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नेपाली पात्रो > Information > Festivals celebrated in Nepal

Festivals celebrated in Nepal

By Nepali Patro (Sudan Bhattarai Upadhyaya) in Information .
October 8, 2021

Major Religious and Cultural Festivals celebrated in Nepal.  The “Blog section” is an important section inside various services within the Nepali Patro app, including Dates, Horoscopes, Consultations, and News. And, within that section, there are various festival blogs in Nepali and English. This includes the important Festivals celebrated by Nepalese in and outside Nepal. Every major religious and cultural festival celebrated in Nepal has a very important and prominent place. They have been giving important information about festivals and other occasions not only to every Nepalese inside the country but also to those outside the country in the current changing context. 

 Carrying the slogan of unity in diversity, Nepal is inhabited by people of different castes, languages, ​​and religions. And people of all these castes, languages, ​​and religions are all Nepalese and all have their own customs as well as living styles. Major Religious and Cultural Festivals celebrated in Nepal. 

According to us at Nepali Patro, every Nepali living in Nepal from east to west, from the mountains to the plains of the Terai, whether they are Sanatan (Hindu) or Christian, Islam (Shia, Sunni, Sufi), whether communities as Raute or Chepang to Buddhists (Mahayana, Bajrayana, Shravakayana), all the castes, religions, languages, dresses within the various Nepali communities are known and accepted as “Nepali”.

For this same reason, in a nutshell, we at Nepali Patro include festivals of all religions, languages, ​​or costumes in its blog. We have been reminding not only Nepalese living inside but outside the country as well to celebrate some festival each and every other day. By doing so we are trying to convey the truth and facts about these festivals through these blogs.

Today again, keeping in mind the convenience of all Nepali Patro users belonging to different religions not only in the country but also abroad, and to all the new generation to be informed about these festivals with this article. For those who want to know more about Nepali festivals, do some research on them, or for those who just want to celebrate and preserve their culture while having fun, we have come up with a way to present information about all the festivals celebrated in Nepal as a basic article or cornerstone blog related to all of them. Nepali Patro has prepared this article using all the information it has. If for some reason any/some important Nepali festivals have been missed, we will certainly include them in the days to come. 

In order to facilitate the major religious and cultural festivals celebrated in Nepal, the Nepali Patro uses the month and date of Bikram Sambat, or in cases, it is known from other dates/calendars as well. 

Major religious and cultural festivals celebrated in Nepal: 

Baisak/Baisakh 

During the first month of Baisakh on the 1st day, Nepali New Year is celebrated in Nepal. In Nepal, Bikram Samvat is considered the universal, legal, and national Samvat. The national calendar of Nepal is also prepared on the basis of this Samvat. Every year, the new Samvat ending on Chaitra begins in the month of Baisakh. Bikram/Vikram Samvat is the most scientific Samvat in the world based on the motion and nature of the sun.

Matatirtha Ausi also can be referred to as Mothers’ Day. This day falls on the Baisakh Krishna Paksha Amavasya (Ausi tithi) date. Also known as Matrisamman Day (Mothers’ Day), this is the day to look at the face of the mother who gave birth to you and especially to honor one’s Mother. Therefore, those who have their mother alive should pay her homage on this day and pay gratitude by giving her favorite sweets, clothes, and other gifts. On the other hand, those who do not have her alive today should go to various shrines and pay their respects to them. 

Akshay Tritiya is the Baisakh Shukla Paksha Tritiya date. The third date (day) of Baishakh Shukla Paksha is called Akshay Tritiya in the scriptures. Akshaya means never decaying, that is, always lasting. As per scriptures, every good deed done on this day, such as chanting, penance, worship, recitation, sacrifice, ritual, Yagya (fire worship), Ganga pilgrimage, pitri tarpan, etc., all are inexhaustible, that is, even if a little is done, it is rewarded as a lot.

Buddha Jayanti falls on Baisakh Shukla Paksha Purnima. The world is full of suffering. The root cause of suffering is craving. Craving can be abandoned. Only by giving up craving can one get rid of sorrow and attain Nirvana, that is, peace. This day is the birth anniversary of Lord Gautam Buddha, the great hero of world peace who preached such great knowledge to the world. This holy date of Mahatma Buddha’s tri-coincidence i.e. birth, enlightenment, and Mahaparinirvana is on the Baisakh Shukla Paksha Purnima date.

