People give primary importance to their festivals in Nepal. Nepal has a festival almost full year. Unique decorations are made for the celebrations of festivals. People love celebrating festivals with their friends, family, and relatives. Every festival has its a unique way of worship.
Most of the events such as marriage ceremony, birthday party and various festivals in Nepal are celebrated together with music, dance, and songs. Every festival in Nepal is filled with fun, joy and cultural events. Here are the 14 most celebrated major best festivals in Nepal.
Dashain festival is the most widely celebrated best Hindu festival of Nepal. The celebrations last up to 15 days. Dashain festival is the time of family, friends, and relatives reunion, exchange of blessings and enjoy the holiday.
People worship nine avatars of goddess Durga. From a first day Ghatasthapana to 7th day Phool Pati, 8th-day Mahaastami, 9th-day Nawami, 10th day Vijaya Dashami and 15th day Purnima Dashain will be celebrated. Among which 10th day Vijaya Dashami is considered as the main day to celebrate. Those who are busier they also took a holiday for this at least one day to celebrate Dashain.
Nepalese Hindu people around the world will celebrate Dashain festival no matter where they are. During Dashain, men and women visit their relatives, and elder’s to seek tika, Jamara, and blessings. During Dashain, there will be a public holiday in Nepal. School, colleges will remain closed for 15 days for full festivals to enjoy.
Children and also younger peoples buy new clothes, eat delicious foods especially meat during Dashain in Nepal. Kite flying is also one of the main events of this festival.
Most of the foreigners visit Nepal in the Autumn season of Nepal for trekking in the Himalayas. Autumn is considered as the favourable and best time to visit Nepal its also because of being the months of most celebrated festivals of Nepal such as Dashain and Tihar.
Tihar festival is known as the shining festival of Nepal, the festival of lights and color in Nepal. Many candles and lanterns are lit inside and in front of houses. Tihar Festival is the second biggest festival in Nepal after Dashain. After around a month of Dashain Tihar festival will be celebrated.
Tihar festival in Nepal is a beautiful celebration of five days. People worship goddess Lakshmi with joy and enthusiasm. They also worship cows, crows, and dogs and decorate houses and temples with Diyas, electric lights, colorful paper crafts, etc. Kids come to visit neighbors in small groups and sing Tihar songs also called “Dheusire” for blessings, and enjoy with friends.
Laxmi Puja, Gai Tihar, Kukur Tihar, Kag Tihar, Bhai Tika are the days of Tihar festival in Nepal. Among which Bhai Tika is the main day to celebrate. Brothers and sisters accept tika and blessing from each other.
During Tihar festival, tika is not same as in Dashain, in Tihar seven different colors tika will use. And sisters give brothers some foods, clothes, and brothers also do the same or give money, clothes, etc. Brothers and sisters honor each other, and the sisters pray to Yama(the god of death), for their brother’s long life, and progress in life.
Teej is the festival celebrated by Hindu women in August or September. Both married and unmarried women celebrate this festival by worshipping Lord Shiva. This festival is celebrated for three days through prayer, songs, and dance.
Women are dressed in red saree, red tika on their head, and various ornaments. In Teej, women sit for 24-hour prolonged fasting, without any food and even without drink water to ask for special blessings by Lord Shiva, to get a good husband in their life, and to pray for his long life, success, and prosperity.
4. Maghe Sankranti
Maghe Sankranti is a festival celebrated in January. It is also known as Makar Sankranti. It is celebrated in Nepal as the beginning of the Nepali month Magh. People take a holy bath on this festival and is celebrated in all over Nepal. People will eat sweet (Ladoo), Boil Potato, sweet potato, Yam, etc.
The first day of the month Magh is also celebrated in the Terai region of Nepal by the Tharu community as their New Year also called Maghi Pava.
5. Gai Jatra
Gai Jatra is a festival of cows. It is mostly celebrated in Kathmandu valley by local Newar community. This is one of the unique festivals celebrated in Nepal. It is dedicated to diminishing the sadness from the death of family members. In this festival, kids get dressed as cows and take part in cultural events.
Newari Peoples show their cultural dances, sings, and do fun on the streets of Kathmandu Valley. However, there are other Jatra also in Nepal such as Indra Jatra, Bhaktapur Bisket Jatra, etc. Each Jatra has their way of celebration.
