Nepal is one of the most remarkable and breathtaking destinations in the world. Over 500,000 tourists visit it every year, and every single one of them falls in love with Nepal almost immediately.
The biggest attraction is the Himalayas, of course. With thousands of trekking routes, Nepal is like a true climbing paradise for adventure-seeking hikers. And if you’re one of them, the number of ways will take your breath away.
But keep in mind that Nepal is so much more than beautiful views and mountain trips. The country’s culture is absolutely fascinating, with Hindu and Buddhist traditions creating an unforgettable experience.
Nepal is famous for its unique and colorful festivals that are the best way to see and experience the country’s remarkable traditions. In the article below, you’ll find seven Nepali festivals every traveler should experience.
Celebrated in March, Holi, also known as the festival of colors, marks the end of the winter. The festivities are bright and colorful, with people celebrating by playing with water and colored powder.
Holi celebrates Holika’s death, a character who tried to kill Prahlad, Vishnu’s follower. It also, as mentioned before, marks the end of the winter and the beginning of the spring.
With children running around spraying colored powder and throwing water balloons, Holi is one of the most remarkable and joyful festivals in Nepal.
Celebrated in August, Gai Jatra is one of the unique festivals in Nepal. During Gai Jatra, people pay respects to those who have died during the year and celebrate cows.
Why? Because it’s believed that cows help the deceased to reach the god of death, Yama. People decorate the animals and lead them through the streets. The festival is full of people dancing around and singing.
Men wear women’s clothes and joke around, and many laughs help fight grief of loss. Gai Jatra is an unforgettable celebration that every traveler should experience when in Nepal.
The festival of lights Tihar is the second biggest holiday in Nepal. The celebrations last for five days, during which Nepalis crack crackers, light lanterns, and create colorful decorations.
Tihar is also the celebration of dogs, cows, brothers and sisters, and goddess Laxmi. The colors, lights, and beautiful decorations make this festival hypnotizing to watch.
The purpose of Indra Jatra is to pray for a good harvest in the upcoming year. During the festival, Nepali families display images and sculptures of Akash Bhairav and drink the traditional Nepali liquor, Raksi.
Nepalis celebrate Indra Jatra by dancing in demon masks, dressing as devils, and displaying images of gods and goddesses. The festival is full of colors and people dressed in various costumes wearing masks.
One of the main attractions is the elephant mask dance, which pays tribute to the god’s Intra elephant he used to ride on.
Celebrated mostly by women, Teej is a festival during which married women pray for success, long life, and good health for husbands. Unmarried girls, on the other hand, pray to find a good husband.
The festival lasts for three days and is full of dances, feasts, and prayers. Women dress in red saris, sign songs about womanhood, and offer their prayers to Lord Shiva.
Teej is one of the most significant and popular celebrations in Nepal, with thousands of tourists observing it every year.
Shiva Ratri is a Hindu celebration of Mahadev or Lord Shiva and gathers together citizens of Nepal and India. Followers take a bath in the sacred river in the sunrise and fast all day.
The central part of celebrations occurs during the night, with people dancing and singing around bonfires, enjoying the music, and offering their prayers. But it doesn’t end there.
Sadhus paint their faces and bodies, meditate and smoke cannabis.
Shiva Ratri is one of the most unique and significant festivals that takes place in Nepal.
The Tibetan New Year, called Lhosar, is the most popular, vibrant, and remarkable festival of Nepal. Different communities of Nepalis celebrate it on several days, but the idea and celebration remind the same for the whole country.
The festival is a true celebration of Nepali culture and traditions. People dance, sing, pray, exchange gifts, wear masks, cook Nepali food, and drink traditional beverages.
And with the whole cities and monasteries decorated colorfully, the entire experience is unforgettable. Attending Lhosar is a must for every traveler who plans to go to Nepal.
Although Nepal is mostly recognized for being in the Himalayas center, it’s the country’s culture that creates an unforgettable experience for every traveler. There are many celebrations and festivals, and the ones above are just a few examples of how remarkable they can be.
That’s why if you plan to visit Nepal next year or somewhere in the near future, don’t forget to attend at least one of these festivals. It will blow your mind.
Also, keep in mind that you should check the actual dates, and where the festivities are going to take place, as particular regions may celebrate them on different days.
What are you waiting for then? It’s time for an adventure of your life.
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