Festivals of Nepal

  • Mani Rimdu

    Mani Rimdu

    Festivals of Nepal

    Nepal is known the world over for its succession of colorful vibrant festivals. It is said that “In Nepal every other building is a temple and every other day is a festival.” Nepalese are said to observe more festivals than there are days in the year, some of the major and interesting festivals are listed here. There are many kinds of festivals some honor certain Hindu and Buddhist gods or goddesses, and some recreate important events from ancient mythology and epic literature. Whereas national festivals have fixed dates; religious festivals strictly follow the lunar calendar. The best part about the festivals in Nepal is that all the events are celebrated with the same enthusiasm and galore the way is used to be hundreds of years ago when people had no other means of entertainment.
    The rich cultural heritage of Nepal is best expressed in the many large small festivals that occur through the ear. Thought the Nepalese have diverse beliefs and ethnic backgrounds, all unite in the celebration of the year’s major festivals. Festivals such as dashain and Tihar are of national significance; such as Bisket Jatra or Red Machchhendratnath Jatra, belong to the traditions of the old valley towns and still others, such as Mani Rimdu, and are observed only by a particular country side community.
    Visit to Nepal, no matter which time of the year, promises a colo9rful and rewarding festive experience!

    Mani Rimdu:
    Mani Rimdu is the most important festival in Tengboche. Trips to the Everest region can be rewarding if they can be organized during the days of the festival. It consists of nine days of ceremonies and meditation (Drypchen).This is concluded by a special blessing ceremony given by Tengboche Rinpoche to the public and the world renowned Mask Dances performed by the monks at Tengboche Monastery.
    The following are the approximate dates of Mani Rimdu events this year based on the Tibetan Lunar calendar.

    12 Oct : Preparations including making the sand Mandala and Tormas (symbolic offerings made of colors butter and barley flour)

    19 Oct : Drupchen ceremonies start and continue uninterrupted for 8 days.

    24 Oct : Monks practice dancing without masks

    25 Oct : Giving the blessing to the general public (Wang)

    26 Oct : Famous Mask Dances Performs by the monks in a special day long ceremony. Afterwards the Sherpa community sings and dance the whole night long.

    27 Oct : Concluding fire Puja.

    Lhosar (Tibetan New Year)
    This is the New Year of the Tibetans and Sherpas of Nepal which falls in February. The Buddhist monasteries in Kathmandu like Boudhanath and Swayambhunath are decorated with eye catching colorful prayer flags pulling the crowd. The people perform their traditional dances and welcome their New Year with feasts and family gatherings wearing all the new clothes and finest jewelries and exchanging gifts.

    Teej
    This is a Hindu married woman’s day for her man. This festival is celebrated in August/September. Women clad in beautiful red saris with shining potes (glass beads), singing and dancing is the sight almost everywhere in Nepal during the festival of Teej. On this day women observe a fast and pray Lord Shiva for the long, healthy and prosperous life of their husbands and their families. The unmarried women also observe this festival with unabated zeal with the hope that they will get to marry good husbands. From early dawn, women queue up in the multiple lines in Pashupatinath to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva.

    Dashain
    During the month of Kartik (late September and early October), the Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain. Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout the country.
    The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon. Thorough out the kingdom of Nepal the goddess Durga in all her manifestations are worshiped with innumerable pujas, abundant offerings and thousands of animal sacrifices for the ritual holy bathing, thus drenching the goddess for days in blood.

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