Home > Festivals in Nepal


Nepali culture comprises its diversity of castes, languages, religions, rituals etc. and people from different communities have their own right to follow these diversities in their choice. However, the diversity has very beautifully respected the religions tolerance and created an exemplary history of cooperation. Cultural festivals have a great role to maintain such harmony and unity among people. Nepali religious tradition is established in an amalgamation of different cultures of Arya, Mangol, Kirat, Drabid etc. Nepal as a county of diversity is still lively due to the various festivals of these cultures. The major festival celebrated in Nepal.

New Year:

Baisakh first is celebrated as a initiation of New Year in Nepal and it is also called Mesh Sankranti. Bisket jatra and jibro chedne jatra( jatra of piercing tongue) are famously celebrated in this very day. Vikram Sambat was officially declared as a sole calendar by Chandra Samser in 1960 and Baisakh first was begun to be celebrated as the day of New Year.

Matatirtha Aunis(New Moon on Mothers’ Remembrance):

Matatirtha Aunsi is celebrated in Baisakha Kriahna Amawasya date. In this day, children feed their mother with her favorite dishes, offer new clothes and respect and revere with love. People gather at Matatirhth during Mata Aunsi where people take bath and offer tarpan and Shradha to their dead mother.

Buddha Jayanti(Buddha’s Birthday):

With a pious aim of teaching the world a lesson of non-violence, peace and friendship in order to establish eternal peace and equality, Gautam Buddha renounced the royal luxury and entered into jungle for penance. The birth day of this very great man is celebrated as Buddha Jayanti all over the country. He was born in 626 BC as a son of king Suddhodan and Mayadevi in Kapilvastu of Terai region. He was named Siddhartha at his birth.

Nagpanchami(Fifth day of Serpents):

The coexistence of animals and creatures is respected widely in Nepali culture. In course of such respect, snakes are worshipped as a Nag (god) and Nagpanchami is the day to make such worshiping. It takes place in Shrawan Sukla Panchami when people paste the pictures of god sleeping on the bed of snake above their doors.


It is celebrated during Shrawan sukal Purnaa (Full Moon ) by consecrating to the priest of knowledge, rishis. It is also called rishi tarpani. A new sacred thread is worn as a symbol of new life and new initiation in this day. This is why, it is also called by the name of Janai purnima. Since people tie thread as a symbol for security it is also named Rakshya Banddhan( a thread of security).


It carries a peculiarity of both laughter and cry at once. By this, it teaches the world to accept death as a natural process sand lowers the fear of death in people. On the one side, it pays respect, remembrance and commemoration to the dead ones and on the other had creates laughter in people through its comic and satiric programs . It is celebrated in the next day to Rakhaya Bandhan.

Shreekrishan Jansmasthami:

Lord Krishna was born at midnight of Asthami of Krishna Pakshya in Bhadra inside a prison at Mathura as a son of Basudev (of Yadhubansi) and his wife Devaki . This day is celebrated as a Shreekrishna Janmasthami and people gather at Krishna temple of Patan from early morning to the midnight paying homage and respect to Him. They preach, sing hymns and worship Krishna in this day.

Kunse Aunsi:

Kunse and Gokarna Aunsi are the days to pay homage to the dead parents. It is also called a day to see father’s face ( Babuko Mukh Herne Din). It falls in Bhadra Krishan Aunsi. Kush has a relation to kunse Ausnsi. Kunsh is religiously and philosophically accepted as a sacred grass. It is a kind of grassy weed. Every Devkarya( works on god) , pitrikarya( works on dead parents) and other cultural performances need Kunsh to accomplish them. It shows the importance of plants in environmental balance and Nepali cultural consciousness of it.


Married ladies for good age and fate of their husbands and unmarried in a hop of getting a good one, take a fasting without drinking water in Jeej. In the previous day of teej, they take food rich in energy and protein, similarly on Panchami they take bath , change new dress and others ornaments and go to Shiva temple to worship lord Shiva.

