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Festivals in Nepal

Indra Jatra

The festival of Indra Jatra is dedicated to the ‘Lord of Heaven’ Indra.  Legend has it that Indra was captured by the people of Kathmandu while fetching night jasmine for his mother. Once the people realized that their prisoner was no other than Lord Indra, they released him immediately. Lord Indra’s mother blessed the city for releasing her son and because of the blessing it is said that Kathmandu receives enough dew even in winters for cultivation. Held in the Basantapur Durbar Square, Indra Jatra begins with the erection of a single pole called ‘Yosin’, which is obtained from a single tree. Lasting for eight long days,  masked dances and tableaus...

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Rato Machhindranath Jatra

One of the most significant festivals in Patan, Rato Machhindranath Jatra, is dedicated to the valley’s rain god. A special chariot is made out of bamboo and wood and the idol of Rato Machhindranath is placed inside the chariot by a Panneju priest. Devotees pull the chariot to different localities in Patan. He is believed to have been brought from Assam when Kathmandu was suffering from a long drought. He blessed the valley with rain and is thus known as the valley’s rain god. The festival ends with Bhoto Jatra- a ceremony where the bejeweled vest (bhoto) of the rain god is put on display. Rato Machchhindranath is also worshipped as Buddhist deities Padmapani Lokeshwar, Av...

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Gai Jatra

Gai Jatra is the festival of singing, dancing, mirth and laughter. The Jatra is celebrated in Kathmandu Valley to commemorate the death of loved ones in the family. The word ‘GAI’ means cow in English. The humble cow is regarded the most venerated among all the other animals and considered holy in Hinduism. The festival usually falls in July or August and if you happen to be in Nepal at this period of time, you could opt for the 1 day Kathmandu city tour . The true reason why this festival is celebrated is to share one’s sorrow with similar people who have lost a family member and taking the comfort in knowing that their deceased loved ones are safe. There is a very...

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Bisket Jatra

Bisket Jatra is celebrated in Bhaktapur and Thimi at the start of the New Year on the Bikram Sambat calendar. If you belong to the valley, you sure will be familiar to a lot of Jatras and festival, Bisket Jatra is just one of them which mainly praise the God Bhairav and the Goddess Bhadrakali. People prepare huge chariots and they are pulled by young men all around the narrow streets of Bhaktapur. There is even a tug of war between the people from the upper part of town (THANE) and the lower part (KONE). Sindur Jatra is celebrated in Balkumari, Thimi side by side Bisket Jatra. Local inhabitants of Thimi gather in the streets with their own chariot carrying different gods and goddesses. Si...

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Buddha Jayanti

Nepal is a multicultural and multi-religious country. There are many festivals and special occasions that are celebrated in the country with much joy and happiness. Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Purnima is one of the important days where the birth of the ‘light of Asia’ is celebrated. The festival usually falls on the first full moon day of the first month of the Nepali calendar- Baisakh. It usually falls on May or April, which are also the perfect months to visit Nepal. If you are in Nepal at this point of time then you can definitely opt for the Kathmandu heritage site tour. This particular tour will take you to important Buddhist sites in Kathmandu Valley. Siddharth Gautama ...

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Holi or Fagu Purnima

Holi or Fagu Purnima is the festival of colors celebrated widely in India and Nepal. It usually falls on the full moon day in the Nepali ‘Fagu’ month (February to March in the solar calendar) and usually lasts for about two days. Holi is one of the most awaited festivals in Nepal and is celebrated with much enthusiasm and bright colors. The spring season in Nepal is that time of the year when many tourists from various countries come and visit Nepal. Most of these tourists are trekking enthusiasts and the rest come to soak in the history, culture and heritage of the country. If you visit Nepal during Holi, you will get to experience the festival of colors first hand, an experi...

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Tihar is celebrated somewhere in between the months of October and November. Known as the festival of lights, the five-day long festival is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi (the ‘Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity’). Nepalese people clean their houses, beautiful decorations are made and oil lamps are lit in the traditional way. This is done with anticipation that Goddess Laxmi will visit their homes and bless them. The festival also honors animals like crows, cows, and dogs as they have a deep significance in our day to day life. During the last day of the festival, all brothers are worshipped by their sisters with five- colored ‘tika’ and floral garlands. The brothers in ...

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Dashain Festival Nepal

Somewhere in Late September to early October people of Nepal indulge in the biggest festival of the year- Bijaya Dashami. Throughout Nepal, people of all caste and creed come together to celebrate this 15-day long festival with much pomp and show. Dashain celebrates the victory of good over evil. Legend has it that Goddess Durga killed the terrible demon Mahisasur and freed the earth from evil. The markets are filled with shoppers buying new clothes, gifts and luxuries. All the houses are cleaned and painted and relatives are invited to the celebration. Thousands of sheep, goats and water buffaloes are sacrificed as an offering to the goddess and every family feasts and celebrate with gre...

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