nepal festival calendar
A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrations throughout the Year in Nepal

Nepal Festival Calendar

Nepalese people celebrate as many festivals as there are days in a year. As we discuss Chhath, Teej, Janai Purnima, Shree Panchami, Lhosar, Buddha Jayanti, and so much more, you’re sure to have a newfound appreciation for the diverse yet in-sync cultural celebrations of Nepal.

Karuna Bhattarai
Author | Karuna Bhattarai Date Published:
nepal festival calendar

Nepal is a land of mystique, diversity, and deep-rooted traditions, where festivals are celebrated with unbridled joy and reverence. Each festival has a unique story to tell, woven intricately into the fabric of Nepali culture, revealing the country’s deep connection to its history and spiritual beliefs. From the riotous colors of the Holi festival to the tranquil Buddha Jayanti, Nepal’s festivals offer an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in a world of captivating customs, delicious food, and infectious celebration. 

If you want an authentic and immersive experience of Nepali culture, this comprehensive guide to Nepal’s festivals throughout the year is your ultimate resource. As we look through the rich tapestry of Nepal’s celebrations, we will uncover the captivating stories, traditions, and rituals behind each festival. With the frenzied excitement of Bisket Jatra, where locals of Bhaktapur pull ornate chariots through the streets, and the joyous excitement of Dashain, the longest and most important festival in Nepal, the air is filled with the scent of varied celebrations.

List of Major Festivals in Festivals




  • Maghe Sankranti

  • Lhosar


  • Maha Shivaratri

  • Basanta Panchami


  • Holi

  • Ghode Jatra


  • Nepali New Year and Bisket Jatra

  • Mata Tirtha Aunsi

  • Ed al-Fitr

  • Ram Navami


  • Buddha Jayanti

  • Tiji Festival


  • Janai Purnima

  • Gai Jatra

  • Nag Panchami


  • Krishna Janmashtami

  • Indra Jatra and Kumari Jatra

  • Haritalika Teej


  • Dashain

  • Mani Rimdu Festival


  • Tihar

  • Chhath Parva


  • Bibaha Panchami

  • Ubhauli Parva

  • Christmas

  • Yomari Punhi

But that’s not all, Nepal is indeed a land of enchantment, where festivals burst with color, music, and delicious food, where tradition and spirituality weave into everyday life. As you explore Nepal’s festivals, you will also discover the delicious foods, vibrant music, and dazzling costumes that make each celebration special. You will marvel at the intricate details of Tamang costumes worn during the Lhosar festival, and the dazzling colors on display during Holi.

Nepalese people celebrate as many festivals as there are days in a year. Of course, some are lesser known and confined within an ethnic group, while some are celebrated nationwide. As we discuss Chhath, Teej, Janai Purnima, Shree Panchami, Lhosar, Buddha Jayanti, and so much more, you’re sure to have a newfound appreciation for the diverse yet in-sync cultural celebrations of Nepal. This Nepal festival calendar guide is your ticket to a world of wonder and discovery, a chance to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of Nepal’s festivals. So come along and join the celebration!

Table Of Content

Table Of Content


    January is marked by two major festivals: Maghe Sankranti and Lhosar, offering a fascinating glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage.

    Maghe Sankranti

    Maghe Sankranti, also called Maghi or Makar Sankranti, is one of the most significant festivals in Nepal and is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm, especially by the Tharu community. The festival is observed on the first day of Magh, the 10th month of the Bikram Sambat Calendar, which falls in mid-January, marking the end of the winter solstice.

    maghe sankranti festival in nepal

    Maghe Sankranti is especially known for its special food items, especially sweet dishes made from sesame seeds, nuts, jaggery, rice flour, and molasses. Til ko laddoo, Chaku, sweet potatoes(Sakkhar Khanna), etc are some of the popular dishes prepared during the festival. These dishes are said to provide warmth and energy to the body during the cold winter season.

    Traditional customs and rituals are followed with great enthusiasm, including taking holy baths in rivers and lakes before sunrise and offering prayers to the gods. The holy town of Sankhu in Kathmandu Valley is a popular place for devotees to take a holy dip in the river. One of the key attractions of Maghe Sankranti is the large Mela (fair) held in the holy town of Devghat with more than 1 lakh devotees visiting the confluence of the Trishuli and Gandaki rivers every year. Overall, Maghe Sankranti is a joyous festival that brings people together, and it celebrates the beginning of a new harvest season and the renewal of life.