Gaura Parba:

It is taken as a symbol of women’s freedom and an ideal married couple. Gaura( Parbati) chose Shankar ( Shiva ) in her own wish and began a day of women’s freedom and liberty. In this way Gara/ Gauri’s (parbati) decision of marrying Shiva and their happy married life is remembered as sacred day. This is how Gaura Parba began with. If falls sometimes on Shukla but sometimes on Krishan Pakshya in every year. This festival is celebrated in Krishna or Shukla Pakshya in the month of Bhadra.

Banda Dashain:

It is celebrated from Aswin Shukal Pratipada to Kojagrt Purnaima (full moon ) in Nepal. Derived from Sanskrit root word “dashami” , Dashain is formed in Nepali. Nava ratra is a worshipping of the Devi of Power, Durga, for whole nine days. Devi Navadurga’s first avatar is shailaputri (daughter of Shail). She is called by this name because of a belief that she was born as a daughter o Sahil Himalaya. Second avatar of Her is Brhmacharini which means a guise of meditative Devi. She is in a full brightness in this guise. Chandraghanta guise is to be worshipped on the third day of Navaratri and she is full of peace and welfare. She has got a half moon in a form of bell in her head. There was no existence of the world when there was a darkness everywhere and Kusmunda was the first power to create a universe out of a laughter of pleasure. Skandamata is worshipped on the fifth day of Navaratra. Skanda is a name of Lord Kumar Kartikya (son of Shiva – Parbati). He was the chief of gods’ troop in a war fought between god and monsters. Since she is a mother of Skanda, fifth guise of Durga is called Skandamata. Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahgauri and Siddhiratri are worshipped on sixth, seventh, eighth and nineth day of Navaratri respectively. Nest day of Navaratir is Dashami or Banda Dashin and people receive tika and blessing from their elders on this day Goats are purchased on seventh day and are sacrificed in the eighth day of Banda Dashain. In this very day people prepare swing of different kinds like Lathe (having made up of ropes), Linge (a tall make up of Bamboos and ropes and Chaudali. People engaged in different jobs or business inside or out of the country return to their home on this occasion since it is a major and great festival of Nepali people.


It is also known by the names of Sukla Dutiya or Bhatri Dutiya. It is a festival of Deus I( a kind of special singing and dancing). Flaming lamps and kindles are used to challenge the darkening night. Therefore it is also called as Deepa Malika (garland of light), Jyotiparba(festival of flame) or Deepawali (Ceremony of light). Worshipping of crow, dog, cow, ox and brother reminds us a human respect to all kinds of animals. The five days of Tihar include KagTihar( Tihar of crow), Kukur tihar(Tihar of dog), Gai tihar( tihar of cow), goru tihar(tihar of ox), and Bhai tihar (tihar of brother). These five days are also known as Yama Panchak. Crow is revered in the first day of tihar by offering food to it, in the second day dog is worshipped by garlanding and massaging it with oil. Similarly cow the national animal of Nepal is worshipped in the third day of Tihar. People worship cow in the morning and Laxmi (a goddesses of wealth) in the evening. Bali king who provided his three worlds(sky, earth and underworld) in charity was blessed by god Bishnu informing that one to worship in these following three days would get a redemption form a pain of Yama (a god of death). This story about tihar is very popular among people. People thus, play Deusi Bhailo (a special kind of singing and dancing) in the memory of king Bali during this occasion. In the fourth day of tihar, a symbolic hill of Gobardhan Prbat (hill of cow dung), the dome of cow dung is worshipped, sister in the fifth day put tika to their brothers wishing for a long life, skill and wealth for them.

Chat parva:

Different materials are offered to the setting sun with a wish of welfare and betterment of children along with child bearing. People take fasting for two days in this occasion. Women to take such fasting have had their food without salt in the day of Panchami. They fast even without water in Sasthi and change a new dress in the afternoon. After this. They head to the bank of river in their respective groups’ merrymaking on the way and at last offer their materials to the setting sun/ they place the five kinds of seasonal fruits with centistokes on the bank of river.