Ubhauli Festival is celebrated almost a week from Baisakh Shukla Paksha Purnima day. Ubhauli Parva/celebration is a festival celebrated by nature worshipers or in other words earth worshipers, i.e. various castes within the Kirant community of Nepal. This celebration is also known as the “Sakela festival”. From the day of Baisakh Shukla Paksha Purnima (Buddha Purnima) this festival, or Ubhauli festival is celebrated for a week by organizing various programs as the sign of changing seasons.

The chariot procession also known as Lalitpur Matsyendranath Rathyatra is a Rathyatra having a history of thousands of years, according to the Nepali calendar. This procession starts from the day of Baisakh Shukla Paksha Pratipada and finishes on Ashadh Shukla Paksha Chaturthi lasting for about two months. Therefore Rathyatra of Rato Matsyendranath is one of the longest celebrated festivals in Lalitpur within the Newar community among various festivals celebrated annually in our country Nepal. 

Narasimha Jayanti falls on the Baisakh Shukla Paksha Chaturdashi date. The incarnation of Lord Narasimha (Nrusinha Jayanti) took place on the evening of Chaturdashi in the month of Baisakh. God took the incarnation of Narasimha and protected bhakta Prahlad. Since the fast of Lord Narasimha is a regular (Nitya) one, all human communities should take this fast.

Mohini Ekadashi is Baishakh Shukla Paksha Ekadashi (eleventh day). Baishakh Shukla Pakchya Ekadashi is known as Mohini Ekadashi. Bond (Moha) is considered one of the causes of sin in the scriptures. Therefore, Mohini Ekadashi’s vow can be taken as a means of attaining nearness to God while being free from the bonds. 

Shri Parshu Ram Jayanti falls on Baisakh Shukla Paksha Tritiya. In the Treta era, Lord Vishnu/Bishnu incarnated as Parsu Ram to establish religion by slaying tyrannical kings and Kshatriyas. Lord Parshu Ram was born as the fifth son of Renuka, as the son to King Prasenjit, and Jamadagni, a Bhrigu Brahmin sage, on the evening of the third day of Baisakh Shukla Paksha. Therefore, the birth anniversary of Lord Parshu Ram (Parshu Ram Jayanti) is celebrated every year on the third day of Baisakh Shukla Paksha during the sunset.

Bhoto Jatra is celebrated at the end of Matsyendranath Rathyatra. After the starting of Lalitpur Matsyendranath Rathyatra on Baisakh Shukla Pratipada, Bhoto Jatra is performed on the fourth day of the month. On this fourth day after the chariot reaches Jawalakhel at the end of the ritual, it is customary to show Bhoto Jatra on Asar Shukla Chaturthi or an auspicious moment.

Jestha/Jeth

Kumar Shashthi and Sithi Nakha: According to mythology, Kumar Kartikeya, the eldest son of Lord Shankar, was born on the 6th day of Jeshtha Shukla Paksha. According to the Puranas, Swami Kartikeya, seated on a peacock, killed Tarakasur and saved the gods from his tyranny.

Apara Ekadashi: Apara Ekadashi is the name of the Ekadashi that falls on the Krishna Pakchya of the month of Jestha. For the followers of the Sanatan Vedic religion, Ekadashi fast has great glory. There are 24 Ekadashis throughout the year. The number of Ekadashi reaches twenty-six as two more are added to a month during Adhik Maas. There is a mythological context of the Mahabharata period, where Lord Krishna calms the curiosity of Maharaja (King) Yudhisthira, explaining the importance of all Ekadashi. More stories here.

Nirjala Ekadashi: The Ekadashi date of the Jestha Shukla Paksha is called Nirjala Ekadashi. As Ekadashi is the dearest date of Lord Shrihari, Lord Narayan is worshiped on this day. There is a rule of bathing in the Ganges or other sacred river on Nirjala Ekadashi, and to fast avoid even the water. On this day, by fasting completely and donating a jug full of water/sorbet to a righteous Brahmin, the donor attains the nearness to Lord Sri Hari. More story here

Asar/Ashad  

Hari Shayani Ekadashi: The Ekadashi of Asar Shukla Pakchya is called Hari Shayani Ekadashi. ‘Hari’ means Lord Vishnu. ‘Sayan’ means to sleep. On the Ekadashi date of Asar Shukla Paksha, Lord Hari travels to Kshirsagar and sleeps on his Sheshnag, therefore this day is called Hari Shayani Ekadashi.

