Celebrations and Festivals in Nepal

Here is a list of celebration and festival happening in Nepal througout the year. 

Please, read the section that triggers interests and make sure to book a discussion with Suman in order to book your next Yoga & Trekking Journey. 

Maghe Sankranti – (माघे सङ्क्रान्ति)

English Calendar Date: Around January 14th
Nepali Calendar Date: माघे १
Duration: 1 day

Maghe Sankranti, also known as Makar Sankranti, is a significant festival celebrated at the beginning of the Nepali month of Magh. It marks the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn. This festival holds immense cultural and religious significance as it symbolizes the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of longer days. People gather at holy rivers like the Bagmati and take ritual baths to cleanse themselves of sins. Traditional feasts featuring delicacies like ghee, sweets made from sesame seeds, and yams are prepared. The festival is also associated with the deity Surya, the sun god, and people worship him for prosperity and good health.

For trekkers and tourists, attending Maghe Sankranti offers a unique opportunity to witness traditional Nepali culture and customs. They can observe locals participating in colorful festivities, flying kites, and indulging in communal feasting. It provides an immersive experience into the rich religious and agricultural traditions of Nepal, allowing visitors to connect with the local community and gain insight into their way of life.

Maghe Sankranti – (माघे सङ्क्रान्ति)

English Calendar Date: Around January 14th
Nepali Calendar Date: माघे १
Duration: 1 day

Maghe Sankranti, also known as Makar Sankranti, is a significant festival celebrated at the beginning of the Nepali month of Magh. It marks the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn. This festival holds immense cultural and religious significance as it symbolizes the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of longer days. People gather at holy rivers like the Bagmati and take ritual baths to cleanse themselves of sins. Traditional feasts featuring delicacies like ghee, sweets made from sesame seeds, and yams are prepared. The festival is also associated with the deity Surya, the sun god, and people worship him for prosperity and good health.

For trekkers and tourists, attending Maghe Sankranti offers a unique opportunity to witness traditional Nepali culture and customs. They can observe locals participating in colorful festivities, flying kites, and indulging in communal feasting. It provides an immersive experience into the rich religious and agricultural traditions of Nepal, allowing visitors to connect with the local community and gain insight into their way of life.

Basant Panchami – (वसन्त पञ्चमी)

Saraswati Puja – (सरस्वती पूजा)
English Calendar Date: Around January 29th (exact date varies each year)
Nepali Calendar Date: बसंत पञ्चमी (dates vary each year)
Duration: 1 day

Basant Panchami, also known as Saraswati Puja, is a Hindu festival celebrated to mark the arrival of spring and to worship Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu deity of knowledge, wisdom, and the arts. It usually falls in the month of February, on the fifth day of the bright half of the Nepali month of Magh.

On Basant Panchami, devotees wake up early in the morning, take a ritual bath, and dress in yellow attire, which symbolizes the vibrancy and freshness of spring. Homes and temples are adorned with yellow flowers, and offerings of sweets, fruits, and yellow-colored dishes are made to Goddess Saraswati.

Goddess Saraswati is depicted playing the veena (a musical instrument), holding a book, and riding on a swan. Devotees offer prayers and seek her blessings for knowledge, wisdom, and academic success. Students place their books, instruments, and tools before the goddess, believing that Saraswati’s blessings will enhance their learning abilities and creativity.

Basant Panchami is also a time for cultural celebrations and educational activities. Schools and educational institutions organize special events, including Saraswati Puja ceremonies, poetry recitations, music performances, and art exhibitions. Artists, musicians, and writers pay homage to Goddess Saraswati by showcasing their talents and creativity.

For trekkers and tourists, Basant Panchami offers an opportunity to experience the cultural significance of springtime in Nepal and the reverence for knowledge and learning. They can witness the colorful festivities, participate in Saraswati Puja ceremonies, and enjoy the cultural programs organized in various communities. It’s a chance to appreciate the beauty of nature’s renewal and the importance of education and creativity in Nepali culture.