    Lhosar is a festival celebrated by the Tibetan community in Nepal, marking the Tibetan New Year. The festival falls in the month of February, according to the Tibetan lunar calendar, but the celebrations begin in January. It is a time of joy, renewal, and purification, supposed to bring good luck for the upcoming new year.

    losar festival in nepal

    There are three different Lhosar celebrations: Tamu Lhosar celebrated by the Gurung community, Sonam Lhosar celebrated by the Tamangs, and Gyalpo Lhosar celebrated by the Sherpas, Hyolmo, and Bhotiya communities of Nepal. Each celebration has its unique customs and rituals, such as the preparation of special dishes, traditional dances, and prayers to ward off evil spirits.

    During Lhosar, people decorate their homes with colorful prayer flags, flowers, and traditional ornaments. People dress up in traditional attire, and they participate in cultural events, dances, and musical performances. One of the most exciting aspects of Lhosar is the vibrant mask dance, the Cham dance, performed by monks in different monasteries. The mask dance is a sacred ritual that depicts the triumph of good over evil, and it is believed to bring good luck and prosperity.


    February celebrates the changing of the season from winter to autumn. Maha Shivaratri and Saraswati Puja are the major highlights of this month, celebrating Lord Shiva and Goddess Saraswati.

    Maha Shivaratri

    Maha Shivaratri, or the “Great Night of Shiva”, is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in Nepal and other parts of the world. It falls in February or March, depending on the lunar calendar, and it is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu calendar.

    Maha Shivaratri is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known as the destroyer of evil, and the transformer of the universe. On the day of Maha Shivaratri, women fast praying for a husband like Lord Shiva or for the longevity of their husbands. There are long queues of people waiting for their turn to worship the lord in one of the many major Shiva Temples all over the country, including the Pashupatinath Temple, Doleshwar Mahadev Temple, Kumbheswar Temple, etc.

    One of the most unique and not to miss aspects of Maha Shivaratri is the Sandhya Aarti at Pashupatinath Temple, where the head priests perform Tandava in the holy Bagmati river. Thousands of devotees also take a dip in the river, which is believed to wash away sins and grant an afterlife as humans after death. Overall, it is a time of spiritual reflection and celebration aimed to gain blessings from Lord Shiva.

    sandhya aarti in pashupatinath at maha-shivaratri

    Basanta Panchami

    As winter transitions into spring, Nepalese celebrate the festival of Basanta Panchami to welcome the new season with hope, warmth, and joy. Also known as Shree Panchami or Saraswati Puja, Basanta Panchami usually falls in the month of February or March and is celebrated by both Hindus and Buddhists across Nepal.

    The festival is primarily dedicated to the goddess of knowledge, music, and arts - Saraswati, and is observed by students, musicians, artists, and scholars. On this day, people dress up in yellow, the color of spring, and offer yellow flowers, sweets, and fruits to the goddess as a symbol of purity, new beginnings, and prosperity. Yellow and white are said to be Saraswati’s favorite colors.

    Customarily, people also clean and decorate their homes, schools, and offices with colorful garlands, flowers, and lights. Students and young children visit temples and offer their prayers to Saraswati for academic success and wisdom. Alongside the puja, people fly kites of various shapes and sizes, and it is a sight to behold as the sky is filled with vibrant colors and patterns. 

    Children are introduced to reading and writing on this day, and it is believed to be an auspicious time to begin new ventures and projects. Overall, Basanta Panchami is a celebration of knowledge, art, and nature, and symbolizes the arrival of spring, new beginnings, and hope for the future


    March is truly the month of color and extravaganza with the loud and proud display of Ghode Jatra by the Nepal Army to the nationwide colorful celebration of Holi. Have a quick read before you attend any of these festivals:


    holi in basantapur

    When it comes to vibrant and colorful festivals, Holi is undoubtedly the most popular one in Nepal. This ancient Hindu festival, also known as the festival of colors, celebrates the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring. Even though it is a Hindu festival, it is celebrated by people from all over the world who come to enjoy the colorful spectacle.

