Festivals in Nepal February 3, 2024

Nawa-barsha: Also known as Nepal Sambat, Nawa-barsha marks the Nepalese New Year. Celebrated with cultural events, processions, and feasts, it symbolizes the renewal of life and spirit.

Buddha Jayanti Purnima: Celebrated on the full moon day of April or May, it commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha. Devotees visit Buddhist shrines, light lamps, and participate in prayer ceremonies.

Janai Purnima or Raksha Bandhan: This festival involves the sacred thread ceremony for Hindu men known as “janai.” It is also a day when sisters tie protective threads around the wrists of their brothers.

Gai Jatra: A festival of cows, Gai Jatra is celebrated in Kathmandu Valley. Families who have lost a loved one during the year participate in a procession to remember the departed, with the belief that cows help guide the deceased to the afterlife.

Teej: A fasting festival for Hindu women, Teej celebrates marital bliss and the well-being of spouses. Women dress in red, fast, and participate in processions and dance.

Dashain: The longest and the most significant Hindu festival in Nepal, Dashain celebrates the triumph of the goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. Families come together, receive tika (blessings), and exchange gifts during this festive period.

Tihar: Also known as Deepawali or the Festival of Lights, Tihar honors various animals, including crows, dogs, cows, and oxen, with a special day dedicated to each. Homes are illuminated with oil lamps and colorful decorations.

Fagu Purnima – Holi: Celebrated with enthusiasm, Holi is known as Fagu Purnima in Nepal. People play with colored powders, water balloons, and engage in joyous celebrations, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.

Shiva Ratri: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Shiva Ratri is observed with fasting, prayer, and night-long vigils. Devotees visit Shiva temples, and Pashupatinath in Kathmandu hosts a large gathering during this sacred night.

Nag Panchami: Celebrated in July or August, Nag Panchami honors the serpent god. Devotees worship snakes, and images of Nag (serpent) are placed in doorways for protection.

Ghode Jatra: A traditional horse racing festival held in Kathmandu Durbar Square. It also marks the victory over a demon named Tundi and is celebrated with various cultural events.

Indra Jatra: Celebrated in Kathmandu to honor Lord Indra, the god of rain. It includes the Kumari Jatra, where the living goddess Kumari is paraded through the streets.

Machhindra Nath Jatra: An annual chariot procession in Patan, dedicated to the deity Machhindra Nath. The festival aims to bring rainfall for a good harvest.

Yomari Punhi: A Newar festival celebrated with the making and consuming of Yomari, a special rice-flour cake filled with molasses and sesame seeds.

Chhath: Primarily observed by the Terai communities, Chhath is a sun-worshipping festival where devotees offer prayers and offerings to the setting and rising sun.

Saga Dawa: A Buddhist festival observed during the fourth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha.

Teeji: A unique Tibetan Buddhist festival celebrated in Upper Mustang. It involves masked dances, prayers, and rituals, depicting the triumph of good over evil.

Bibaha Panchami: Also known as Vivaha Panchami, it commemorates the celestial marriage of Lord Ram and Sita. Devotees gather at Janakpur to celebrate the divine union.