Losar – (लोसार)

English Calendar Date: Around February 24th
Nepali Calendar Date: फागु पूर्णिमा
Duration: 3 days

Losar, the Tibetan New Year, is a joyous festival celebrated by the Tibetan community in Nepal and around the world. It falls on the first day of the Tibetan lunar calendar. Losar is a time of family reunions, feasting, and religious ceremonies. Monasteries come alive with colorful decorations, prayer flags, and the sound of chants and rituals. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil and the renewal of life, and it’s believed to bring prosperity and happiness in the coming year.

For trekkers and tourists, Losar offers a unique cultural experience to witness Tibetan traditions and customs. They can participate in Losar festivities in Tibetan settlements like Boudhanath and Swayambhunath in Kathmandu or in Tibetan refugee camps in Pokhara and other regions. It’s an opportunity to learn about Tibetan Buddhism, art, and cuisine while enjoying the warm hospitality of the Tibetan community.

Maha Shivaratri – (महा शिवरात्रि)

English Calendar Date: Around March 1st
Nepali Calendar Date: फागु पूर्णिमा
Duration: 1 day

Maha Shivaratri, the Great Night of Lord Shiva, is one of the most important Hindu festivals dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. It falls on the 14th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Falgun. Devotees observe fasts, perform rituals, and offer prayers to Lord Shiva, seeking his blessings for spiritual growth, prosperity, and liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, such as the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, attract thousands of devotees who gather to participate in religious ceremonies and witness cultural performances.

For trekkers and tourists, Maha Shivaratri offers a unique opportunity to experience the spiritual fervor and cultural traditions of Nepal. They can visit historic temples and sacred sites associated with Lord Shiva, witnessing firsthand the devotion and reverence of devotees. The festival provides insight into Hindu mythology and philosophy, as well as the vibrant religious practices that shape Nepali culture.

Fagu Purnima – (फागु पुर्णिमा)

English Calendar Date: Around March 18th
Nepali Calendar Date: फागु पूर्णिम
Duration: 1 day

Fagu Purnima, also known as Holi, is a vibrant and colorful festival celebrated across Nepal. It falls on the full moon day of the Nepali month of Falgun. The festival is marked by playful revelry, where people smear each other with colored powders and water, sing and dance to traditional folk music, and indulge in festive delicacies. Fagu Purnima symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and the arrival of spring, heralding new beginnings and renewal of life.

For trekkers and tourists, Fagu Purnima offers a lively and festive atmosphere to experience the cultural diversity and exuberance of Nepal. They can join in the colorful celebrations, interact with locals, and immerse themselves in the joyous spirit of the festival. It’s an opportunity to witness traditional Nepali customs and rituals while enjoying the camaraderie and hospitality of the Nepali people.

Nari Diwas – (नारी दिवस)
English Calendar Date: Around March 8th
Nepali Calendar Date: फागु २४
Duration: 1 day

Nari Diwas, also known as International Women’s Day, is a global celebration of women’s achievements and contributions to society. It falls on the 24th day of the Nepali month of Falgun. The day is marked by various events and activities promoting gender equality, women’s empowerment, and women’s rights. It’s a time to recognize the importance of women in all aspects of life and to advocate for gender equality and women’s rights.

For trekkers and tourists, Nari Diwas offers an opportunity to participate in events and initiatives supporting women’s empowerment and gender equality in Nepal. They can attend seminars, workshops, and cultural programs focused on women’s issues and learn about the challenges and successes of women in Nepali society. It’s a chance to engage with local organizations and communities working towards gender equality and contribute to efforts aimed at empowering women in Nepal.

Ghode Jatra – (घोडे जात्रा)

English Calendar Date: Around April 2nd
Nepali Calendar Date: चैत्र २०
Duration: 1 day

Ghode Jatra, the Festival of Horses, is an ancient festival celebrated in Kathmandu Valley, particularly in Kathmandu Durbar Square. It falls on the 20th day of the Nepali month of Chaitra. The festival is marked by various cultural performances, including horse parades, masked dances, and traditional music. It’s believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck and prosperity to the city. The highlight of the festival is the horse race held at Tundikhel, where skilled riders demonstrate their equestrian prowess.

