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Festivals in Nepal

There is a proverb saying that one of the two buildings in Nepal is a temple and one of the two days is a festival. All the Gods and Goddesses, monsters, seasons, dead relatives and friends have to be honored with a festival. It is fun to see and maybe you are even allowed to participate in a parade! In this section you can find the most popular festivals and dates. It is recommended to ask the tourist office to the specific dates. The dates depends on the lunar calendar so this can be diafferent every year.

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Festival overview Nepal

Magha Sankranit14-15 JanuarySpecial in Devghat, to have ritual bathings in holy rivers
Basant Panchami5th<> day after full moon in JanuaryFestival of the spring, to honor Saraswati, the Goddess of wishdom
Maha SnanJanuaryIn Pashupatinath the God Shiva will get a holy bath
Lhosar1st day of the new moon in FebruaryTibetan New year. Best places to visit is Boudhanath and refugee camps in Pokhara
Shiva RatriNew moon in FebruaryThe night of Shiva, the God of the destruction and rebirth at Pashupatinath
HoliWeek in February/MarchYouth are throwing colored powder and water on each other.
Ghora JatraMarchThe horse festival at Tundikhel in Kathmandu
Pasa ChareMarchNight parade to protect against demon
Chaitra DasainEnd MarchRitual offers to Goddess Durga
Seto Machhendranath SnanFour days in end MarchProcession in Kathmandu where the God of Compassion is driven around in a high vehicle
Chaitra PrunimaFull moon in MarchThe mother of Buddha is honored by pilgrims in Lumbini
DumjeAprilSherpa’s party in the Junbesi monastery in Solu
Ram NawamiAprilFestival in Janakpur; Birthday of Ram
Navabarsa13-14 aprilNepali Newyear
Bisket Jatra13-17 aprilNepali Newyear in Bhaktapur with torchlight processions and people color their faces red
Mata Thirta Snan9 mayMothers’ day
Mani RimduMayIt is a dance drama festival with monks in Khumbu
SithinakhaMayBirthday of Kumar, the son of Shiva in Kathmandu
Gangra DesharaMayHindu’s visit the holy rivers in Khaptad
Tulsi BijropanJuneFast day
Kingsday7 JulyBirthday of King Gyanendra
Bhoto BekhaumeJulyExhibition of a precious mantle to the royal family
Machhendranath Rath JatraAugustusTo honor the red Machhendranath, the God is driven around in a 2 meter high verhicle
Gai Jatra22nd AugustusCow festival with parades in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur
Krishna Jayanti28th AugustusBirthday of Vishnu. Women brings offers and stay the night at the Krishnamandir in Patan
Indra Jatra16-23 AugustusLord Indra is the God of the rain and the king of heaven. It is celebrated by both Hindus and Buddhists at the Hanuman Dhoka in Kathmandu.
Gokarna Ausi5th SeptemberFather’s day
Teej Ko Darkhane Din8th– 11st SeptemberColorful women festival, special in Pashupatinath
Dashain11-14th OctoberMost important Hindu festival. Locals visit their native place and families.
Diwali5 days in OctoberLight festival
Haribodhini EkadasiNovemberPilgrimage to the four temples in the valley of Kathmandu
Indrayani JatraNew moon in NovemberGods are driven around in Kirtipur
Bala ChaturdashiNew moonNight wake at Pashupatinath.
Sita Vivaha PanchamiDecemberThe marriage of Ram and Sita from Ramayana

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