Lhosar means new year. The Sherpa community mostly celebrates Losar Festival. Losar is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in Nepal on different days. The new year festival is celebrated by dance, song and by exchanging gifts. During this period the major Buddhist monasteries and stupas like Swayambhunath, Boudhanath are decorated with prayer flags. Devotees pray together to cook exceptional food. People consume changkol, a local Tibetan drink.
Buddhist religion follower community like Tamang, Sherpa, Gurung, Thakali will mostly celebrate Loshar festival in Nepal. The three major popular Losar are Sonam Losar, Tamu Losar & Gyalpo Losar.
7. Janai Purnima
Janai Purnima is a festival of love and purity. People celebrate this festival in the Nepali month of Shravan. On this occasion, people share gifts and greetings. Kwati is one of the main dishes prepared for this festival to eat and celebrate the festival. Sisters tie the sacred thread to their brothers and pray for good health in India during this festival.
But in Nepal people tie a sacred thread on their hand from their elders especially from their family priest. And young male guys will tie a holy ribbon on their body.
8. Buddha Jayanti
Buddha Jayanti is a Buddhist national festival of Nepal. There will be no public holiday for all, but Buddhist religion people will get a leave on this day. On the full moon day which is in May Buddhists will celebrate Buddha Jayanti in Nepal.
It is believed that Buddha was born in Nepal on this day hence Buddhists from all over the world visit Nepal to celebrate this festival. Buddhist temples like Swyambhunath, Boudhanath and other temples all over Nepal are decorated with butter lamps on this day.
Holi is the festival of colors which is celebrated every year in Nepal. This festival is celebrated for two days — especially one day in the hilly region of Nepal and another next day in Terai region of Nepal.
To make you more clear famous city like Kathmandu will celebrate Holi on the first day, and another renowned city of Nepal Chitwan will celebrate this festival on the next day.
People prepare for this festival by decorating their face in different colors and they play with other peoples by water gun and exchanging colors on their face. People gather together on famous places will sing Hindi, English, Nepali song with DJ and dance along with colors.
Mahashivaratri is one of the major celebrated Hindu festivals of Nepal. This festival is celebrated by worshipping Lord Shiva. All the monks gather at various Shiva temples and worship. Temples are decorated with lamps and people fast on this day.
Idols are washed with Holy water. All the devotees of Nepal and India will visit the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu. Devotees chant ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ all night. And there will be a huge crowd and celebration on this day.
11. Chhat Prava
This festival is celebrated all over Nepal in March or April for four days. People take a ritual bath in the river. Devotees fast on the first day of the festival and worship sun and offer prayers. They lit lamps and sing. People gather in the evening to perform cultural activities. Mainly this festival will be celebrated in the Terai region of Nepal and India.
Tiji is a festival celebrated for almost three days in Nepal. This festival usually takes place in May. It’s a purification festival that takes place at the beginning of every harvest year. People perform ritual dances during this festival. Tiji is celebrated for world Peace.
Tiji festival will be celebrated in Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang. Trekkers plan a trip to Upper Mustang trek during this festival time to witness the beauty of Tibetan people of Nepal their cultural activities and rituals.
13. Shree Krishna Janmashtami
Krishna Janmashtami is usually celebrated in August. People worship Lord Krishna as it is believed that he was born on this day. Krishna Janmashtami includes traditional singing and dancing. Many devotees fast and worship Lord Krishna. Temples are lit with lamps as devotees offer flowers and food to Lord Krishna.
14. Chaite Dashain
Chait Dashain or small Dashain is the famous religious festival celebrated in Nepal. It is celebrated in the last month of the Nepali year Chaitra. Devotees fast on this day and visit temples to devote gods. They also worship goddess Durga. At Chaite Dashain people will eat delicious foods and enjoy with their family, friends, and relatives.
Dashain festival is the most celebrated festival in Nepal. After which Tihar is considered as the second best festival in Nepal. Among which Holi festival is the best festivals for foreigners to enjoy in Nepal.
Most of the people in Nepal are Hindu. But that doesn’t mean Nepalese won’t celebrate other religious festivals. From years ago in Nepal’s history, there was no war and bad things happen in the name of religion. Here in Nepal, every religion celebrates each other’s festivals. Festivals like Christmas, Ramadan, also will be celebrated in Nepal with joy and happiness.