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Cultural & Festival Tours in Nepal

Magh Sankranti

Maghe Sankranti is the beginning of the holy month of Magh, usually the mid of January. It brings an end to the ill-omened month (mid-Dec) when all religious ceremonies are forbidden, take holy dips at river confluence, and perform worship at various shrines. It also marks the coming of warmer weather and better days of health and fortune.


Basant Panchami

Hindu festival dedicated to the goddess of learning, Saraswati. People gather at temples to worship, appealing to Saraswati for spiritual enlightenment, and welcome the imminent arrival of spring - a season of hope and new beginnings. The color yellow is very prominent during this festival, with both men and women wearing some, if not all, yellow garments.


Losar

Various ethnic communities such as Sherpas, Tamangs and the people from the Tibetan origin celebrate the festival in February to welcome their New Year. Buddhist monks perform dances and offer prayers for good health and prosperity at monasteries. People exchange various goods and gifts among them. Buddhist families also host feasts and perform dances.


Chaitra Dasain

The festival is marked every year during March-April. The festival is celebrated to praise the victory of the hero of the epic Ramayana over Rawan, an evil King of Lanka (Sri Lanka). It is believed that the Goddess Durga's power had helped Ram to achieve his victory. So, the Goddess Durga, the source of power, is also worshipped on the occasion


Seto Machhendranath

This festival starts with the removal of the Seto Machhendranath image from the temple of Kel Tole in Kathmandu. The image is then placed on a towering, tottering rath (chariot) then locals drag it through the streets of the city’s old town for the next four days.


Bisket Jatra

This is an important festival celebrated in April. On this occasion, people from the old kingdom of Bhaktapur and its neighbouring areas perform a drama passed on over the centuries.  Images of wrathful and demonic deities are placed on chariots. The chariots are taken to various parts of the city of Bhaktapur.  On this occasion, a tongue-boring ceremony is organized at Bode village of Bhaktapur. It is believed that those who can tolerate the pain of the tongue boring may reach in heaven after death.

Balkumari Jatra

This festival is celebrated yearly in Nagaun, Kirtipur according to the lunar calendar in the Asthami Tithi. During this festival, Goddesses Balkumari is placed in a chariot and in roamed around the Nagaun. Traditional instruments were played in front of the chariot.


Rato Machhendranath

The chariot procession known as Rato (Red) Machhendranath is the biggest event in Patan, Nepal. The festival honors Machhendranath, the god of rain and plenty, who is worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists in different incarnations, and has shrines at both Patan and in the village of Bungamati, a few miles south of Patan. The festival is held when the monsoon season is approaching & is a plea for plentiful rain.


Buddha Jayanti:

Also called Vesakh is widely celebrated as the day when Buddha was born, got enlightened and died.This day is celebrated all across the country predominantly in Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha and Swayambhu Temple, where millions of Buddhist devotees come together to chant prayers and light butter lamps.


Kumar Sashti

Kumar Sashti is believed to be the day when Hindu God Kartik the son of Lord Vishnu and Parvati was born. The day is of great significance in Nepal and western parts of India. Legend has it that Lord Kartik was born to defeat the demons and uphold dharma. Thus he is the General of the Army of Devas and vanquishes demons.


Naga Panchami

It is a festival when snakes/Nag is worshiped because they believe the snake kings had relation with the God. Nepalese traditionally put pictures of Nags high above their doorway of their homes to keep off evil spirits. People worship the nag by offering a symbol of milk (the white colour liquid from the paste of rice milk. They also keep milk for snakes near snake holes.


Ghanta Karna

The defeat of the mythical demon Ghanta Karna ("bell-ears") is celebrated by performing the legendary drama in the streets. This colourful festival, though celebrated mostly only in the Newar community, is especially fun-filled for children. They run around the effigy laughing gaily and enjoying them thoroughly.


Gai Jatra

Gai or cow festival is celebrated in the month of august and is dedicated to those who died in the preceding year. Artistes and others satirize on the contemporary politics, social and other anomalies. Those whose relatives have died during the past year share their sorrows and take comfort as they believe that the cow has safely transported the departed souls on their afterlife journey.


Krishna Jayanti

It marks the birth of Lord Krishna, one of the ten incarnations of Hindu God Vishnu. Devotees observe fast consuming only fruits and milk products. Processions are carried out in the street carrying idols and images of the lord. Huge number of devotees pays visit to the temple.


Teej

On this day women married and unmarried visit the shrines of Lord Shiva. They perform dances and sing fork songs. They also recall Parvati's devotion to her husband Shiva. Married women visit their parents' homes. It is believed that the married women having fasting on the day will find their husbands faithful. It is also believed that the unmarried women who fast on this day will have good luck in finding suitable husbands.


Gunla

The festival is celebrated by the Buddhists of the Kathmandu Valley during July-August. The month-long festivities celebrate the 'rains retreat' initiated by 25 centuries ago by Lord Buddha. This occasion is a time for prayer, fasting, meditation and religious music. On this day, important Buddhist statues and monasteries are on display. The teachings of Lord Buddha, which are still relevant, are remembered as the rains nurture the paddy in the farm.


Indra Jatra

The festival is marked to extend thanks to Indra, King of Heaven and controller of the rains, for the rains. The festival is celebrated for eight days in Kathmandu Durbar Square. The Goddess Kumari, the living Goddess, witnesses the special occasion of Indra Jatra.


Dasain

Dashain is the biggest festival in Nepal celebrated for 11 days. Major events of this festival are Ghatasthapana, Phool Pati, Mahaastami, Nawami and Vijaya Dashami. It is a celebration of Goddess Durga’s victory over demon Mahisasur. Green-colored plant is planted in majority of the Nepali household, animal sacrifices are made to please various forms of goddess; people dress up beautifully and visit their elders to receive blessings. Children during this ritual are gifted with money. Kite flying highlights the occasion with fun and joy.


Tihar

Also known by many names like Deepawali, Bhai Tika, Laxmi Puja. This five-day festival is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to not just the humans and the Gods like Laxmi, but also to the animals like crow, cow and dog, who maintain an intense relationship with the humans. The last day of the festival is known as Tika day or popularly known as Bhai Tika Day.


Mani Rimdu

This popular Sherpa festival is celebrated at Thyangboche Monastery for three-days. Sherpas and travellers alike flock to the scene to be entertained, and educated about the fundamentals of Buddhism as practised by the Sherpa people of Nepal. This festival is marked by masked dances and dramas.


Bala Chaturdashi

Legend has that a person named Bala turned into a demon after he accidentally ate burnt flesh of a corpse. He was killed deceivingly by the people. But after his death, people regretted their act and so began to practice Bala Chaturdasi to seek forgiveness from Bala. Pilgrims flock to Pashupatinath burning oil lamps at night, taking ritual bath at dawn & scatter grains for the dead.