Tulasi (Basil) planting is also done on the day of Hari Shayani Ekadashi/Dev Shayani Ekadashi. This day is called Hari Shayani Ekadashi as it is Shri Hari’s (Lord Bishnu) time to sleep. This same day is also known as the day of planting Tulasi. On this same day, Hindus fast and worship Lord Hari.   

Guru Purnima falling on Asar Shukla Paksha Purnima. Guru Purnima is one of the major days of Nepali Sanatan Dharma followers. This is the day to worship, correspondence, SMS, telephone, your first teacher (parents), Guru who gives Gayatri Mantra, the teacher who gave Diksha Mantra, the Guru who gave correct teachings of this world and the hereafter which includes Vedadi Shastra reading and all the teachers of the school-university where one has studied. 

Yogini Ekadashi is the Ekadashi date of Ashadh Krishna Paksha. ‘Yoga’ means to add, combine, or unify. This date is called ‘Yogini Ekadashi‘ as it is the holiest day to liberate the human mind and all the senses i.e enemies as lust and to serve the god.  

Shrawan 

Shrawan Putrada Ekadashi: The Ekadashi of Shrawan Shukla Paksha is called Shrawan Putrada Ekadashi. The adored deity of this Ekadashi is Lord Narayana. There is a mythological context in which Lord Krishna shows the importance of this Ekadashi by erasing the curiosity of King Yudhisthira. Even just listening to the greatness of this Ekadashi one attains a virtue as Vajpayee Yagya. More story here

Shravan Shukla Ashtami Tithi is also known as Yala Pancha Daan Parva.  According to legend, Pancha Daan has been celebrated in Nepal since 512 Nepal Sambat. This festival is celebrated in the month of Gunla (Gunla festival) i.e. month of Shrawan on the day of Shravan Shukla Ashtami in Patan.  During the festival, Buddhists take out the five statues of Dipankar Buddha from the monastery and circulate them around the city.

Nag Panchami is celebrated on the Panchami (fifth) date of Shravan Shukla Paksha. This celebration is celebrated by worshiping the Nagas. On this day, snakes are worshiped in every house with milk, curd, rice, flowers, bermudagrass, and a coin. They all are stuck in the picture of the Nagas and pasted on the door sill of the house with the help of cow dung. 

Kalki Jayanti is celebrated every year on the sixth day of the month of Shravan. As mentioned in the Hindu Sanatan Dharma Shastra (scripture) and Puranas, Lord Sri Hari-Vishnu, the Lord of the universe, takes his tenth incarnation i.e Kalki Jayanti, to establish Truth and justice in the world.

Gathamunga Charhe/Gathamang is a festival celebrated every year on the 14th day of Shravan Krishna Paksha. In Nepal Bhasa, this day is called Gathamug Chare. In terms of meaning, ‘Ga’ means house, ‘tha’ means pillar, and ‘mug’ means strong. Chaturdashi is called ‘Chare’ in Newari. On this day, the Newar community in the Kathmandu Valley and abroad cleans the house of ghosts, phantoms, vampires, demons, witches, and flies, etc.   

Guriya festival: Guriya festival is a festival of the Tharu community which falls on the Panchami (fifth) date of Shravan Shukla Paksha which is also the day of Naag Panchami. Gurahi/Guriya festival is celebrated in different parts of Nepal, including the places where the Tharu community of the Tarai resides. This community is also known as the folk caste of Nepal. 

Janai Purnima is also known as Rishi Tarpani. This date is on the full moon day of Shravan Shukla Paksha which is also known as Shrawani Purnima/Janai Purnima. On this day, the Vedic Sanatan Dharma followers perform Shrawani Karma i.e. Gana snan, Rishipujan, Rishi Tharpanam, Shrawan Karma, Utsitarpana, Shraddha, Smriti, etc. 

Gunla festival: Every year from the date of Shravan Shukla Pratipada to Bhadra Shukla Pratipada, the Buddhist Newar community celebrates the Gunla festival. This month-long time is taken as an opportunity to accumulate Dhamma (religion). In this festival, the Buddhists of the three communities (Hinayana, Mahayana, and Bajrayana/Vajrayana) go around the Buddhist stupas, chaityas, and monasteries to show their devotion to Lord Buddha.