For trekkers and tourists, Ghode Jatra offers a unique cultural experience to witness traditional Nepali festivities and rituals. They can join locals in Kathmandu as they gather to celebrate the festival with enthusiasm and joy. It’s an opportunity to immerse oneself in the vibrant culture of Kathmandu Valley and witness the rich heritage of Nepal’s capital city.

Ram Nawami – (राम नवमी)

English Calendar Date: Around April 10th
Nepali Calendar Date: चैत्र २३
Duration: 1 day

Ram Nawami commemorates the birth of Lord Rama, a significant deity in Hinduism revered for his virtues and righteousness. It falls on the ninth day of the bright half of the Nepali month of Chaitra. The festival is celebrated with great fervor by devotees who attend religious ceremonies, recite hymns, and offer prayers at temples dedicated to Lord Rama. It’s a time for spiritual reflection and devotion, as well as a celebration of the triumph of good over evil, as depicted in the epic Ramayana

For trekkers and tourists, attending Ram Nawami offers an opportunity to witness the religious customs and rituals associated with Hinduism in Nepal. They can visit temples dedicated to Lord Rama, such as Janaki Mandir in Janakpur or Ram Janaki Temple in Kathmandu, and participate in the festive atmosphere. It’s a chance to learn about the significance of Lord Rama in Hindu mythology and gain insight into the cultural heritage of Nepal.

Chaitra Dashain – (चैत्र दशैं)

English Calendar Date: Around April 13th
Nepali Calendar Date: चैत्र २६
Duration: 1 day

Chaite Dashain generally falls in the final month, Chaitra, of the Bikram Sambat calendar. This festival is known as Chaite Dashain or Small Dashain. The main Dashain falls in autumn. Chaite Dashain is almost the last festival in the Nepali calendar year. We have a new year ahead within a few days after this event. This event is celebrated for 2 days, the first day is Ram Navami(the birth day of Lord Ram Chandra) and Dashami is the second day. Chaite Dashain is named Chaitra Navaratri in some areas of Nepal and India. this festival has the same important days as 10 days of Bijaya Dashami although it is observed for 2 days in public. Chaite Dashain is a celebration of the victory of good over bad.

People keep fasting on the first day and visit various temples of Lord Ram. Goddess Durga is worshiped in Chaite Dashain day, and animals are sacrificed in some temples especially in Durga Bhawani temples. At Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur Durbar square, amounts of water buffalos, goats, chicken, and ducks are sacrificed. On this day, the public holiday is given to all Nepalese citizens. People enjoy the day off with friends and family. People eat delicious food and invite their close friends, relatives, and loved ones for the feast.

Buddha Jayanti – (बुद्ध जयन्ती)

English Calendar Date:  Around April 15th
Nepali Calendar Date: चैत ३१
Duration: 1 day

Buddha Jayanti, also known as Vesak or Buddha Purnima, commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. It falls on the full moon day of the Nepali month of Baisakh. Devotees visit Buddhist monasteries and shrines, offer prayers, and participate in religious ceremonies. The festival is a time for reflection, meditation, and acts of compassion, following the teachings and principles of Lord Buddha.

For trekkers and tourists, Buddha Jayanti offers an opportunity to learn about the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha while experiencing the peaceful and serene ambiance of Buddhist monasteries and stupas. They can visit sacred sites like Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, and Bodh Gaya, where he attained enlightenment, to gain insight into the origins and philosophy of Buddhism. It’s a chance to connect with spirituality and find inner peace amidst the natural beauty of Nepal.

Navavarsha – (नववर्ष)

English Calendar Date: Around April 14th
Nepali Calendar Date: बैशाख १
Duration: 1 day

It is time of religious fervor and celebration – the Nepali New Year, known to locals as Navavarsha. Nepal relies upon more than one calendar. As such, residents of Nepal get to enjoy three New Year celebrations, namely New Year on the Gregorian calendar, Tibetan New Year and Navavarsha. The Nepali calendar of Bikram Sambat (or Bikram Era) also runs for twelve months, however, the first month is Baisakh, which corresponds with mid April on the world-recognized Gregorian calendar. As with all New Year celebrations worldwide, Navavarsha is a joyful time for those residing in Nepal and those who are visiting the country.

