Festivals in Nepal
In the southern part of the Asian continent and India’s sub-continent there is a small country called Nepal which is the land of mountains and is the land of festivals. The festivals of Nepal diversifies the rich culture of Nepalese. About 50 religious festivals celebrated in Nepal every year which are set by astrologers following the lunar calendar.
Most of the Nepalese festivals are related to different Hindu and Buddhist deities celebrated on their scared days by religion and tradition with same enthusiasm just like hundreds years ago
When there were no mean of entertainment for people.
The best part about the festivals in Nepal is that all the events are celebrated with the same enthusiasm and galore the way it used to be hundreds of years ago when people had no other means of entertainment.
The famous festivals of Nepal :
Mata Tirtha Snan
Sweta Manchhendra Snan
Fagu Purnima or Holi
Shree Ram Nawami
Dasain or Durga Puja
Tihar or Deepali
Swasthani Puja or Saraswati Puja :
Saraswati Puja festival falls in the month of January which is celebrated as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati deity of earning.
This festival date is set by Astrologers. On the day of Sarawati Puja
School students and scholars worship their pens and books and take blessings of Goddess Saraswati to become wise and knowledgeable. S
Small children are taught to write and read on this Day.
Buddha Jayanti is celebrated in Nepal with great enthusiasm that falls on the full moon of the month of Baisakh in April. Buddha Jayanti is celebrated to honor the birth of Gautham Buddha, attained enlightenment and Nirvana the death of Lord Buddha on this day which gives unique significance of three-fold coincidence.
Buddha Purnima festival or Buddha Jayanti is the most sacred day in Buddhist calendar where Buddhista worship Buddha shrines and offer prayers in all the major Buddhist shrines such as Swayambhu and Boudhanath.
Maghe Sankranti :
In Nepal Maghe Sankranti is celebrated during the holy month of Magh that fall in the month of January. Maghe Sankranti is very auspicious day holy bathing in sacred rivers and perform rituals there in rivers and streams. On this day people of Nepal invite their married daughters and families to parental homes for festivities and blessings.
Nepalese believe that those who die on the day of Maghe Sankranti attains heaven and get release from the burden of rebirth. Maghi Sankranti, is such a festive occasion which renews the faith of Nepalese people in the heavenly powers.
Ghanta Karna Chaturdasi :
Ghanta Karna chaturdasi is also called as Gathemangal festival that falls in the month shravan which is celebrated the exorcism of the mythical demon Ghantakarna. According to a local legend a savage by the name of Ghantakarna used to terrify the public by stealing their children and womenfolk, thus the festival of Ghanta Karna is celebrated by acting out the legendary drama in the streets This colorful festival is celebrated only in the Newar community which is a fun-filled festival for children as they run with joy around the demon Ghanta Karna effigy made of bamboos.
Gai Jatra :
The festival of Gai Jatra in Nepal is the procession of cows which falls in the Nepalese month of Bhadra in August. The festival of Gai Jatra i.e. festival of cows is the most popular festivals of Nepal.
According to the Nepal traditions every family who has lost one relative during the past year must participate in a procession through the streets of Kathmandu leading a cow and if they don’t have a cow then a young boy is dressed as a cow is considered a fair substitute.
After the Ghai Jatra procession is over everyone takes part in another tradition where participants dress up and wear masks and enjoy the occasion with songs, dances, jokes and humour until late evening. Hence, Gai Jatra is a healthy festival of Nepal which enables the people to accept the reality of death and to prepare oneself for the life after death.