Bhadra

Kushe Ausi day can also be defined as Fathers Day. This falls on the Bhadra Krishna Paksha aunsi (Amavasya) tithi. Parents are called living and real gods. In Dharmashastra, parents are respected more than all other respected people. After all, it is said a father is born in the form of a son. ‘आत्मा वै पुत्रः‘ 

Hartalika Teej is the third day of the month of Bhadra. ‘Harit’ means abducted and ‘Alika’ means friend. According to the mythology, the day of Bhadra Shukla Tritiya is called Haritalika because Parvati, the daughter of the Himalaya, was abducted and hidden by her friends to save her from the arranged marriage with Lord Vishnu.

Rishi Panchami: The Panchami date of Bhadra Shukla Pakchya is called Rishi Panchami as Saptarishi (seven sages) are worshiped on this date. Since it is called ‘पूजाव्रतेषु सर्वेषु मध्याह्नव्यापिनी तिथि’ the time from 10 pm to around 1 pm should be understood as noon of this day.

Daar Khane Din: According to the Hindu calendar, Bhadra Shukla Paksha Dwitiya, a day before the main day or celebration of Haritalika Teej, the great festival of Hindu women, it is customary to prepare sweets, rice pudding, and fruits, etc., especially those made from milk, and perform dancing and songs. 

Biruda Panchami and Gaura festival is celebrated from the fifth day of Bhadra till Krishna Ashtami (Durvashtami). Biruda Panchami and Gaura festivals are one of the countless festivals in the western or in the far western region of Nepal. In these regions, the Gaura festival has a place as an important festival after Bada Dashain.

Ropai Jatra known as Sinya Jya or Chopai Jatra is a festival celebrated from Bhadra Shukla Paksha Dwitiya to Krishna Ashtami date. The celebration of Ropai Jatra, the “Sina Jya Jatra” of the Nepal Bhasa of Newari community, and the “Chopai Jatra” of Jumla district in the Midwest and Far West of Nepal is celebrated all over the country. This celebration starts on the day of Bhadra Krishna Paksha Dwitiya every year and lasts for a week ending on Krishna Janmashtami

Indra Jatra is a Rathyatra that begins on Bhadra Shukla Paksha Dwadasi (“Yanlathwa” of the Nepal Bhasa calendar) and ends on the Chauthi (fourth day). Including Kathmandu (Ye) and Lalitpur, with Bhaktapur, Dhulikhel, Dolakha, Indra Jatra is traditionally celebrated by the Newar community and is also known as Yeya Punhi.

Krishna Janmashtami day on the Bhadra Krishna Paksha Ashtami Tithi (Durvashtami) is also popularly known as the birthday of Lord Krishna.  The birth of Lord Krishna took place at the end of Dwapar Yuga (era) at midnight of Bhadra Krishna Paksha Ashtami Tithi in Mathura city jail. 

Gai Jatra is celebrated on the day of Bhadra Krishna Paksha Pratipada, especially in the Newar community. There is a special tradition of celebrating Gai Jatra to honor and liberate the deceased persons within a year. Every year on the day after Janai Purnima, i.e. from Bhadra Krishna Paksha Pratipada to Ashtami Gai Jatra is celebrated. 

Aja Ekadashi is the Ekadashi date on the Krishna Pakchya of the month of Bhadra. The glory of this date i.e Aja Ekadashi is told to Lord Yudhisthir by Lord Krishna himself at the end of Dwapar Yuga. Ekadashi is the most beloved date of Lord Vishnu. Therefore, the special worship of Lord Rishikesh Narayan is performed on every Ekadashi date throughout the year. Read more here. 

Chhonam (Nwagi) Festival falls on 22  of the month of Bhadra. This important day of the Chonam (Nwagi) festival is one of the main festivals of the Chepang tribe. Chepang is one of the 59 indigenous tribes listed by the Government of Nepal. The Chepangs are also known as nature worshipers and have 22 genealogies, thus it is celebrated on Bhadra 22. This festival is also a festival celebrated by the people of the Karnali region. 