Navavarsha or Nepalese New Year is typically held in the second week of April which is the first day of Baisakh on the Bikram Sambat calendar. The entire country comes to life with colorful celebrations, rejoicing and social entertainment. On the day of Nepal’s New Year, people typically get together with family and friends for parties and picnics. This important day is celebrated with much pageantry and massive feasts are enjoyed by all. Navavarsha is also a day of religious importance to many. In the morning people will typically make their way to temple to perform puja. Puja is a ritual offering presented to their gods. Then the Nepalese walk around the temple in a clockwise direction ringing the bells attached to the temple as they go. The entire country is filled with cheerful smiles and you are likely to receiving many friendly greetings.

Nepal’s New Year is accompanied by Bisket Jatra or the Festival of Bisket in Bhaktapur. This very important festival in Nepal is a commemoration of the renowned battle of Mahabharata. A large wooden post is set up in the town square and is representative of the victory gained in the battle. Frightening images of local deities stand upon chariots. These gods and godesses are worshiped with offerings of coins, flowers and blood. Images of Bhairab and Bhadra are also hauled around the city on chariots so that they may enjoy a view of the city. A tug-of-war takes place with residents from the lower part of Bhaktapur competing against those from upper Bhaktapur. The group which wins this event is said to be blessed with a wonderful year ahead.

Indeed, tourists in Nepal during the Nepali New Year will find the celebrations most intriguing and enjoyable. Be sure to join in the fun and dancing that is the essence Navavarsha every April.

Bisket Jatra – (बिस्केत जात्रा)

English Calendar Date: Around April 10th to April 18th
Nepali Calendar Date: चैत्र २७ देखि बैशाख ५
Duration: 9 days

Bisket Jatra is a traditional Newari festival celebrated in the town of Bhaktapur, Nepal. It takes place over nine days, spanning the end of the Nepali month of Chaitra and the beginning of Baishakh. The festival is marked by various rituals, processions, and cultural performances, including chariot pulling, masked dances, and the erection of a ceremonial pole called “yosin.” The highlight of the festival is the ritualistic pulling of chariots carrying the idols of Lord Bhairava and Goddess Bhadrakali through the streets of Bhaktapur.
For trekkers and tourists, Bisket Jatra offers a unique cultural experience to witness the vibrant traditions and customs of the Newari community. They can witness the colorful processions, marvel at the intricate artwork of the chariots, and immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere of Bhaktapur. It’s an opportunity to learn about the rich cultural heritage and religious significance of Bisket Jatra while enjoying the hospitality and warmth of the local community.

Chhath Parwa – (छठ पर्व)

English Calendar Date: Around April 26th
Nepali Calendar Date: बैशाख १३
Duration: 4 days

Chhath Parwa is a traditional Hindu festival celebrated primarily by the Madhesi and Tharu communities of Nepal. It falls on the 13th day of the bright fortnight of the Nepali month of Baisakh. The festival is dedicated to the worship of the sun god, Surya, and his consort, Chhathi Maiya. Devotees observe rigorous rituals, including fasting, bathing in holy rivers, and offering prayers to the rising and setting sun. Chhath Parwa is a time of purification, thanksgiving, and seeking blessings for the well-being of family and community.

For trekkers and tourists, Chhath Parwa offers a unique cultural experience to witness ancient Hindu rituals and traditions. They can visit riverside ghats and witness devotees performing rituals and offering prayers to the sun god. It’s an opportunity to learn about the significance of the sun in Hindu mythology and the cultural practices associated with worshipping nature and celestial bodies.

National Paddy Day – (राष्ट्रिय धान दिवस)

English Calendar Date: Around June 29th
Nepali Calendar Date: असार १५
Duration: 1 day

National Paddy Day, also known as Asar 15, is an agricultural festival celebrated across Nepal to mark the planting of paddy crops. It is the official rice plantation day, when paddy seedlings are transplanted from seed beds to muddied fields. It falls on the 15th day of the Nepali month of Asar. Farmers perform ceremonial planting of rice seedlings in their fields, accompanied by traditional music, dances, and rituals. The festival is a symbol of hope, as it signifies the beginning of the rice-growing season and the promise of a bountiful harvest.

