Festival in nepal

Festival in nepal

festivals may be Hindu, Buddhist, animist or a hybrid off all three. Hindu events can take the form of huge pilgrimages and fairs(mela), or more introspective gatherings such as ritual bathings at sacred confluences or special acts of worship at temples. Many see animal sacrifices followed by jolly family feasts, with priests and musicians usually on hand. parades and processions are common, especially in the kathmandu valley, where idols are periodically ferried around on great, swaying chariots.

Buddhist festivals are no less colourful, typically bringing togeher maroon-robed clergy and lay pilgrims to walk and prostrate themselves around stupas and sometimes featuring elaborately consumed dances. many of nepals animist peoples follow the Hindu calendar, but local nature-worshiping rites take place across the hills throughout the year, many of them unrecorded by the outside world. shamanic rites usually take place at home, at the request of a particular family, alhough shamans themselves have their own calendar off fairs at which they converge on a particular holy spot, ofen high in the mountains. you will have to travel widely and sensiively to have he chance to winess a shaman in action.

Jan-feb(magh)

Magh or Makar sankranti: Marking a rare solar (rather than lunar)even in the nepali calender-the day the sun is farhest from the earth-the first day of magh(jan 14 or 15) is an occasion for ritual bathing at all sacred river confluences, especially at Devghat and sankhu. The day also begins a month long period during which families do daily readings off the swasthani, a uniquely Nepali compilation of Hindu myths, and many women emulate parvatis fast for shiva, one of he swasthani stories.

Basanta Panchami:This one -day spring festival is celebraed on the fith day afer the new moon in most hindu hill areas. the day is also known as saraswati puja, afer the goddesss of learning, and shri panchami, afer the buddhist saint Manjushri. school playgrounds are decoraed with streamers and children have their books and pens blessed, high caste boys may undergo a special rite of passage.

Phaagun(Feb-March):

Losar:Tibetan New year falls on the new moon of either magh or phaagun, and is preceded by threee days of drinking, dancing and feasing. The day itself is celebrated most avidly at Boudha, where morning rituals culminate with horn blasts and the hurling or tsampa. Losar is a time for families o ge together, and is the highlight of the calendar in Buddhist highland areas, as well as in Tibetan setlements near the kathmandu and pokhara.

Shivaraatir:Falling on the new moon of phaagun, "shivas night" is marked by bonfires and evening vigils in all hindu areas, bu most specacularly at pashupatinath, where tents of thousands of pilgrims and sadhus from all over the subcontinent gather for nepals best -known Mela(religious fair). fervent worship and bizarre yogic demonstrations can be seen throughout and day throughout the pashupatinath complex. children collect firewood money by holding pieces of string across the road to block passerby-foreigners are considerred easy prey. Nepalis say he festival is usually followed by a final few days of winter weather, which is shivas way of encouraging the india sadhus to go home.

Holi: Nepals version of he springtime water festival, common to many Asian countries, is an impish afair lasting about a week, and commemoraes a myth in  which the God krishna, when still a bouy, outsmarted the demoness Holika. During this period, anyone-bus passengers included-is a fair arget for water ballons and coloured powder . It culminaes in a general free -for-all on phaagun purnima, the full-moon day of phaagun.

 

Chait(March-April):

Chait Dasain: Like its autumn namesake, the little Dasain. observed in the eighth day afer he new moon, involves los of animal sacriices. the goriest acion takes place at Goddess temples, such as the one at Gorkha, and in the kot courtyard near the kahmandu durbar square, where the army top brass come to witness the beheading o numerous buffalo and goats.

Ram Nawami:The birthday of Lord Ram is observed on the ninth day afer the ffull moon at all temples dedicated to vishnu in his incranion as the hero of the Ramayana, one of the great hindu epics, by far the biggest and most colourful celebrations take place in janakpur , where thousands of pilgrims flock to the Ram Temple.

Seto Machhendrnath Jaatra: kathmandu answer to patans Raato Machhendranath Jaatra. this sees a lumbering wodden chariot contaning he white mask of the God Machhendranath pulled through the narrow lanes of the old city for four days, staring on chiat Dasain.