Bhadra Shukla Paksha Chaturthi Tithi is known as Mangal Chauthi. According to Ganesh Puran, Lord Ganesh was born on the 4th day of the Shukla Paksha in the month of Bhadra. Therefore, every year on Bhadra Shukla Chaturthi, his birth anniversary is celebrated. Since Lord Ganesha appeared as the son of Parvati on Chaturthi Tithi, Lord Ganesh is the lord of that date. 

Chatha Parva is celebrated especially by the Newar community on the fourth day of the month of Bhadra. The Newar Community cleans the house in the morning to make it pure. After cleaning the house, for the evening puja, there is a task of bringing in the necessary materials for the puja of Chatha Parva, including the picture of Lord Ganesh.

Aswin/Asoj

Kamika Ekadashi is the name of Krishna Paksha Ekadashi of the month of Shrawan. Like every Ekadashi, the Lord of this day is also Lord Narayana. There is a mythological context in which Lord Krishna showed the importance of this Ekadashi by erasing the curiosity of King Yudhisthira regarding Kamika Ekadashi

Biswakarma Puja or the worship of Lord Bishwakarma/Viswakarma is celebrated on the 1st of Asoj, at the end of the rainy season and the beginning of autumn. According to astrology, Suryadev (Sun) enters Virgo (Kanya) on this day. The importance of Lord Vishwakarma is described in the Rig Veda by writing 11 verses.  

Pitri Paksha and Mahalaya Shraddha: Krishna Paksha of the month of Ashwin is called Pitri Paksha or Mahalaya Paksha. In this pakchya, for-fathers come to the door of their surviving children or shraddha-doer. 

Jitia Parwa is celebrated from Ashwin Krishna Paksha Saptami till Navami for three days. The fast taken for the longevity of the child, especially by the women is known as the Jitia Pawani festival. Jitia Pawani festival is celebrated on the eighth day of Ashwin Krishna Paksha in various districts of Nepal from Chitwan to Jhapa.  

Ghatasthapana is one of the main days of Dashain Festivals. On the day of Ashwin Shukla Paksha Pratipada Ghatasthapana is done as Dashain enters the Houses of Nepalese. Bada Dashain is an important festival celebrated during the month of Ashwin every year. When the festival commences, the houses are cleaned and specially decorated. On the Pratipada date of Ashwin Shukla Paksha, by invoking Nawa Durga, Ghatasthapana is done. 

Phulpati, another important day falls on Ashwin Shukla Paksha Saptami tithi (date). According to the Hindu scriptures and customs, the day of Ashwin Shukla Paksha Saptami Tithi of the Nepali calendar is called Phulpati in the local folk language, and sometimes it is also called Maha Saptami. On this day, it is customary for all Nepalese to bring flowers as Bada Dashain worship material in their houses. Like other days of Bada Dashain, the day of Phoolpati i.e. Maha Saptami also has special significance. 

Maha Navami or Ashwin Shukla Paksha Navami on the ninth day of Navratri is called Maha Navami among Nepalese. On this day, worship of Siddhidatri Devi and Mother Maha Lakshmi, an incarnation of Navdurga, is performed. The weapons kept secretly in Kalaratri are also worshipped in the morning as known as Biswakarma Puja

Dashain (National Festival Bada Dashain): Dashain or Bada Dashain is the great festival of Hindus which lasts for 10 days from Ashwin Shukla Paksha Pratipada to Dashmi Tithi as the victory of truth over untruth. On the occasion of Bada Dashain, various forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped and adored at home and in various Shakti Peethas for nine consecutive days. Similarly, on the seventh day, an important program is held to bring flowers (Phulpati) from Gorkha to Dashain Ghar in Basantapur, Kathmandu. On the day of Vijaya Dashami, it is a custom to offer jamara with red tika as an offering of Goddess Bhagwati Navdurga Bhavani to celebrate the auspicious occasion of her victory over demon Mahisasur and Dashrath Nandan Shri Ram over Ravana.