    The celebrations begin on the night before the main day with a bonfire called Holika Dahan, where people gather around to pray for the destruction of evil and the protection of good. On the following day, people come out on the streets, armed with colored powder and water, and start throwing it at each other. The celebration allows people to put aside their differences and gather together in joy and festivity.

    Along with playing with colors, Holi is also an occasion for savoring traditional delicacies like gujiya and thandai. People also exchange sweets and greetings with their family and friends. The festival is a great equalizer, breaking down barriers of class, gender, and age, and bringing people together in a spirit of joyous unity.

    Ghode Jatra

    Ghode Jatra is a unique and fascinating festival celebrated in the Kathmandu Valley, particularly in Tundikhel, the central parade ground of the city. The festival is held annually during the month of Chaitra, which falls in March or April and is celebrated for several days. The festival is believed to have originated during the Malla dynasty, which ruled the Kathmandu Valley from the 12th to the 18th century.

    The festival celebrates the victory of the Newari king over a demon named Tundi, who was believed to have been causing havoc and destruction in the city. According to legend, the king devised a plan to trick the demon by inviting him to a feast and then trapping him in a trench. The festival is a commemoration of the victory and the protection of the city.

    The main attraction of Ghode Jatra is a grand horse parade, where beautifully decorated horses and chariots are showcased in front of a large audience. The parade is led by the Nepal Army and is accompanied by traditional music and dance performances, making it a feast for the eyes and ears. The festival is also marked by the worship of the goddess Taleju Bhawani in a grand ceremony.

    But Ghode Jatra is more than just a celebration of victory. It is a time to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the Kathmandu Valley. The festival features street performances, mask dances, and traditional games that showcase the Nepalese way of life. Don't miss this opportunity to experience the warmth and diversity of Nepal's culture!

    ghode jatra celebration nepal

    Image Source: Bibash KC


    April offers a look into the Nepalese New Year, i.e. Baishak 1st of the Bikram Sambat Calendar. You can experience Bisket Hatra, SIndoor Jatra, Eid al-Fitr, Ram Navami, Matatirtha Aushi, and so much more. Plan accordingly and don't miss out on the fun!!

    Nepali New Year (Bisket Jatra and Navavarsha)

    Nepali New Year, Baishak 1st of the Bikram Sambat Calendar, falls in mid-April and marks the beginning of the Nepali calendar year. Coincidently, Bisket Jatra also falls on the same day as that of Navavarsha although it is celebrated over 8 days. Bisket Jatra is a major Newari festival, celebrated predominantly in Bhaktapur with great anticipation and excitement.

    The tradition of celebrating the new year began with Vikramaditya and the foundation of following Bikram Sambat as a Nepali calendar had begun since then. People organize feasts and invite relatives, visit friends and family’s homes, and wish for a prosperous new year. It is also a wonderful time to witness the seasonal change in the hilly and terai region of Nepal. People make resolutions to uplift and enhance their lifestyle and also embrace the nice beginnings brought up by the transition of the year. 

    Ram Navami

    ran navami

    Ram Navami, also known as Chaite Dashain, is a major festival in Nepal that marks the birth of Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The origin story of Ram Navami dates back to ancient times when King Dasharatha of Ayodhya performed the Putrakameshti Yagna to be blessed with a child. The ritual involved serving payasam to his wives, and as a result, Lord Rama was born to Queen Kaushalya and Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna to his other 3 wives.

    During the festival, you will see devotees visiting temples and offering prayers to Lord Rama. They also observe fasts and recite the Ramayana, an epic poem that tells the story of Lord Rama's life. On this day, homes are cleaned and decorated, and Lord Rama's pictures are placed on platforms for puja. Devotional songs or Bhajans that describe Lord Rama's deeds (Ram Lila) are sung at temples and homes, creating an atmosphere of devotion and reverence.

    Ram Navami is not just a festival; it is a reminder of the victory of good over evil. The story of Lord Rama's life and his teachings are still relevant and inspiring to people around the world. His courage, compassion, and devotion to righteousness continue to inspire devotees to follow in his footsteps and lead a life of integrity and kindness. The festival of Ram Navami is not just a time for celebration but also a time for reflection and self-improvement.

    Matatirtha Aunsi

    Matatirtha Aunsi, also known as Mother's Day, is a heartwarming festival that celebrates the special bond between mothers and their children. In Nepal, this festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion, usually in late April or early May.

