Most Famous and Major Festivals in Nepal

Among many more festivals celebrated in Nepal, Dhshain and Tihar are most famous. These are also known as Major Festivals in Nepal.

1. Dashain

Dashain is the top most famous and popular festival celebrated in Nepal. Dashain festival is known as the festival of Hindus. However, other religious people also celebrate the Dashain festival in their way.
Most famous and Major festivals in Nepal

More than 80% of the population in Nepal are Hindu. Dashain festival is celebrated in Nepal as the symbolic festival known as the victory of Virtue over Vice'. Victory over all kinds of negativities of our daily lives which are taken as a vice.

In this Dashain Festival, the Government of Nepal gives the longest holidays than in any other festival. Generally, the Dashain festival is celebrated for 15 days starting from Dark Moon day to Full moon day in September-October. This festival time lies in either Asoj or Kartik (September-October) month as of the Nepalese calendar.

In 2020, the Dashain festival starts from October 17 which day is known as Ghatasthapana, the first day of the Dashain festival. Dashain in 2020 ends on 30th October, the last full moon day of the Dashain festival. Among those 15 days, 5 days from 7th to 11th are very important considering celebration and praying by the people. Major praying activities have been done in these 5 days.

In 2020, the Government of Nepal has decided to give 6 days' leave from the 7th day. In this holiday, almost all temporarily migrated people return to their permanent home.

Dashain is the time of reuniting families from any places migrated for employment opportunities. People meet each other. Huge gatherings are seen in rural villages.

From the 7th to 9th day of Dashain, people use to have a huge amount of meat by cutting animals especially buffalo, goats, sheep, etc.

On the 10th day of Dashain which is also known as Vijaya Dashami, people use to have Tika (sacred rice make wet) and blessings from elders. Beliefs are that the blessings from elder people help them to cope with all kinds of difficulties and to become prosperous all the years.

2. Tihar

Tihar is the second most famous and popular festival celebrated in Nepal. Tihar is also known as Diwali in the Terai region. This festival lies in October-November months of the year. This festival also celebrated for 5 days (4 days in some years). Tihar starts from 2 days before Dark Moon and ends 2 days after Dark Moon day.
Tihar is a Major festival of Nepal

On the first day of Tihar starts with Kaag Tihar (Tihar of Crow). On this day, Crow is worshipped. The second day of Tihar is known as Kukur Tihar (festival of dog). Dogs are worshipped by people.

The third day of Tihar is known as Gai Tihar (Festival of worshipping Cow). Cows are worshipped by taking cow as the god of wealth (Laxmi). On this day, people also worship their wealth which either goods or money.

People play to start Bhaili & Deusi from the day of Cow worshipping. The fourth day of Tihar is known as Goru Tihar (Ox worshipping day) and Govardhan Pooja (worshipping of hills).

Finally the second day after dark moon day, the Main day of Tihar, Vai Teeka is celebrated. On this day, brothers are worshipped by sisters with wishes of long lives. Sisters do Pooja of their brother and do wear Maala (Ring of flower wear in the neck) with varieties of sweets, foods. Brothers thanks to sisters with gifts.

Other Festivals in Nepal throughout the year 2020 and 2021 (2077)

1. Teej

Teej is another famous festival in Nepal. Teej is also known as the festival of women. It means Teej is celebrated mainly by females in Nepal. However, the male also supports to celebrate.

Teej in the year 2020 lies on 21st August. As of the Nepalese month, it lies in Bhadra. Teej is celebrated for 3 days starting from 2nd day after the dark moon.

Women are gathered on a day before of Main Teej day in their bourn home (Maiti). In the evening and the night of that day, women gather and enjoy entertainment by singing songs, playing music, and dancing.

The next day is the day of Teej, the main day. On this day, most of the women are in fasting for a whole day. They are in fasting for the prosperity and long life of their husband.

Right after 2 days of Teej, Panchami is celebrated by women which are also taken as the closing of the Teej festival. On this day, women take a bath with special herbs by going in flowing water sources like pond, river, or taps. After taking bath, women worship God Mahadev and donate to the priest as of their whish and capability.

2. Chhath Parba

Chhath Parba is another famous festival celebrated in Nepal especially it is celebrated by the Terai people. Chhath festival in 2020 lies on 20th November. Chhath festival is celebrated for 2 days. This festival is known as the festival of worshiping of Sun.