On the occasion of of Bada Dashain among its various activities, the blessing given to men during Tika and Jamara is given below:

 

आयू द्रोण सुते, श्रृयं दशरथे शत्रुक्षयं राधवे

ऐश्वर्य नहुषे, गतिश्च पवने, मानं च दूर्योधने ।।

सौर्य शान्तनवे, बलं हलधरे सत्यं च कुन्ती सुते

विज्ञानं विदुरे भवतु भवतां कीर्तिश्च नारायणे ।।

Similarly, the blessings given to women is as follows:

 

जयन्ती मङ्गलाकाली,

भद्रकाली कपालिनी।

दुर्गा क्षमा शिवाधात्री,

स्वाहा स्वधा नमोस्स्तुते।

Kartik

Kaag Tihar is the first and special day of the festival of Tihar (Dwadsi tithi of Kartik Krishna Pakchya). According to the classical law of Hinduism, the crow is considered as the messenger of the king of death, Yamaraj. Therefore, this morning, the Kaag Tihar is celebrated by feeding the crow with sweet and savory food cooked at home. Yamaraj knows all the news of the earth through the crow. There is a belief that worshipping a crow on this day will send good news to the king of death. According to common folklore and beliefs, still prevalent today there is a custom of saying “speak well, speak well” to it when it sits and caws at the house. 

Kukur Tihar: Kartik Krishna Pakchya Trayodashi is the day known as Kukur Tihar which simply can be understood as the Dog Festival as well. Since dogs are considered as obedient and reliable pets, their worship is practiced not only in Nepal but also in some foreign countries in recent days. According to mythology and religious beliefs, two dogs are believed to be the gatekeepers of Yamaraj. These dogs named Shyam and Sabal will leave the road when people reach Yamlok, thus it is customary to celebrate Kukur Tihar on this day. Similarly, according to another classical and religious belief, Dharmaraj Yudhisthir was also accompanied by a dog on his journey to heaven.

Tihar/Yam Panchak is the second great festival of Hindus. It is celebrated for five days from the Trayodashi tithi of Kartik Krishna Paksha. In this festival of five days starting from Kaag Tihar followed by Kukur Tihar, Lakshmi Puja, Gobardhan Puja are performed and it is concluded by worshiping Bhai Tika/Kija Puja on the last day. The two consecutive days of Gai Tihar (Lakshmi Puja) and Goru Tihar (Gobardhan Puja) kids enjoy Bhailo and Deusi songs. 

Laxmi Puja celebration falls on the third day of Yama Panchak (Kartik Krishna Pakchya Ausi) when the night becomes dark and oil lamps are used to dispel this darkness. In the morning, Cows are worshipped as Goddess Laxmi in the houses with a belief that the light of consciousness will remove the darkness present in us. According to astrological belief, it is believed that worshiping Lakshmi in this time brings success and wealth. 

The day of Gai Tihar (Cow worship) is performed on the day of Ausi of Kartik Krishna Paksha. Considering the cow as the symbol of Mother Laxmi, it is worshiped in the morning with rice bread, fruits, and garlands of flowers. It is believed that worshiping a cow on the day of Laxmi Puja will bring happiness and prosperity as well as wealth.

Goru Puja/Gobardhan Puja: Since Kartik Shukla Paksha Pratipada is the day when Lord Krishna worshiped Govardhan Parbat, it is still a custom to worship it. People construct Govardhan Parbat in their houses and adorn it with flags and flowers. As per the scripture also sports or processions with cows and bulls should be organized on this day. 

Bhai Tika (Kija Puja) is a special day of Kartik Shukla Paksha Dwitiya. According to a legend, the king of death, Yamaraj, once came to stay at the invitation of his sister Yamuna. The king of death Yamaraj lived in Yamlok while his sister Yamuna lived on earth. Thus, these 5 days of the festival are also called “Yama Panchak” in connection with the incident where sister Yamuna served her brother Yamaraj. On the day of Bhai Tika, sister Yamuna worshiped her brother and gave him gifts, while brother Yamaraj happily blessed her.

Mha: Puja is another main event on Kartik Shukla Paksha Pratipada date. Each year on the Kartik Shukla Pakchya Pratipada the people of Newar communities of Nepal, celebrate the Mha: Puja. This community remembers the national icon Shankdhar Sakhwa releasing loans of the poor people in the year 880 AD and started the Nepal Sambat. This festival of special cultural significance celebrated in Newari is called Nhu: Daya Bhintuna as well.

Nepal Sambat (Nhu: Daya Bhintuna) is Kartik Shukla Pratipada date as per the lunar calendar. Nepal Samvat starts from this day. Historical Nepal Sambat starts from this day which is Kartik Shukla Paksha tithi. This is a lunar calendar. It has a year of 354 days. Read more here.  