    One of the most cherished traditions of Matatirtha Aunsi is the pilgrimage to the Matatirtha Kunda (pond) and Matatirtha Mandir. This pond is believed to be a holy site with healing properties that can help one come to terms with the loss of their loved ones. People gather here to offer prayers and take a dip in its waters as a way of showing reverence to their departed mothers.

    It is customary for children to present their mothers with thoughtful gifts, such as clothing, jewelry, or accessories, as a token of their love and appreciation. In return, mothers prepare special dishes like sweet rice pudding and other delicacies for their children to enjoy. It is a day that brings families together, strengthens bonds, and reminds us of the importance of maternal love and affection in our lives.

    In addition to the traditional customs and rituals, Matatirtha Aunsi has also evolved with the times. Today, many people use social media and other digital platforms to wish their mothers, even if they are not able to be with them physically. This festival serves as a reminder to cherish and appreciate the love and sacrifices of our mothers, not just on this day, but every day of our lives.

    Eid al-Fitr

    eid celebration in nepal

    Eid al-Fitr is one of the most significant festivals celebrated by the Muslim community in Nepal. The festival marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which is observed by Muslims worldwide through fasting and prayer. This celebration is believed to have been started by prophet Muhammad himself.

    Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, which follows the sighting of the crescent moon. The date of the festival may vary by a day or two in different parts of Nepal, depending on the sighting of the moon.

    On the day of Eid al-Fitr, Muslims wake up early in the morning to perform special prayers known as Salat al-Eid. They dress up in new clothes, apply perfume, and have breakfast with family and friends. In Nepal, Eid al-Fitr is typically celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and joy, with people exchanging gifts and greeting each other with the phrase "Eid Mubarak."

    One of the essential aspects of Eid al-Fitr is giving charity to the poor and needy, known as Zakat al-Fitr or Fitra. In Nepal, many mosques and Islamic organizations arrange for the collection and distribution of Zakat al-Fitr. Overall, Eid al-Fitr is a time for celebration, reflection, and gratitude for the Muslim community in Nepal, as well as an opportunity for people of different faiths and cultures to come together and share in the festivities.


    May is all about traditional Tibetan and Buddhist celebrations. The tranquil and spiritual festivals like Buddha Jayanti and Tiji festival are the major highlights attracting thousands of tourists to Nepal for their unique celebrations.

    Buddha Jayanti

    Buddha Jayanti, also known as Vesak or Buddha Purnima, is an epic celebration that honors the life, teachings, and spiritual legacy of Gautama Buddha, the enlightened one. This globally recognized festival, which falls on the full moon day of Baishakh, marks the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha. UNESCO has also declared this day as the International Day of Vesak, acknowledging the wisdom and compassion of Lord Buddha's teachings that promote peace and harmony around the world.

    buddha jayanti in boudhanath

    From the break of dawn, devout followers flock to Buddhist shrines to offer prayers, light incense sticks and candles, and chant mantras in honor of the revered Buddha. The entire atmosphere is infused with the aroma of burning incense, and the hypnotic chanting of mantras fills the air. The festival's spirit can be experienced in its full glory in places like Lumbini, Bouddha, Swayambhu, and other major Buddhist monasteries, where thousands of devotees gather from all corners of the world.

    One of the most significant attractions of the festival is the exhibition of the holy relics of Lord Buddha, which holds immense spiritual significance. These relics, which are believed to possess mystical powers, are publicly displayed in temples and monasteries. The festival is also a time for acts of kindness and generosity, with people distributing food and alms to the poor and needy to express their compassion and gratitude.

    Buddha Jayanti is a celebration that brings together people of all backgrounds and faiths, and it serves as a reminder of the timeless wisdom and compassion that Lord Buddha taught. It's a day of spiritual renewal, cultural exchange, and joyous celebration, making it a truly remarkable festival that profoundly impacts those who experience it.

    Tiji Festival

    The Tiji Festival, also known as the "Tenchi Festival," is a grand cultural celebration that takes place annually in the walled city of Lo Manthang, located in the remote Upper Mustang region of Nepal. The festival is a vibrant display of the region's unique culture, traditions, and religious heritage, deeply rooted in Tibetan Buddhism. It is held over three days in May and attracts a large number of domestic and international tourists.

