Holidays and Festival of Nepal

As we mentioned earlier, Nepal is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual country where more than a hundred ethnic tribes and nationalities have been residing within the country since many years. Going by that notion, there are several special and peculiar festivals that are celebrated by people of one community or some particular ethnicity. Having said that, there are some major festivals that are celebrated alike by individuals from different caste and creed. The 2 major festivals of Nepal, celebrated by most of the individuals, area the festivals of Dashain and Tihar. The twin festivals area separated by a month’s distance and are celebrated in a very remarkably overwhelming means and in such a manner that all the public, private and government offices remain closed during the period of festival. The entire nation is on a joyous mood during Dashain and Tihar.

Dashain usually falls in the month of October and is celebrated by worshiping and paying homage to Hindu goddess Durga. Himalayan goats are usually sacrificed during the 10-day long festivity where individuals relish playing cards and devour on goat meat. During the festival of Dashain, the elder ones in the family offer Tika and blessings to the younger ones by putting red Tika on their forehead. The younger ones, in return, pay respect to the elder ones. Dashain holds a special significance within the Hindu community as many people in India also celebrate this festival in the name of Durga Pooja. Precisely a month later, falls another festival called as Tihar. Tihar is the second biggest festival in Nepal and it is celebrated for 5 days when even the animals like crow, dog, oxen and cow are also worshipped and idolized. The festival of Tihar culminates on the fifth day when the sisters in the family worship their brothers praying for their long life. Tihar holds especial significance for siblings, particularly the brothers and sisters.

Besides these 2 major festivals, there are many other regional festivals celebrated by some specific group of ethnic people. Festival like ‘Chhath’ is more popular and celebrated principally in the Tarai region when they worship the rising and setting Sun. Because of its popularity, the festival is now celebrated even in the hills and not just in Tarai. Chhath is even widely celebrated among the people of India. ‘Mha Pooja’ is well known amongst the people from Newari community. Mha Pooja has special significance as this day marks the start of a separate new year referred to as Nepal Sambat. Festivals like Janai Purnima, Maghe Sakranti, Holi, Shiva Ratri, among others, also are celebrated across the county with great zest. Besides, there is a special festival for girls and women called as Teej, when the married ladies return to their maternal home and share their hardships with their maternal relatives and friends. Ladies dance and eat delicious food throughout the festival of Teej.

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