Some Major Nepalese Hindu Festivals
- Feb 01, 2020
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Nepal is one of the finest countries to visit once in a lifetime. Nepal, formerly a Hindu nation, is inhabited by a majority of Hindu followers. So, Hindu festivals are highly popular and celebrated in Nepal. There are many places, sites and activities which are so attractive, ancient, historical and adventurous to explore in Nepal. We can find various cultures, heritages and social harmonies which are famous throughout the world. The hospitable Nepalese offer the best experience with an amazing homely like hospitality in Nepal. They have feelings of hospitality. Though there are many different castes of people, they don’t take their hands off on helping. Here we are talking about some major Nepalese festivals which are celebrated widely all over the country
Some of the major festivals in Nepal are Dashain, Tihar, Chhath, Bala Chaturdashi, Teej, Maha Shivaratri, Krishna Janmashtami, Buddha Jayanti, Losar and Makar Sankranti.
During the month of Ashwin (late September and early October), the Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain. Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all castes and creed throughout the country. The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon. Throughout Nepal the goddess Durga in all her manifestations is worshipped with the innumerable joy of Dashain, abundant offerings and thousands of animal sacrifices for the ritual bathing, thus drenching the goddess for days in blood. Dashain commemorates a great victory of the gods over the wicked demons.
Tihar- Festival of Lights
It lasts for five days and is marked by worship to different animals such as a crow, the dog and the cow, five various days. The most important day is Laxmi Puja. The most endearing sight of this festival is presented by the illumination of the entire town with rows of tiny flickering lamps on Laxmi Puja. In the evening of this day, the goddess of wealth, Laxmi is worshipped at every household and it is in her welcome that a myriad of lamps is burnt. On the fifth day, sisters show their affections towards their brothers with a Puja and feed them with delectable food. They pray for their brother’s long life to Yama, the Hindu god of death.
This festival is mainly celebrated in eastern Terai by the Maithali – speaking people as well as in the rest of the country. It has been a cultural convergence of both the Maithili – speaking people and people who migrated to Terai from the hill area. Chhath festival is marked for four days. Men and women prepare special dishes made up of special rice and molasses and taste them after an audience to the moon. They take a dip in Gangasagar, the famous lakes of the area. During the four-day-festival, the devotees worship the rising and setting sun. They have a belief that worshipping the sun would help cure diseases like leprosy and bring about longevity and prosperity to their family members. Local people say that the festival has become more important after migrants from the hills also adopted it as their own culture asset.
This simple, festive day takes place in the ancient forest surrounding the temple of Pashupatinath. It is one of the oldest traditions of the valley. Families who have lost a loved one in the last year keep an all-night vigil in the forest, lighting lamps and singing songs. Following a ritual morning bath, people walk through the forest, scattering seventh types of grain along the paths and over the Lingas of Lord Shiva to give merit to their late kinsmen and to cleanse the sins of a mythological man called Bala who had been transformed into a demon.
Teej is the festival celebrated by the married and unmarried women of Nepal. During this festival, Nepalese women worship Lord Shiva for the health and prosperity of their husbands and family. On this day women’s take fasting without a drop of water in their mouth. It is celebrated in the Bhadra month with green and yellow Bengals and dresses by the women.
It is a Hindu festival celebrated every year in the reverence of lord shiva. Maha Shivratri is celebrated on the 13th/14th day in the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of Hindu calendar month march. The festival is celebrated by an offering of bald or golden apple or Bilva/Vilvam leaves, all-day fasting and all night awake to lord Shiva. The Hindu holy site Pashupatinath temple and other Shiva temples are decorated and organized the campfire in front of it.
Fagu Purnima is the lively festival celebrated by Nepalese, which is also known as the festival of colours and festival of love. People play with colours and water throughout the day. Different colours are used by the people and paint each other's face with joy and love. Participants play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, the end of winter, and for many a festive day meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.
It is the annual celebration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna. The devotees of Krishna observe fast for the whole day and night, worshipping him and keeping vigil through the night while listening to his tales and exploits. Many devotees visit Krishna temple and worship for a healthy and prosperous life of their own and family.
Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Purnima festival is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar celebrated on the full moon of Baishakh (April-may). On this day the Buddha was born, attained enlightenment and Nirvana. Buddhist devotees worship and serve the needy people on this day and many students learning the way of Buddhism pass out on this day. It is observed by the Buddhist people around the world.
Losar is the new year celebration of the Buddhist people in Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. People migrated from Tibet to other parts, celebrating this festival as a festival of joy, love and brotherhood. Four types of Losar are in the practice differently according to the caste of the people who follow Buddhism. Here is our blog about Losar festival celebration in Nepal, click on the highlighted words.
Makar Sankranti is one of the biggest festivals of Hindu. Which is celebrated in the almost part of Indiaand Nepal as well as Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Sri Lanka in different names. It is also believed that from this day the Sun’s transition into the zodiac sign of Makara arose on its celestial path & also the change of the season in spring. Til laddoos are the special dish that is eaten on this day.
Nepal is vibrant in terms of cultural celebrations and festivals. The celebration of the festival varies according to ethnicity and religion. Aforementioned are some of the major Hindu festivals in Nepal. Exploring the culture and traditions while enjoying the festivals with the locals is an awe-inspiring experience.
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