    The Tiji Festival marks the victory of good over evil, as it symbolizes the triumph of the deity Dorje Jono over his demon father, who brought chaos and destruction to the kingdom of Mustang. The monks of the local monasteries perform a series of traditional masked dances, known as "Chham," to depict the story of Dorje Jono and his battle with the demon. 

    Tiji Festival also features a grand procession of the monks and the people of Upper Mustang, who don traditional attire and jewelry, and carry prayer flags and offerings to the Tiji Palace. The festival serves as a platform for the community to showcase their traditional dance, music, and art forms. The colorful and captivating performances by the monks and the locals, along with the stunning backdrop of the Himalayan landscape, make for a mesmerizing experience.

    The Tiji Festival has gained popularity among tourists as it offers an opportunity to witness the region's vibrant culture, spirituality, and natural beauty. The festival not only celebrates the triumph of good over evil but also serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving cultural heritage for future generations.

    tiji festival in nepal


    August marks the official beginning of the festive season in Nepal with multiple festivals happening one after another for the upcoming 3 to 4 months. In August itself, Janai Purnima, Nag Panchami, Gai Jatra, etc are the major ones.

    Janai Purnima

    Janai Purnima, also called Gunhi Punhi or Kwati Purnima, is a traditional festival celebrated in Nepal on the full moon day of Shrawan (July-August), which is also known as Raksha Bandhan in India. The festival involves changing the sacred thread, known as Janai, worn across the chest or torso by the men of Brahmin and Chhetri communities. The changing of Janai is considered to purify the body and soul and is believed to protect them from negative energies and evil spirits.

    The day begins with an early morning bath in sacred rivers and lakes, followed by puja (worship) performed by the priests on the Janai. Then, the old Janai is discarded as they put on a new one across their torso or chest. In Kathmandu, a large fair known as Gunla is held at the same time as this festival, and Buddhist devotees walk in procession playing musical instruments, chanting prayers, and carrying offerings to the monasteries. The Gunla festival culminates in the lighting of lamps and candles in honor of Lord Buddha.

    janai purnima celebrations in nepal

    Kwati, a soupy dish made from nine different types of beans, is a major delicacy of this day, which gives Janai Purnima the name of Kwati Purnima. Many people pilgrim to Gosaikunda on Janai Purnima to take a holy dip in Gosaikunda as they celebrate this day. People also organize feasts and distribute sweets to their relatives and friends. It is expected for newlyweds to visit their in-laws on this day to receive Janai and blessings. Overall, it highlights the importance of spiritual and physical protection and encourages people to uphold the values of love, compassion, and harmony.

    Gai Jatra

    Gai Jatra is a festival that defies definition. It's a cultural celebration that is both poignant and humorous, solemn and festive, mournful and joyous. The festival is celebrated in Nepal during the month of Bhadra (August-September), and it is a time when the Newar community comes together to remember and honor those who have passed away in the previous year.

    The festival is a way of coping with grief and expressing sorrow. Families dress up in colorful costumes and lead a cow or a young boy dressed as a cow through the streets. This symbolizes the journey of the soul to the afterlife, where cows are believed to lead the way. The festival is also an opportunity for families to express their grief and come together to support one another.

    But Gai Jatra is also a time for laughter and satire. People dress up in costumes, stage plays, and street performances meant to make people laugh and forget their sorrows. These performances are also a way of social commentary and criticism. Through humor, people can cope with difficult times and express their feelings in an entertaining and thought-provoking way.

    Gai Jatra is a festival that embodies the spirit of Nepal's rich cultural heritage. It is a celebration of life and death, sorrow and joy, and family and community. The festival's unique blend of humor and satire, solemnity and festivity, and remembrance and celebration make it a truly unique experience you should not miss.

    gai jatra celebration, nepal


    September is a loud and bright month, with preparations for Krishna Janmashtami and women wearing red Sarees dancing to the traditional beats of Teej songs and instruments. Preparations for Indra Jatra can be seen in Kathmandu Durbar Square, along with the other squares of Kathmandu Valley.

    Krishna Janmashtami

    Krishna Janmashtami is one of Nepal's most significant Hindu festivals to commemorate the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The festival typically falls in early September, on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadra, according to the Hindu calendar.