Devotees stay awake the whole night of the day before Chhath by lighting lamps, praying God with singing and dancing. Fruits are the major materials to be needed to celebrate Chhath festival. In the evening of this day, Devotee prays to the sunset.

On the day of Chhath, devotees pray to the rising sun in the morning and stay the whole day without getting any food. In the evening, devotees worship the sunset with yogurt and the Chhath ends. And then devotees, family members, and relatives take fruits as a sacred gift of God.

3. Fagu Purnima

Fagu Purnima is known as the festival of colors. Fagu Purnima is called in Nepal as a festival of colors whereas Holi is called in in Terai (southern part of Nepal) and India. Fagu means the pile of a mixture of different colors. People use a different color to paste in the face, body of each other, and share happiness among them.

Fagu Purnima festival in Nepal lies on 28th March 2021. Fagu Purnima festival is very related to historical and religious myths. Fagu Purnima is related to a religious story of Holika, the sister of Ravan in the Hindu religion.  

4. Janai Purnima

Janai Purnima is celebrated in Nepal as the festival of wearing sacred thread in the body of male for making their body healthy all over the year. Janai Purnima festival is very related to wear Janai (sacred thread) in the body of Male. Janai Purnima is also known as the Rakshya Bandhan festival because the people also war sacred thread on their pulse.

The meaning of word Rakshya means safe and the word Bandhan means band. Rakshya Bandhan means safe and sacred band of thread ties on wrist.

It is believed that wearing Rakshya Bandhan on this day helps to protect us from unsafe happenings in our life. On the same day, Rakhi is banded on the hand of brothers by sisters in the Terai region of Nepal and India.

5. Gai Jatra

Gai Jatra is a festival celebrated in Nepal just after a day of Janai Purnima / Rakshya Bandhan or Rakhi. Gai Jatra is also taken as the festival of Newar cast people in Nepal.

Gai Jatra is also celebrated as an event to make satire against wrong. The word Gai means cow and Jatra means celebrating events joyfully. Gai Jatra is also taken as an event of praying past ancestors.

People dance in a group with special music by changing their appearance to a typical symbol to present a kind of satire to wrongdoings in society. Therefore, Gai Jatra is also known as the festival of laughter. 

6. Maha Shivaratri

Maha Shivaratri is the festival of worshipping god Shiva. Shiva is the second name of god Mahadev. In this Maha Shivaratri, major worshipping is being done in Major Shiv Temples among which Pashupati temple is one main. Simultaneously, in other Shiva temples all over Nepal also worship is done. I

n Maha Shivaratri, Sadhus and devotees from all over Nepal and India come to Pashupati temple to worship. In the year 2021, this Maha Shivaratri lies on 11th March. Maha Pooja of god Shiv is done in Maha Shivaratri.

People stay the whole night without food in Pashupatinath temple premises. Hindu Sadhus use to have Ganja (cannabis). The young male people who visit the Pashupati temple in Maha Shivaratri also use to have cannabis. In this night, police do nothing to those who use to have cannabis in Pashupatinath temple premises. 

7. Chaite Dashain and Ram Nawami

There are two types of Dashain festival celebrated in Nepal and India as well. Main Dashain is celebrated in September-October month.

Next Dashain is celebrated in the Nepalese month Chait (March-April). This festival is known as Chaite Dashain and Ram Navami.
This Dashain festival is called Chaite Dashain  because this Dashain festival lies in Nepalese month Chait.

Chaite Dashain is not celebrated so broadly like Dashain (celebrated in September-October) but it is celebrated by simply worshipping to god Ram.

8. Maghe Sakranti

Maghe Sakranti is also one of the famous festivals celebrated in Nepal. Magh is the 10th month of the Nepalese calendar. This month lies in winter season months January-February.

Sakranti means the first day of Nepalese month. Maghe Sakranti means the first day of Nepalese month Magh. Maghe Sakranti is celebrated to test and have foods harvested in the rainy season. Maghe Sakranti is also celebrated with the belief of all good in human life in the coming season.

9. Lhosar

Lhosar is the festival celebrated in Nepal by particular cast people especially Mangolian cast people. Some of the Janajati people like Gurung, Rai, Limbu celebrate this festival.

Other various festivals celebrated in Nepal other than those mentioned festival. Those festivals are nation's property.

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