Edh- ul- Fither or Edul Fither is a full form of Ed. Ed an Arabic word stands for pleasure or happiness. Feasting begins on the day of Ed after one month long fasting; Ed is celebrated in group after a completion of roja (a group meditation) in Ramjan (month).

Nwagi (Udhauli) Pujanolshav Parba:

This parba is celebrated for good crops. It is celebrated in Kirat society. Before seeding for crops, Ubhauli is worshipped whereas Nwagi is to offer the first harvested crops to dead elders/ parents in a happiness of a successful harvesting / this is also called Udhauli parba. Rai, Limbu, Sunuwar and Yakhas of Kirat society celebrate it in different names.


Lhosar’s etymological meaning is a new year. Originated and developed in Tibet and China, it is being celebrated in Nepal too. According to the Chinese calendar Lho or years are named after the Animals which are mouse, tiger, cat, vulture, snake, horse, monkey, bird, dog and wild pig. The same names are repeated cyclically after each twelve years. Jan. 20 to Feb. 19 is supposed to be the beginning of New Year according to the Chinese calendar. Sherpas of Nepal celebrate the same date as a new year.


Christmas is celebrated every year on 26th Dec. as festival providing an inspiration to fight against the injustices and evils it is related to the birth day of Jesus Christ, the profounder and Christianity. The sacred place of this religion is called church and the religious officials are called bishop, pasture or arch bishop.

Maghe Shankranti:

Sun enters to the Northern maker rasi after six months long stay at southern Karkat rasi. This very day is celebrated as a Makar Sankranti. Furuala ( a kind of food make up of flour of buck wheat ) bread ( selroti) , ghee, yam , mixture of pulses( Khichadi) etc are eaten during this day. Such foods benefit the body in cold.

Sahid Diwas(Martyr’s day):

The patriots of a country ready to sacrifice themselves for a progress and sovereignty of his or her nation have a great role in the development of that country. Martyrs are above all the people. Courageous sons of Neal, Shukraraj Shastri, Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Ganga Lal Shresth, Dahsrath Cahdnd and many other known and unknown martyrs are remembered or commemorated during the martyr’s day. It is celebrated from 10th to 16th of Magh.

Basanta Panchami:

There are six seasons in Nepal. Among them are Basanta, Shisir, Hemanta, Sharad, Barshad. Basanta Panchami falls in Basanta season and it is also called Shree Panchami. Students and disciples worship the Muse (Saraswoti, a goddess of Knowledge) whereas the children’s study begins from this very day and is taken a good for new initiation too.

Prajatantra Diwas(Democracy Day):

The day of the end of 103 years long Rana rule and declaration of democracy by king Tribhuvan on 7th Falgun 2007, is celebrated as a democracy day in Nepal.

Education day:

The primary education was made free on the occasion the crowing of king Beerendra on 12th of Falgun, 2031 vs. this day has been celebrated as education day in Nepal.


After the creation of universe, Parbati asked Shive about his favorite day and Shiva’s reply was the Chaturdashi (forth) of Krishnapakshya in Falgun. Shiva’s favorite day has been celebrated as a Shivaratri by fasting and consecrating belpatra to Shivalinga during the day.

Fagu Purnima:

Fagu purnima is a common but colorful festival of all the people of different castes and religions. It begins with the erecting of chir (a pillar) in front of Hanuman dhoka and is celebrated from Falgun Shukla Asthami to Purnama (full moon) as a Basantasab(celebration of Basanta season).


Navaratris (nine nights) from Chaitra Shukla Pratipada to Nawami( Nineth day) are celebrated as Basantia Navaratra. Since they are celebrated in Basanta season they are called Basantiya Navaratras. It is also called Cahite Dashain . in the power places of Devi Durgabhawani, on eighth day ( Asthami) in Chaitra, a special worshipping takes place in such places.

Translate »