    During the festival, devotees fast and offer prayers to Lord Krishna, seeking his blessings for happiness, prosperity, and well-being. They observe rigorous fasts and engage in several devotional activities, such as visiting temples, singing bhajans all night, and reciting the Bhagavad Gita.

    The festival has a deep cultural and spiritual significance in Nepal, particularly in the Kathmandu Valley, where the historic Krishna Mandir temple is located. Devotees flock to the temple to offer prayers and take part in the celebrations, which include various cultural programs, feasting, and fireworks displays.

    One of the most significant rituals of the festival is the Dahi Handi ceremony, which is a reenactment of Lord Krishna's childhood antics. A pot of curd or butter is hung from a height, and young men form a human pyramid to break it. The tradition symbolizes the playful and mischievous nature of Lord Krishna, who was famous for stealing butter and curd from his mother's kitchen as a child.

    krishna janmashtami

    Another important aspect of the festival is the Raslila dance, which is a traditional dance form that depicts the love between Lord Krishna and his devotees, the Gopis. The dance is performed by groups of men and women dressed in colorful traditional attire, and it is accompanied by devotional music and singing. Overall, Janmashtami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna and his teachings.

    Indra Jatra

    Indra Jatra, the grand festival of the Newar community in Nepal, is a time of colorful celebrations and rituals, marking the end of the monsoon season. Dedicated to Indra, the king of heaven and the god of rain, the festival embodies the spirit of gratitude, renewal, and community. It is celebrated on the next day after Janai Purnima.

    A highlight of the festival is the Kumari Jatra, a grand procession of the Kumari chosen to embody the goddess Taleju. The Kumari, known to be the Living Goddess, bedecked in colorful attire and gold ornaments, is carried on a palanquin through the streets of Kathmandu, accompanied by drummers, dancers, and other devotees. The Kumari is believed to bless the people with good luck and prosperity, and locals seek her blessings by touching her feet. The procession is really a sight to behold.

    Another unique aspect of the festival is the display of lingams, or phallic symbols, which represent fertility and prosperity. The lingams, carried through the streets in a grand procession, are a symbol of the power of creation and renewal. As the festivities continue, the city of Kathmandu comes alive with traditional music and dance. Indra Jatra and Kumari Jatra is also a time for feasting, with various food stalls and markets selling traditional sweets, snacks, and handicrafts.

    kumari jatra

    Families and friends come together to enjoy the festivities and honor their ancestors, seeking blessings for a good harvest and a prosperous year ahead. The festival is a reminder that our cultural heritage is a treasure to be cherished and preserved and that the spirit of community and celebration is alive and well in Nepal.

    Haritalika Teej

    Teej is a joyous and colorful festival celebrated by Hindu women in Nepal, commemorating the reunion of Lord Shiva and his beloved wife, Parvati. This three-day festival, held in the month of September, is a time for women to honor the sacred bond of marriage and revel in the beauty of love and devotion.

    The first day of Teej, known as Dar Khane Din, is an opportunity for women to savor delicious delicacies with their family and friends. It is a day to indulge in sweets, snacks, and scrumptious feasts, and to revel in the pleasure of good company. On the second day, women fast to honor the well-being and longevity of their husbands.

    teej festival nepal

    One of the most visually stunning parts of Teej is the attire worn by women during the festival. They wear traditional red saris, adorned with intricate embroidery, and jewelry, and apply henna on their hands and feet. The third day of Teej, called Rishi Panchami, is a day of purification and cleansing. Women take a dip in the holy rivers, offer prayers to the gods and goddesses, and seek blessings for their loved ones' happiness and success.

    Haritalika Teej is a significant festival in Nepal, and the celebrations are grand and colorful. The streets are filled with women dressed in red sarees, and the atmosphere is lively with music, laughter, and joy. It is an opportunity for women to come together and celebrate sisterhood, the bond of marriage, and the rich cultural heritage of Nepal.


    As the paddy fields are all ripe and ready for harvest, its time for Dashain, the most popular festival of Nepal. With people shouting "Chachawheee" as they swing on Linge Ping, October marks the longest nationwide holiday.


    Dashain, also known as Vijaya Dashami, is the biggest and most important festival celebrated in Nepal, typically occurring in October. The festival symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and is celebrated by both Hindus and Buddhists.

