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Festivals in Nepal

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.

Baisakh Poornima (April-May):
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.

Red 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.




Gaijatra (Cow festival)

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.


Krishnastami (July-August):
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.




Indrajatra (August-September):
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.


Dashain 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.



Tihar (Deepawali)

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 are prepared.



Constitution Day:
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.




Vivaha Panchami

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.



Prithvi Jayanti:
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.


National Democracy Day:
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).




Maha Shivaratri (February):
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.



Ghodejatra (March-April ):
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.



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