Chhath festival: Kartik Shukla Paksha Panchami and Shashthi is Chhath Parwa. The word ‘Chhath’ has come into vogue after some part of the original Sanskrit word ‘Pratiharashsthi’ has deviated. The Chhath festival is celebrated every year on the days of Kartik Shukla Panchami and Shashthi. In this festival, the sun god is especially worshiped along with Goddess Shastika.

Guru Nanak Jayanti falls on Kartik Shukla Paksha Purnima. Every year on the day of Kartik Shukla-Purnima, Guru Nanak Dev, the founder and promoter of Sikhism in the world is remembered around the world. This day is celebrated as Guru Nanak Jayanti with great faith and devotion. 

Haribodhini Ekadashi is the Ekadashi date of Kartik Shukla Paksha. ‘Hari’ means Lord Vishnu, while the word ‘Bodhini’ means to wake up from sleep. As mentioned in the Puranas and Dharmashastras, Lord Sri Hari rests on the bed of Sheshnag in the ocean of milk for four months from Ashadh Shukla Ekadashi, turns right on Bhadra Shukla Ekadashi, and wakes up on this day. Read more here

Fagunanand Jayanti is celebrated on 25th of Kartik. Falgunand Lingdale is the name of a religious Kirat leader known in history by the nickname of Mahaguru. He was the great leader of the Kirats of the Eastern Limbuwan region of Nepal. Thus, Fagunananda Jayanti is celebrated every Kartik 25 as the birth anniversary of this same great man. 

Paush

Poush Shukla Putrada Ekadashi: Poush Shukla Putrada Ekadashi is the name of the Ekadashi in the month of Poush during Sukla Pakchya. Read more about this Ekadashi by clicking here.

Safala Ekadashi is the Ekadashi date of Krishna Paksha in the month of Poush. There is a mythological context from the Mahabharata period, where Lord Krishna calms down the curiosity of Maharaj Yudhisthira explaining the importance of Safala Ekadashi. Read more here.   

Madhab-Narayan Festival: Madhab-Narayan Festival is a month-long festival dedicated to Lord Madhav Narayan or Lord Vishnu. Celebrated for a month, Madhav Narayan festival begins on the full moon day of the month of Poush, also called “Pohela” according to the Nepal Sambat calendar ending on the full moon day of the month of Magh.

Shree Swasthani Brat (Fast) is the fast of Nepali women in Nepal and scattered elsewhere. This festival is observed from Poush Shukla Purnima till Magh Shukla Purnima. According to the mythological context, Nepal is considered as the playground of Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya and she is worshiped for a month in the name of Swasthani Devi here. 

Tamu Lhosar is a great festival of the Gurung community. There are four Losar/Lhosar of four sects including Tamu, Tol, Sonam, and Gyalpo celebrated from the month of Paush to Phagun. Tamu Lhosar is celebrated by the Gurung community of Nepal and India, including those scattered around the world. Lhosar is the new year. 

Magh

Bala Chaturdashi is observed on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of the month of Magh as per the Hindu lunar calendar. 

The Ekadashi date of Magh Shukla Paksh is called Bhima Ekadashi. In a scripture called Bratraj, this Ekadashi is also known as Jaya Ekadashi.  As per Bhavisyottar Puran in a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Yudhisthira, Magh Shukla Ekadashi is called Jaya Ekadashi. 

Saraswati Puja/Shri Panchami is a special day to worship the Goddess of Knowledge Saraswati. It is observed on the Panchami date of Magh Shukla Paksha. 

The Ekadashi date of Magh Krishna Paksha is called ‘Shattila Ekadashi’. There is a mythological context in which Lord Krishna shows the importance of this Ekadashi by erasing Arjuna’s curiosity. The fasting legislation of Shattila Ekadashi can be obtained in the context of the sage Pulastya telling Dalbhya about the means of liberation from the great sins in the mortal world and the torment of hell. More story here. 

Sonam Lhosar celebrated in Magh Shukla Pratipada is the most important and biggest festival of the Tamang community. This festival is celebrated with great faith and joy by the Tamang community all over the world, including those living outside of Nepal as well. 

Maghi Parwa, the great festival of Tharu community falls on the day of Maghe Sankranti i.e. Magh 1. This is a religious and cultural festival which gives an important opportunity for the Tharu society to make annual plans. Maghi is also considered as the New Year.  

