Major festivals of Nepal
Festival in NepalWith the pleasant Autumn season, when sky is clear, the air is clean and with the blooming flowers in the field, Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain. Dashain is the longest (15 days) and auspicious festival of Nepal in Nepalese calender which is celebrated by all castes of Nepal. The festival falls around September–October, starting from the bright lunar fortnight and ending on the day of full moon.Whole over the nation goddess Durga in all her manifestations are worshiped with innumerable pujas, abundant offerings and thousands of animal sacrifices. According to the legend, the bloodthirsty Goddess, Durga conquered evils by slaying the terrible demon Mahisasur on the Dashain day. It emphasis on the family gatherings, People return from all parts of the world and all government offices, educational institutions and other offices remain close.
Mainly first, seventh, eighth, nineth and tenth are important days. The first day is Ghatasthapana, in which a holy water vessel is made and Barley seeds are planted in it. The seventh day is “Phulapati” which means offering of flowers and leaves, carried from Gorkha to kathmandu. The eighth day is “Maha Asthami” in which hundreds of goats, sheep and buffaloes are sacrificed at the mother goddess temples. The ninth day is called “Maha-navami”, the state offers the sacrifices of animals under the gunfire salutes. The tenth day is ‘Dashami’ in which people take tika and jamara and blessing from their elders by visiting their homes. This function continues for four days more.
Tihar, the festival of lights is also known as Dipawali, Bhai Tika or Laxmi Puja is celebrated five days. Tihar comes soon after the Dashain Festival,The name Tihar means the festival of lights, where many candles are lit both inside and outside the houses to make it bright at night. The five-day festival is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to not just the humans and the Gods, but also to the animals like crow, cow and dog, who maintain an intense relationship with the humans.we worship the Hindu Goddess of Fortune or Wealth (Goddess Laxmi), and cooking great meals at home, brothers and sisters shopping for gifts, flying kites, decorating homes and streets, playing cards with friends, resting and relaxing, and finally ending the festival with an exchange of a special temporary mark on forehead (tika in Nepali). The last day of the festival is known as Tika day or popularly known as Bhai Tika day (Bhai in Nepali means Brother). To sum up Tihar festival, Tihar is the festival when sisters wish a long life to their brothers (Bhai).
Buddha Jayanti (April-May)
Buddha Jayanti is the birth day of Lord Gautam Budhha. Budhha’s original name was Sidhartha Gautam. Siddhartha Gautam was born about 543 BC in Kapilvastu of Nepal. Buddha Purnima Festival or Buddha Jayanti Festival is the most sacred day in Buddhist calendar. It is the most important festival of Buddhists, and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Although Buddhists regard every full moon as sacred, the moon of the month of Vaisakh/Baisakh (April – May) has special significance because on this day Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, and Nirvana. This strange, three-fold coincidence, gives Buddha Purnima its unique significance. The event is celebrated by gentle and serene fervour, keeping in mind the very nature of Buddhism. People, especially women, go to common Viharas to observe a rather longer-than-usual, full-length Buddhist sutra, as something like a service. The usual dress is pure white. Non-vegetarian food is normally avoided. Kheer, a sweet rice porridge is commonly served to recall the story of Sujata, a maiden who, in Gautama Buddha’s life, offered the Buddha a bowl of milk porridge after he had given up the path of asceticism following six years of extreme austerity. This event was one major link in his enlightenment.