Festivals in Nepal

Teej festival - Pashipatinath nabij Kathmandu


Festivals in Nepal - Happy Nomads

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Festivals in Nepal

It is said about Nepal that every other structure is a holy shrine and every other day a festival. Well , if the number of annual festival, both religious and national , is an indication m the saying couldn’t be more true. Festival are an essential part of Nepalese life that garner tremendous local participation. Festivals also offer visitors a valuable opportunity not only for having fun but gaining insight into various aspects of Nepalese culture.
The religious festivals follow the lunar calendar, while national festivals have fixed dates. Wherever or whenever you arrive in Nepal , you can be pretty sure of being at the right time for one more special events .Some of the major and interesting festivals are presented below:

Navavarsha (April) : the Nepalese New Year’s Day

usually falls in the second week of April .i.e. the first day of Baisakh .The day is observed as a national holiday .The people celebrate it with a great pomp and show .On this occasion, Bisket Jatra is held in the city of Bhaktapur.
Baisakh Poornima (April): As Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha , the Light of Asia , the triple anniversary of the Buddha’s birth , enlightenment and death is observed with many colourful ceremonies on this day .People celebrate the occasion with great veneration paying homage to Buddha at places like Swayambhunath, Bouddhanath and Lumbini.

Red Machchhendranath Rath Jatra ( May-June):

This festival is the biggest socio-cultural event of Patan .The wheeled chariot of a deity known as Bungdyo or Red Machchhendranath is made at Pulchock and dragged through the city of Patan is several stages till it reaches the appointed destination(Lagankhel) .The grand finale of the festival is called the ‘Bhoto Dekhaune’ or the “shoving of a vest” .A similar kind of chariot festival to Machchhendranath (white) is also held in kathmandu city in the month of March-April.


It is celebrated in all the Sherpa settlements in the month of July .The Sherpas of Kathmandu and Helambu regions participate in dancing on this day.

Birthday of His Majesty the King:

The auspicious birthday of His Majesty king Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev falls on July 7 (Asad 23).This occasion is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the kingdom.


(July-August) It marks the birthday of Lord Krishna. On this day, impressive ceremonies are conducted at the Krishna Temple in Patan and at Changu Narayan.

Gaijatra ( Cow festival) :

(July-August) It is a carnival that lasts eight days. Dancing, singing, comedy and anything that causes mirth and laughter are its highlights.


(August-September) The festival of Indra, the God of rain, is observed with great enthusiasm in Kathmandu Valley. The festival lasts for eight days. The chariot of Kumari, the Living Goddess, is taken out in procession through the main streets of Kathmandu.The festival is specially noted for the echoes of drums and dancing feet of the masked dancers almost every evening.

Dashain or Durga Puja

(September-October) The Dashain festival is the most important festival of the Nepalese. The entire country is in enthusiastic holiday mood at the time of the festival.

Tihar (Deepawali):

(October-November) Known as the festival of Lights, Tihar is celebrated for five days. Houses are illuminated at night and special sweets of different varieties are prepared.

Constitution Day:

The new Democratic Constitution of the Kingdom, of Nepal was promulgated on November 9, 1990. Since then, this day is observed as the Constitution Day.

Haribodhani Ekadashi

Haribodhani Ekadashi, also called Tulasi Vivaha is a significant Hindu festival, which falls on the eleventh day of the Kartik (November) full moon
According to mythology in the four months during Chaturmasha Lord Vishnu had reclined in front of demon king Bali’s palace upon the latter’s request and on the day of Haribodhani Ekadashi he awoke and left for paradise.
On Haribodhani day devotees donate money food and clothes to Bramin priests and the poor to gain virtue.

Vibhha Panchami:

(November-December) This is a famous festival of Janakpur in the eastern Terai. The occasion commemorates the marriage of Sita to Ram, one of the most venerated Hindu divinities. It attracts thousands of pilgrims from India to Janaki Temple in Janakpur.

Lhosar or Losar:

this festival is most impressively observed in the month of February by the Sherpas. They organize folk songs and dance on this occasion. These dances can be seen in Khumbu, Helambu and other northern regions of Nepal and at Bouddanath in Kathmandu.

Prithvi Jayanti:

this occasion is celebrated in honor of king Prithvi Narayan Shah,the founder of modern Nepal, with a colourful ceremony in front of the singha Durbar gate in Kathmandu on January 10/11 (Poush 27th).

National Democracy Day:

This day is officially observed as Rastriya Prajatantra Divas or National Democracy Day as a mark of respect to the People’s Revolution of 1950-51. It generally falls on February 18, i.e. Phalgun7.

Maha Shivaratri:

(February) Shivaratri or the Night of Lord Shiva is observed in February-March. It is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva. A great religious fair takes place in the Pashupatinath Temple and thousands of people from all over Nepal and India flock the temple to worship Lord Shiva.


(March-April) Known as the festival of horses, it is one of the most exciting festivals of Kathmandu. Horse race and other sports take place at Tundikhel on this day. In other parts of the city, various deities are carried shoulder-high on palanquin (khat) to the accompaniment of traditional music.

Teej: (August-September) Teej is a Hindu’s festival celebrated by women.

Dancing, folk song and the red colour of women’s wedding saris dominate the days of Teej. Women observe a fast and flock to Shiva temples where married once pray for a happy conjugal life and unmarried once for a good husband.



Maghe Sankranti

Shree Swasthani





Festival Place date
Maghe Sankranti Devghat around January 15
Basanta Panchami all over the country jan/feb
Democracy Day all over the country February 18
Shiva Ratri Pashupatinath Temple feb/march
Holi all over the country march
Chaitra Dashain all over the country april
Bisket Jatra Bhaktapur 13 april
Buddha Jayantie Bouddhanath, Lumbine may
Red Machhchendranath Jatra Patan may/june
King's Birthday all over the country 7 July
Janai Pumima all over the country august
Gai Jatra Kathmandu august
Krishna's Birthday Patan, all over the country august
Teej all over the country aug/sept
Father's day Gokarna aug/sept
Indra Jatra Kathmandu sept
Dashain all over the country oct
Tihar all over the country nov
Bala Chaturdasi Pashupatinath temple nov/dec
Mani Rimbdu Everest region nov


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