For trekkers and tourists, National Paddy Day offers an insight into the agricultural practices and traditions of rural Nepal. They can witness farmers engaged in planting activities, learn about traditional farming techniques, and understand the importance of rice cultivation in Nepali culture and economy. It’s a chance to connect with the agrarian roots of Nepal and appreciate the symbiotic relationship between nature and society.

Raksha Bandhan – (रक्षा बन्धन)

English Calendar Date: Around August 8th
Nepali Calendar Date: श्रावण २३
Duration: 1 day

Raksha Bandhan, also known as Rakhi, is a Hindu festival celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters. It falls on the full moon day of the Nepali month of Shravan. Sisters tie rakhi, decorative bracelets, on their brothers’ wrists, symbolizing love, protection, and mutual respect. Brothers, in turn, pledge to protect and support their sisters throughout their lives. The festival strengthens family ties and fosters a sense of love and unity among siblings.

For trekkers and tourists, Raksha Bandhan offers an opportunity to witness the cultural significance of familial relationships in Nepal. They can observe the heartwarming rituals and customs associated with the festival, such as the exchange of gifts and sweets between siblings. It’s a chance to appreciate the values of love, loyalty, and kinship that form the foundation of Nepali society.

Kushe Aunsi – (कुशे औंसी)

English Calendar Date: Around August 22nd
Nepali Calendar Date: भाद्र ६
Duration: 1 day

Kushe Aunsi, also known as Gokarna Aunsi or Father’s Day, is a Nepali festival honoring fathers and forefathers. It falls on the new moon day of the Nepali month of Bhadra. Families pay tribute to their deceased fathers by performing pujas, offering prayers, and visiting sacred sites like the Gokarna Mahadev Temple in Kathmandu. It’s a time for remembrance, gratitude, and expressing love and respect for paternal figures.

For trekkers and tourists, Kushe Aunsi offers a glimpse into the cultural traditions and family values of Nepali society. They can witness families gathering at temples and ancestral homes to honor their fathers and ancestors, participating in rituals that have been passed down through generations. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the importance of family bonds and the role of paternal love and guidance in shaping individuals and communities.

Nag Panchami – (नाग पञ्चमी)

English Calendar Date: Around August 29th
Nepali Calendar Date: भाद्र १४
Duration: 1 day

Nag Panchami is a Hindu festival dedicated to the worship of snakes, particularly the serpent deity Nag. It falls on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the Nepali month of Bhadra. Devotees offer milk, honey, and rice to snake idols and images, seeking protection from snakebites and blessings for prosperity and fertility. The festival is based on ancient Hindu mythology and symbolizes reverence for nature and wildlife.

For trekkers and tourists, Nag Panchami offers a cultural insight into the significance of animals in Hindu mythology and folklore. They can observe puja rituals performed at snake shrines and temples, such as the Nag Pokhari in Kathmandu, and learn about the religious beliefs and customs associated with snake worship. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the spiritual connection between humans and the natural world and gain respect for diverse cultural practices.

Teej Festival – (हरितालिका तीज)

English Calendar Date: beginning of September (exact date varies each year)
Nepali Calendar Date: भदौ ३० देखि असोज १० (dates vary each year)
Duration: 3 days

Teej Festival, also known as Haritalika Teej, is a significant Hindu festival celebrated predominantly by women in Nepal. It somewhere between the end of August until middle of September, usually on the third day of the bright half of the Nepali month of Bhadra. Teej is a celebration of marital bliss, the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and the devotion of wives towards their husbands.

The festival spans three days, with each day holding its own significance. The first day, known as Dar Khane Din, is a day for feasting and merry-making. Married women gather at their parents’ homes and enjoy sumptuous meals, music, and dance to celebrate the occasion. The second day, called Rishi Panchami, is dedicated to paying homage to the seven sages or Rishis through ritualistic prayers and fasting. Women perform ceremonial baths in sacred rivers or ponds and offer prayers for the well-being of their families.