Maghe Sankranti/ Makar Sankranti: The first day of the month of Magh i.e. Magh 1 is the day of Maghe Sankranti celebration. The process of the Sun moving (transitioning) from one sign to the other is called Sankranti. According to astrology, the time when the Sun enters Capricorn (Makar) from Sagittarius (Dhanu) is called Maghe Sankranti. 

Dhanya Purnima is popularly known as Yomari Purnima/Yomari Puni also. Yomari Puni is a major festival celebrated on the day of Magh Shukla Purnima of the month of Magh (Thilla).  

Falgun 

Holi, the Festival of color also known as Holi Purnima is celebrated on Falgun Shukla Pakchya Ashtami tithi. Read more inside.   

Terai Holi is celebrated on the Navami date i.e. Falgun Shukla Pakchya Navami (tithi) date a day after the mountainous regions of the country celebrate it.  

Maha Shivaratri also known as Shilacharhe is the time when Lord Shiva first appeared in the sight of this world. There is a story in the scriptures that on the midnight of Falgun Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi Tithi Lord Shiva originated as a Jyotirlinga with radiance of millions of sun. Since the Hindu deity Lord Shiva can be easily pleased, he is worshiped as ‘Ashutosh’ also.

Bijaya Ekadashi is the Ekadashi of Falgun Krishna Pakchya. Due to the effect of this Ekadashi fast, Lord Ramachandra crossed the sea and conquered King Ravana of Lanka. According to the teachings of the sage Bakadalvya, Shri Ramchandra was the first to observe this fast. Read more here

Amalaki Ekadashi is the Ekadashi date of Falgun Shukla Paksha. In the Vrataraj Granth, there is a mythological context showing the importance of this i.e. Amalaki Ekadashi vrat. The glory of this Ekadashi fast is explained through the dialogue between King Mandhata and Rishi Vashishta. Read more stories here

Gyalpo Losar/Lhosar: Although the Gyalpo Losar festival is celebrated on the Pratipada date of Falgun Shukla Paksha, its preparation starts a month and a half in advance. Gyalpo Losar is a festival celebrated mainly by the Sherpa, Lama, and Bhote communities of Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, and Bhutan. It is also celebrated in India, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, and other countries.

Chaitra 

Ram Navami is an important festival of the followers of Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism. This festival is celebrated on the ninth day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Chaitra. According to the famous scriptures including Ramayana, this day is considered the birthday of Lord Ramachandra. As the Ram Navami festival falls within the spring Navratri, Lord Rama is worshiped on this day along with Adya Shakti Jagajjani Durga Bhavani.

The ninth date of Chaitra Shukla Paksha is known as Chaite Dashain or Ram Navami.  Navratri falling in the month of Chaitra is also called Vasanti (Basanti) Navratri (Chaite Dashai). In the Puran and Ramayana, a story of Lord Shri Ram Chandra gaining power by worshiping Bhagwati can be found. During the war with Ravan when Ram became powerless, he worshiped the primordial power Bhagwati Jagdamba and received special power and blessings from her. 

Mata Tirtha Ausi roughly translated as Mother Respect Day is another important day falling on the month of Chaitra. 

The Ekadashi date of Chaitra Krishna pakchya is known as Paapmochani Ekadashi. Read more here. 

Malmas also known as Pursottam month: According to Nirnaya Sindhu or Kathak Grihya Sutra, the last month of the year with two Sankranti is known as Malmas/Pursottam month. 

Waqar Eid is a four-day-long festival beginning on the tenth day of the Islamic calendar Da-al-Hijjah. Celebrated every year on a different date, starting from the tenth day of Da-al-Hijja and lasting for four days, this is the second-largest festival of Muslims after Eid-ul-Fitr and is called Waqar Eid.

Sombare Ausie: Monday and the new moon (ausie) falling on the same day is called Sombare Ausi.

It is customary to observe Ravi Saptami Vrat on the day of Saptami falling on raviwar i.e Sunday.

All the above festivals are celebrated or observed by Nepalese scattered all over the world. Nepal is the country where when a certain caste or community is celebrating one festival, another community also joins in and is happily participating in that festival. This beautiful identity of this nation is of course the identity of unity in diversity and this can be considered as the most beautiful side of this country.


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