Nepal has countless festivals, but some of them are celebrated more auspiciously than others. Festivals are great windows to the Nepalese way of life and their culture, so make sure you find a way to participate in them. They are also a great source of fun and entertainment. Take a look at our list of 4 Popular festivals in Nepal not to miss to get an idea!
The Dashain festival is considered to be the national festival of Nepal and is the biggest Hindu celebration in the country. Dashain is celebrated for 15 days and it symbolizes the victory of gods over demons i.e the victory of the good over the evil. More specifically, it celebrates the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon Maishasura, thus saving everybody from his evils. People celebrate it mainly in their households, with various pujas and family rituals. They also go to worship the gods in different temples around their settlements. During Dashain, all of the work is postponed for after its ending and everybody is in a full on festive mood.
Tihar is a 5 day long festival taking place a week after the Dashain celebrations. The first two days, devotees worship the crows and dogs. On the third, during the day, people worship cows and in the evening there is a huge celebration of the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. The evening, also called Deepawali, is considered to be the festival of lights. The last day of the festival is Bhai Tika (Brother’s day), celebrated by rejoicing the relationship between brothers and sisters.
Holi is more popularly known as the festival of colors. It falls between February and March and is enjoyed all throughout the country. The celebration involves playing with colors, water and performing many practical jokes. Holi celebrates the death of Holika, a demon who tried to kill a devotee to the god Vishnu, called Pahlad. Apart from that, Holi symbolizes the arrival of spring. People generally gather in front of big open spaces such as the Durbar Squares and celebrate together. Make sure you don’t miss the fun!
Buddha Jayanti is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha. According to history, he was born in Lumbini in 563 BC. This festival is celebrated all over the country not only by the Buddhists but by everyone in Nepal. People usually visit various stupas and monasteries during the day, such a Boudhanath and Swayambhunath or visit his birthplace in Lumbini. In the evening, people lit small butter lamps that make the worshipping sites look magical, which is a great opportunity for photographs!