Baisaakh(April-may)

Nawa Barsa:Nepali new year, which always falls on the first day of Baisaakh(April 13 or 14),is observed with localized parades. culminating on Nawa barsa, Bhaktapur five-day celebration, known as Bisket or Biska, is the most colourful combining religious processions wih a rowdy tug of -war, the nearby settlements of thimi and Bode host similarly wild scenes.

Raato Machhendranath Jaatra:Nepals most spectacular fesival:thousands gather to watch as the image of Machhhendranath, the kathmandu valley rain-brining deity, is pulled around the sreets of patan in swaying, sisty-foot-high chariot. It moves only on astrologically asupicious days, taking four weeks  or more to complete its journey.

Buddha Jayanti:The anniversary of he Buddhas birth, enlightement and death is celebrated on the full-moon day of Baisaakh at all Buddhist temples, but most visibly at swayambhu, where the freshly repainted stupa is decorated with thousands of lights the night before, on the day, ritual dances are preformed here by priests dresssed as the five aspects of Buddhahood. processions are also helld at the Boudha stupa and in patan. observances at the buddha birthplace, lumbini, are rather sparse.

Saaun(july-Aug)

Janai Purnima: The annual changing of he sacred thread(janai)worn by high-caste Hindu men takes place at holy bathing sites throughout the country on the full-moon day of saaun. Men and women of any caste may also receive a yellow -and -orange "Protective band"(Raksha Bandhan)around one wrist, which is then worn until tihaar, when it is supposed to be tied onto the tail of a cow. Mass observances are held at Gosaikund, a holy lake high in the mountains north of kathmandu, pashupatinath, outside kathmandu, and most prominently at patans Kumbeshwar Temple, where priess sit cross legged tying strings and bestowing tikas, and Jhankri(hill shamanas)perform sacred dances.

Gaai Jaatra:Newari tradition has it that Yamaraj, the god of death, opens the gaes of judgement on the day of the fulll moon, allowing deparaed souls to enter. falling on he day afer he full moon, Gaai Jaatra honours cows, who are supposed to lead deparated souls to Yamaraj abode. processions in kathmandu, bhaktapur and other Newari towns are both solemn and whimsical:an occasion for families to honour loved ones who have died in the past year, but also for young boyus to dress up in fanciful cow costumes or masquerade as sadus. In Bhaktapur, where the fesival is known as Gunhi punhi ans stars a day earlier, men parade around town in humorous costumes. satirial street permormances are less common nowadyas than they once were , but newspapers and magazines publish causic gaai Jaatra specials.

Nag panchami: on the fifh day afer he new moon, kahmandu valley residents quietly propitiate the nag(snake spirts), who are tradiionally held to control monsoon rains and earthquakes by pasting pictures of nag over their doorways with cow dung and offering milk, rice and oher favourite nag foods to he images. wells are cleaned only on this day, when the nag are belived to be away worshipping their ancestral deities.

Bhadau(Aug-sept):

Krishna Astami:krishna temples such as patans Krishna Mandir throng wih hhousands of worshippers celebrating he gods birth on he seventh day afer the full moon. vigils are also held the nigh before.

Tij:The three day womens festival, which starts on the hird day afer the new moon, sees groups of women cladd in the red(the color of rejoicing and domesic harmony)singing and dancing through the srees. letting their families fend for hemselves for once, they start with a girls , nigh ou, feasing until midnight when hey began a day -long fast. on the secondd day they queue up to worship shiva at the pashupatinath temple outside of kahmandum and break he fas and ritually bahe to revove their sins on he final day.

Indra Jaara: A wild week of chario procesions and masked dance permormances in kahmandu, held aournd he full moon of Bhadaul on the las day , which is also know as  kumari Jaara, Beer flows from he mouth of an idol in durbar square.