The third and main day of Teej, known as Hartalika Teej, is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. Married and unmarried women observe strict fasting and offer prayers to Goddess Parvati for the longevity and prosperity of their husbands. They dress in red attire, adorn themselves with traditional jewelry, and apply henna (mehendi) on their hands and feet as symbols of auspiciousness and marital devotion.

During Teej, women gather at temples dedicated to Goddess Parvati to offer prayers and perform rituals. They sing traditional songs (Teej geet) that narrate the story of Goddess Parvati’s devotion to Lord Shiva and express the joy and anticipation of marital bliss. The festival also provides an opportunity for women to bond, share experiences, and strengthen their relationships with each other.

For trekkers and tourists, Teej Festival offers a unique cultural experience to witness the fervor and devotion of Nepali women towards their families and traditions. They can observe the colorful celebrations, participate in traditional rituals, and learn about the cultural significance of Teej in Nepali society. It’s a chance to immerse oneself in the vibrant festivities and witness the rich cultural heritage of Nepal.

Krishna Janmashtami – (कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी)

English Calendar Date: Around September 2nd
Nepali Calendar Date: भाद्र १७
Duration: 1 day

Krishna Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu and a central figure in Hindu mythology. It falls on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of the Nepali month of Bhadra. Devotees observe fasts, sing devotional songs, and offer prayers at temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, such as the Krishna Mandir in Patan. The festival is marked by reenactments of Krishna’s childhood exploits and divine miracles, symbolizing his role as a protector and savior.

For trekkers and tourists, Krishna Janmashtami offers an opportunity to experience the religious fervor and cultural heritage of Hinduism in Nepal. They can witness colorful processions, theatrical performances, and devotional rituals honoring Lord Krishna. It’s a chance to learn about the life and teachings of Krishna, as depicted in Hindu scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita, and gain insight into the spiritual significance of his birth and divine mission.

Dashain Festival – (दशैं)

English Calendar Date: Around 3rd week of October (exact dates vary each year)
Nepali Calendar Date: असोज २५ देखि कार्तिक १५ (dates vary each year)
Duration: 15 days

Dashain, also known as Vijayadashami, is the most significant and longest Hindu festival celebrated in Nepal. It usually falls in the month of October, lasting for 15 days. Dashain commemorates the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. The festival also honors Lord Ram’s victory over the demon king Ravana, as depicted in the epic Ramayana. A version of this festival is celebrated as Navaratri in India(almost same dates), but Navaratri is not exactly the same as Dashain. 

Dashain is a time of family reunions, feasting, and cultural festivities. Homes are cleaned and decorated with colorful tika, jamara (barley sprouts), and garlands. People wear new clothes and receive blessings from their elders. One of the highlights of Dashain is the worship of various forms of Durga, including the fierce goddess Kali. Temples dedicated to goddess Durga are adorned with flowers and offerings, and devotees gather to offer prayers and seek blessings for prosperity and well-being.

Throughout the festival, Nepali communities organize cultural programs, music, and dance performances. Traditional games like swing rides (ping) and kite flying add to the festive atmosphere. On the tenth day of Dashain, known as Vijayadashami, elders apply tika and jamara to the foreheads of younger family members, symbolizing blessings of prosperity and protection. The day is also significant for receiving blessings from elders and seeking forgiveness for past mistakes.

For trekkers and tourists, Dashain offers a unique cultural experience to witness the grandeur and spirit of Nepali festivals. They can participate in traditional rituals, observe cultural performances, and join in the festive celebrations. It’s an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultural heritage of Nepal and witness the joyous spirit of Dashain, where communities come together to celebrate unity, prosperity, and the victory of good over evil.

Laxmi Puja – (लक्ष्मी पूजा)

English Calendar Date: Around the end of October (exact date varies each year)
Nepali Calendar Date: कार्तिक १५
Duration: 1 day

Laxmi Puja, also known as Diwali or Deepavali, is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated in Nepal. It usually falls in the month of October, on the fifteenth day of the dark fortnight of the Nepali month of Kartik. Laxmi Puja is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity.

