The Nepalese New Year's Day usually falls in the second week
of April. i.e. the first day of Baisakh. The day is observed
as a national holiday. The people celebrate it with a great
pomp and show. On this occasion, Bisket Jatra is held in the
city of Bhaktapur.
As Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Light of Asia,
the triple anniversary of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment
and death is observed with many colorful ceremonies on this
day. People celebrate the occasion with great veneration paying
homage to Buddha at places like Swayambhu Nath and Lumbini.
Machchhendranath Rath Jatra
(May -June ):
This festivals is the biggest socio-cultural event of Patan.
The wheeled chariot of a deity known as Bungdyo or red Matchhendranath
is prepared at Pulchowk and dragged through the city of Patan
in several stages till it reaches a prescribed destination
(Lagankhel) . The grand finale of the festival is called the
"Bhoto Dekhaune". A similar kind of chariot festival
of Machhendranath (White) is also held in Kathmandu city in
the month of March-April.
It is celebrated in all the Sherpa settlement in the month
of July. The Sherpas of Khumbu and Helambu regions participates
in dancing on this day.
It is a carnival-type of festival lasting eight days. Dancing,
singing comedy and anything that caused mirth and laughter
are its highlights. Those people whose family members have
died during the years send out persons dressed up as a cow
to parade the main thorough self Ares of the city on the first
day of the festival.
It marks the birthday of Lord Krishna, one of the incarnations
of Lord Vishnu. On this day, an impressive ceremony at the
Krishna Temple in Patan and Changu Narayan take place.
The festival of Indra, the God of rain, is observed with great
enthusiasm in Kathmandu Valley. The festival is celebrated
in August-September lasting for eight days. The chariot of
Kumari, the Living Goddess, is taken out in procession through
the main streets of Kathmandu. The festival is specially noted
for the echoes of drums and dancing feet of the masked dancers
almost every evening.
or Durga Puja (September- October):
The Dashain festival is the most important festival of the
Nepalese. The entire country is entete at the time of the
festival. It takes some time in the month of September-October.
Known as the festival of lights 'Tihar' is celebrated for
five days in October-November. On the occasion of houses are
illuminated at night and the special sweets of diverse kinds
The new democratic consitution of the Kingdom of Nepal was
promulgated on November 9,1990. Since then, this day is observed
as the Constitution Day.
This is a famous festival of Janakpur in Dhanusa district
in the eastern Terai. The occasion commemorates the marriage
of Sita to Ram, one of the most venerated Hindu divinities.
It attracts thousands of pilgrims from India.
This festival is celebrated in honour of King Prithvi Narayan
Shah, the founder of Modern Nepal, with a colourful ceremony
in front of the Singh Durbar Gate in Kathmandu on January
10/11 (Poush 27 th).
This festival is the most impressively observed in the month
of February by all the Tibetan speaking populations. They
organize folk songs and dances on this occasion. These dances
can be seen in Khumbu, Helambu and other northern regions
of Nepal and also at Bouddhanath in Kathmandu.
This day is officially observed as Rastriya Prajatantra Divas
or National Democracy Day (it generally falls on February
18th i.e. 7th of Falgun as a mark of respect to the people's
revolution of 1950-51).
Shivaratri or the night of Lord Shiva, is observed in February-March.
It is celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva. A great religious
fair takes place in the Pashupatinath Temple and thousands
of people from all over Nepal and India visit the temple.
Known as the festival of horses, it is one of the most exciting
festivals of the Kathmandu city. Horse race and other sports
take place at Tundikhel on this day. In other parts of the
city the various deities are carried shoulder-high on wheelless
chariot (Khat) with the accompaniment of traditional music.