Asoj(sept-oct)

Dasain:although Hindu in origin, nepals longest and greaest fesivals is enthusiastically embraced by membrs of almost all religious and ethnic groups. it sretches over fitteen days, fro the new moon the full moon of asoj, with the liveliest acion taking place on the seventh, ninth and enth days. normally falling just aer the summer rice harves is in , dahsain is a ime for families to gather children to be indulged, makeshift, swings and miniature, ferris wheel, and animal to be sacrificed . on he first day , k ow as Ghantasthapana , people plant jamura (barley) in a kalash(sanctified vessel),, represening  durga, dashain honoured goddess, the seedings will be picked and worn in the hair on he tenth day. Devoees congregate at local goddess emples throughout the nex nine nights. A separae festival, panchali bhirab jatra, features lae-night processions between the bhairab shrine and kumari ghar in kahmandu and conicides wih the fourth and fifh days of Dashain. on the sevenh day, Fulpati, a bounquet of sacred flowers(fulpai)is carried in procession rom the rani pokhari to he Hanuman , dhoka palace in kahmandu, wih mandy vips in aendance. the ninth day, Navami, begins at midnight with tantric buffalo sacrifices inside the forbidden Taleju(a form of Durga)temples of the kathmandu valley, throughout the day , animals are ritually beheaded publicly in the kot courtyard near Kathmandu's Durbar square , and in every village and cty of nepal, their blood is sprinkled on tolls, vehicles  and even aircraft to impart Durg's shakti(power). These rituals commemorate Durga's slaying of the demon Mahisasur, and more generally , the triumph of good over evil. Bijaya Dasami, the "victorious tenth Day," celebrates Ram's victory over the demon Ravana with Durg's help. Various processions and masket dance troupes ply the streets and families visit their elders to receive blessing and Tika.

 

Tihar(oct-Nov)

Tihar(Diwali near india), lasting for five days, starting two days before the new moon , the "festival of lights" is associated with Yamaraj, the god of death, and lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and good fortune. On the first day, Nepalis set out food on the leaf plates for crows, regarded as Yamraj's messengers, on the second , they honour dogs as Yamraj'sgatekeepers, giving them tika, flower garlands cows both as the symbol of Lakshmi and as the soul's guide to Yamraj's unerworld. the festival's most picturesque event, Lakshmi puja, comes on the evening of the third day, when families, throughout Nepal ring thei homes with oil lamps, candles or electric lights to guide Lakshmi to their homes so she cn bless hem with prosperity for the year. Trusting in her, many nepalis gamble on street corners, and student groups make the rounds singing "diusire", a form of musical fundraising. Firecrackers have also become a big part of the fun for kids. To newars , the fourth day is known as Mha puja("self worship"), and occasion for private rituals, ad also their New Years day marked by banners, well -wishing and motorcycle pardes in the Kathmandu valley's three main cities. on the fifth day, Bhaai Tika, sister recall the myth of jamuna, who tricked Yamraj into postponing her brother's death indefinitely, by blessing their younger brothers and giving them flower garlands, tika and sweetmeats.

 

Chhath

conciding with the third day of Tihaar, the festival honours surya, the sun God, and is one of the most important for the Maithili-speaking people of the eastern terai. Chhath is celebrated most ardently in janakpur, where women gaterh by ponds and rivers to greet the sun's first rays with prayers, offering and ritual baths.

Mangsir(Nov-Dec)

Ram-sita Biwaha Panchami

As many as 100,000 pilgrims converge on Japakpur for this five-day gathering, begining on the new moon of mangsir.The highlights is the re-enctment of the wedding of Ram and sita, the divine, star -crossed lovers of the Ramayana, of the of great hindu epics. Jakpur's stature as a holy city rests on its having been the location of the original wedding.

 

Mani Rimdu :

Held at Tenbouche and chiwong monasteries in the Everest region around the full moon of the ninth Tibetan month (usually oct/nov) this colourful sherpa masked dance dramatizes Buddhism's victory over the ancient born religion in the eighth -century Tibet. A similar events is held in may or june at Thami.

 

 

 

 

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