Upcoming festivals in Nepal, with dates.

Rice Plantation Day – 29th June 2016
A Festival for Rice planting – is the day of a climax of rice planting. Ropain Festival, also known as Asar 15, is celebrated mostly by farmers from all regions of Nepal – to mark the day of planting new seedlings of rice crop of the year.
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Maha Shivaratri — The Night of Lord Shiva

Nepali saints smokingMaha Shivaratri (21 Feb 2020) is the day when thousands of Shiva devotees will be heading towards the holiest of Hindu temples in Nepal, the great Pashupatinath Temple. There they will be meeting with thousands of sadhus (holy men) already congregated in the temple precincts.

It is the day of one of the biggest festivals in Hinduism—Maha Shivaratri—the night of Lord Shiva, god of both creation and destruction. Continue reading

Holi — Festival of Colors

holiThis year, Holi, the ’festival of colours’, also known as ‘Fagu Poornima”, falls on March (12th March 2017).  Holi, actually, begins a week ahead of the day, at least for many young guys who believe that the Holi season gives them licence to harass young girls by hurling water filled balloons (‘lolas’) at them. Continue reading

The Valley’s Most Boisterous Festival— Bisket Jatra

If you want to be part of a festival in which hundreds of people (most of them inebriated) are bent on pulling two huge wooden chariots in different directions, then by all means, you are welcome to the famous Bisket Jatra of Bhaktapur. It is celebrated for a few days before, during, and after the Nepali New Year, which this year is from 12th to 18th April 2017. Continue reading

The Festival of the Horses— Ghode Jatra

Ghode JatraOn March 27, 2017 (Friday), the army grounds aligning Tundikhel in central Kathmandu will reverberate under the thundering hooves of many magnificent horses. Seated on the pavilion will be the President and Prime Minister of Nepal along with cabinet ministers, foreign envoys, and other dignitaries. Continue reading

Janai Purnima – Festival of Nepal

A priest ties the sacred thread on the wrist of a women. Image: Reuters.

As is well known, Nepal has an abundance of colourful festivals. It may also be clear by now that all such festivals revolve around the different phases of the moon. Which is natural, considering that the Bikram Sambat calendar used in Nepal is also a lunar calendar. Continue reading

Answer to a Shrink’s Prayer—Gai Jatra

Kids dressed up as cow during Gai Jatra festival. Image: flickr/S Pakhrin

Psychologists and psychiatrics would surely approve of Gai Jatra as being an excellent way to get rid of the bile in society’s soul, even if it’s only for a day. This day, as it happens, falls on the 11th August 2014 this year. Continue reading

Celebrating Buddhahood—Buddha Jayanti

Statue of Gautam Buddha,Swayambhunath. Image:flickr/PrOzZ

Buddha Jayanti, which falls on 4th May 2015 this year, is not just a day to celebrate Lord Gautam Buddha’s birth, but also to celebrate his whole life, from birth to enlightenment and then to his death, which, if charted, goes as follows: birth—623 B.C.; enlightenment—588 B.C. and death—at age eighty. Continue reading

Rato Matsyendranath—Watch with Care

This festival, which begins on the first full moon of Baisakh (April/May) every year, may be the longest and most important festival of Patan, however, with several important events (all of a calamitous nature) having been recorded at one time or another during this month-long event, it has become a festival that people keep a sharp eye on as it begins its procession through the ‘City of the Arts’. Continue reading

Bol Bam—the Shravani Mela

Pilgrims walking towards pashupatinath in Kathmandu.

You have probably seen the movie, “Gandhi”. In it, one of the most moving sights must surely have been the thousands of people following the frail dhoti-clad figure of Mahatma Gandhi, striding ahead with the help of a wooden walking stick, during one of his salt marches. Continue reading