On Laxmi Puja day, homes and businesses are adorned with colorful lights, oil lamps (diyas), and decorative rangoli patterns to welcome Goddess Laxmi. Devotees wake up early in the morning, take a ritual bath, and clean their homes to prepare for the puja. In the evening, families gather for the main puja ceremony, where they offer prayers, flowers, incense, and sweets to Goddess Laxmi. Special offerings of fruits, sweets, and coins are made to invite prosperity and abundance into the household.

After the puja, people exchange gifts and sweets with friends, relatives, and neighbors, symbolizing goodwill and prosperity. Firecrackers and fireworks light up the night sky, adding to the festive atmosphere. Laxmi Puja is also a time for feasting and merrymaking, with families coming together to enjoy delicious meals and sweets.

For trekkers and tourists, Laxmi Puja offers a vibrant cultural experience to witness the joyous celebrations and rituals associated with the festival. They can observe the colorful decorations, participate in puja ceremonies, and join in the festivities with local communities. It’s an opportunity to learn about the significance of Goddess Laxmi in Hindu mythology and experience the spirit of abundance and prosperity celebrated during Laxmi Puja.

Tihar – (तिहार)

English Calendar Date: Around the end of October (exact dates vary each year)
Nepali Calendar Date: कार्तिक १४ देखि कार्तिक १८ (dates vary each year)
Duration: 5 days

Tihar, also known as Deepavali or the Festival of Lights, is a major Hindu festival celebrated across Nepal. It falls on the 15th day of the dark fortnight of the Nepali month of Kartik, usually in October or November. Tihar is a time to honor various deities and celebrate the bond between humans and animals.

The festival spans five days, with each day dedicated to the worship of different deities. The first day, known as Kaag Tihar, honors crows, considered messengers of Yama, the god of death. People offer food to crows to seek protection for their homes. The second day, Kukur Tihar, is dedicated to dogs, who are revered as guardians and companions. Dogs are adorned with garlands and offered special treats as a sign of respect and gratitude.

The third day of Tihar is Gai Tihar and Laxmi Puja, where cows are worshipped for their sacred significance in Hindu culture, and Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, is revered. Homes and businesses are decorated with colorful lights, oil lamps, and rangoli patterns to welcome Goddess Laxmi and invite prosperity into the household.

The fourth day is Govardhan Puja or Goru Tihar, dedicated to the worship of oxen, which play a vital role in agriculture and transportation in Nepal. On this day, oxen are decorated with colorful paint and garlands and offered prayers for their strength and well-being. The fifth and final day of Tihar is Bhai Tika, where sisters honor their brothers with prayers, tika (vermillion paste), and garlands, symbolizing the bond of love and protection between siblings.

For trekkers and tourists, Tihar offers a mesmerizing spectacle of lights, colors, and cultural traditions. They can witness the vibrant decorations, participate in puja ceremonies, and experience the warmth of Nepali hospitality as families come together to celebrate. Tihar showcases the rich cultural heritage of Nepal and provides an unforgettable cultural experience for visitors.

Yomari Punhi – (योमरी पुन्ही)

English Calendar Date: Around December 20th
Nepali Calendar Date: मंसिर ५
Duration: 1 day

Yomari Punhi is a Newari festival marking the end of the rice harvest. It is celebrated in the Kathmandu Valley, particularly by the Newar community. It falls on the full moon day of the Nepali month of Mangsir (November-December).

The festival is named after “yomari,” a sweet delicacy made from rice flour dough and filled with molasses or sesame seeds. Yomari Punhi is a time for family gatherings, feasting, and cultural performances. The sweet yomari symbolizes prosperity and good fortune, and it’s believed to bring happiness and blessings to those who partake in it.

For trekkers and tourists, Yomari Punhi offers a chance to experience the unique traditions and culinary delights of the Newar community. They can participate in yomari-making workshops, taste authentic Newari cuisine, and witness cultural performances showcasing the rich heritage of the Kathmandu Valley. It’s an opportunity to immerse oneself in the vibrant culture and traditions of Nepal’s indigenous communities.