4 Festivals To Experience In Nepal Before Upcoming New Year 2074 BS.

Nepal is Hindu kingdom with 33 million Gods. Due to large number of Gods in Hinduism many festivals are celebrated by worshiping different Gods. Currently, Nepal is in the year 2073 BS. Nepalese mainly have three main Gods Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Shiva is supposed to be the God of destroyer and has a huge following. Vishnu is the God of Saviour and his different reincarnations are worshiped all over the year. Brahma is the creator but due to a curse from Lord Shiva, Brahma is not worshiped. There are also many Goddess like Laxmi ( Goddess of wealth), saraswati (Goddess of education), etc worshiped by Hindu. Festival celebrated in Nepal are unique and very interesting. Here are 4 upcoming festivals in Nepal that you can’t miss this 2017.

1. February 24 - Maha Shivaratri

Ahmad Masood / Reuters

Maha Shivaratri is one of the very important festivals for Nepalese. This festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva. On this day, early morning children and men take a rope and tie it on both sides of road to stop people /vehicles and the people who are stopped are supposed to donate some money to stoppers. The stoppers use the money for buying wood to make a fire which is an offering to lord shiva. Many females fast on this day. Married women pray for well being of their husbands and unmarried women pray for husband like Lord Shiva. In every Shiva temple, there will be many people worshiping him. In Kathmandu, Pashupatinath is the main temple for Shiva. Thousands and thousands of people visit this temple in Shivaratri. You can also notice many followers with nothing on except their body covered by ash, long dreads hair, Rudraksha garland and smoking weed. You will be excited seeing people enjoying the day singing and dancing around temple. Devotees offer weed to God Shiva and smoke it as his blessing saying” Jay Shiva Sambho”. Pasupatinath is also a famous Hindu crematorium, where you can witness the death ceremony performed i.e. burning of the dead body and the ashes being thrown in river “Bagmati” where followers also take holy dip. Many people also pray to Shiva linga which is representation of Lord Shiva. Since it is believed that Lord Shiva lives in High mountains, people light up fire in groups to make him warm. During night people smoke weed or cook weed with milk and coconuts.

2. March 12 - Falgu Purnima

Falgu Purnima is festival of colors. This festival bring community together, strengthens the relationship of love, harmony and brotherhood. This color festival is celebrated for devotion of “Parlhad” to God “Vishnu”. As Holika( Aunt of Parlhad) had a boon that she would not be affected with fire, she tried to trick Parlhad to burn him. However, due to deep devotion of Parlhad towards God Vishnu, he was unaffected by fire where Holika got burnt for using her boon for wrong purpose. In Nepal, Falgu (Holy) festival starts a week ago, where people throw water balloons on people. On Falgu Purnima, people through colors on each other. These days, many groups of people decorate their faces with different colors and walk around the city cheering for the festival. People look so colorful and there are junctions like in Basantapur and Patan where thousands of people come from different parts of Nepal to celebrate the festival. There will be people with handful of colors, singing and dancing. Festival looks amazing and you might want to take lots of pictures but be sure that your camera is protected cause people from the roofs might through water on you. In Valley it is celebrated on March 12 where in Terai region people celebrate at 13. The city will be with amazing vibes of color and excitement. If you are visiting any area be sure that people will come to color you and might take happy selfies too!

3. March 27 - Ghode Jatra

This festival is celebrated mostly in Patan and Kathmandu valley. Nepal army and Nepal Police team practice Horse parade for more than a month to show it in “ Tundikhel, Kathmandu”. This day they also perform many different competitions in front of President and other important people. Ghode Jatra is celebrated for victory over a demon called “Tundi” who resides in the field of Tundikhel. As it is said that Tundi was a big terror for the people of Kathmandu, people cheered by dancing on his body with horses after his death. Every year people perform galloping of horses and it is believed that by doing so it keeps the demons spirits under the ground. After Tundikhel, you can also visit “Kathmandu Durbar Square” where you are able to see living goddess of Nepal ( Kumari) and Newari people celebrating Ghode Jatra with different feast and programs.

4. April 5 - Chaite Dashain and Ram Navami

In Nepal, the biggest festival is called “Dashain” which is celebrated for 10 days. On this festival, family get together, visit relatives houses for sharing happiness and to get blessing from elderly. Chaite Dashain has same value as Dashain but just celebrated for two day in April. It is also the last important festival in Nepali Calendar. This festival symbolises the victory over evil. The first day “Chaite Dashain” is celebrated to honor the birth of Lord Ram (who is the 7th re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu) and second day is celebrated for his return to his place with his wife and brother.
The festival is public holiday. People fast and visit Ram temples.In Chaite Dashain, people worship Goddess Durga and offer sacrifie of different animals. You will enjoy the festival more if you become part of Nepali family or couchsurf. In this festival people cook different Nepali meals, play cards, invite relatives and loved one for the feast.

5. April 14 ( Baisakh 1) - Happy New Year 2074 BS.

Nepali people have their own calendar which is totally different from English calendar. Nepali calendar is a solar calendar based on ancient Hindu traditions. Festivals are mostly celebrated according to the phase of the moon. April / 14/ 2017 is the new year for Nepali people.Most of the Millennials also celebrate English New year in English style where as in Nepali New year, people mostly go to temples for a great start of the year. After New year there are many other different and interesting festivals in Nepal. This Nepali 2073, do not miss this exciting Nepali festival.

6. Author: Sujan Pariyar is an engineering student | Founder of inxchan ( Volunteer Nepal ) | Director of Innovative Social Centre | Charity and Travel Adviser | Author.

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