Ratri festival that falls on fourteenth day of waning moon on month of Falgun.
Thousands of Shiva revelers flock to holiest Hindu temple especially temple to honor God Shiva to overcome darkness and ignorance of life. On this euphoric occasion marijuana and hashish are temporarily lifted on periphery of temple as well as people are offered delicacies as Prasad within temple premises. Foreigners visit to witness the grandeur of the day whereas Sadhus and naked Sadhus come from India to celebrate the festival on Pashupatinath.
As night falls, religious environment converts into intoxicating atmosphere as huge bonfires are set at many places and people encircles bonfires and enjoy time singing songs, chanting bhajans and dancing.
Ram Navami: Ram Navami festival honored with great joy and fervor commemorating the birth day of Lord Ram; seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu incarnated as Ram to establish righteousness on Earth.
Festival that falls on Shukla Paksha of month of Chaitra is celebrated performing ritual Pooja and organizing Bhajan programs on premises of homes and temples. And temples and alters dedicated to Ram are adorned with flowers and lights making environment festive and euphoric.
Chaite Dashain: Chaite Dashain festival named from month name is celebrated for two days during month of Chaitra to honor Goddess Durga.
Animal sacrifices are offered to please goddess and Durga temples are soaked with blood of sacrificed animal during the festival. Maximum sacrifice takes place in front of Taleju Bhawani.