    The festival lasts for fifteen days, with the main celebrations occurring in the 10th day. The first nine days of Dashain are known as Navaratri, during which people worship the goddess Durga and her various forms. The tenth day, Vijaya Dashami, is the most significant day of the festival and marks the day when Lord Ram defeated the demon king Ravana.

    On the tenth day of the festival, Vijaya Dashami, elders in the family apply a mixture of rice grains, yogurt, and vermillion on the foreheads of younger members of the family. This is known as tika and is considered a blessing from the elders. The tika is also believed to protect the younger ones from evil spirits and bring good fortune in the coming year.

    dashain festival in nepall

    During Dashain, people travel to their hometowns to celebrate with their families. Homes and temples are decorated with colorful lights and flowers, and people wear new clothes. Animal sacrifices are common during the festival, and goats, buffaloes, and chickens are sacrificed as offerings to the gods.

    Dashain is also a time for exchanging gifts and feasting on delicious food. People make and share traditional dishes like sel roti, khasi ko masu, and puri tarkari. Kite flying is a popular pastime during the festival, and the skies are filled with colorful kites of various shapes and sizes.

    The festival concludes on the fifteenth day, known as Kojagrat Purnima, where people offer prayers and seek blessings from the goddess Laxmi for wealth and prosperity. Dashain is a time for coming together, celebrating with loved ones, and renewing one's faith in the triumph of good over evil.

    Mani Rimdu Festival

    The Mani Rimdu festival is celebrated by Sherpa people in the Solu-Khumbu region of Nepal, usually in late October or early November on a full moon's day. Its roots trace back to the early 20th century when it was introduced by the renowned Tibetan Buddhist Lama, Ngawang Tenzin Norbu.

    It is a multi-day celebration consisting of various rituals, prayers, and performances that are designed to promote spiritual growth, remove obstacles, and garner blessings from the deities. The festival comprises three main phases; Wong (empowerment), Cham (masked dance), and Jinsak (fire puja and rituals), each carrying a distinct spiritual meaning.

    During the Mani Rimdu Festival, the costumes, masks, and music play a crucial role in creating a visually and aurally stunning experience. The costumes worn by the monks during the Cham dances are elaborate and colorful, featuring intricate patterns and designs that represent the specific deity or character they are portraying. 

    mani rimdu festival

    Overall, Mani Rimdu is a vibrant and captivating mountain festival that showcases the unique traditions, resilience, and spiritual depth of the Sherpa community. By attending the festival and honoring the customs of the Sherpa community, you contribute to preserving their culture and gaining a profound appreciation for the beauty and diversity of human experiences.


    Now comes the month of lights and firecrackers and colorful rangolis. In November, you will get to experience the beautiful lighting of Diyo, candles in Dipawali, and serene holy dips in rivers during Chhath. The atmosphere is filled with sights of bright firecrackers and the aroma of regional delicacies.


    Tihar, also known as Dipawali or the festival of lights, is a dazzling celebration that illuminates the entire country of Nepal with a mesmerizing display of lights and colors. The five-day festival is a time for revelry, joy, and spiritual renewal.

    As the sun sets, the streets come alive with twinkling lights, colorful rangolis, and the sweet aroma of traditional delicacies. On the first day, Kaag Tihar, the skies are filled with the cawing of crows, who eagerly wait for their share of the offerings. The second day, Kukur Tihar, is a day of wagging tails and wet noses, as dogs are pampered with love and affection.

    The third day of Tihar is a true feast for the eyes, as the air is filled with the enchanting aroma of incense and the mesmerizing glow of colorful lights, diyas, and marigold garlands that adorn homes and streets. This vibrant display is a warm welcome for the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Laxmi, who is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity to those who honor her.


    On the fourth day of Tihar, cows and oxen are worshipped as they are considered sacred animals in Hinduism. They are adorned with colorful paint and garlands and are fed with special treats. The day is also celebrated as Govardhan Puja, where people make elaborate food offerings to Lord Krishna.

    The fifth and final day of Tihar, Bhai Tika, is a day of sibling love and affection. Sisters prepare elaborate tika plates with colorful powders, flowers, and sweets, and offer them to their brothers as a symbol of love and gratitude. The bond between siblings is celebrated with the exchange of gifts, laughter, and scrumptious food.

    Tihar is a time for new beginnings, forgiveness, and renewal of relationships. The festival celebrates the beauty of life, the power of love, and the spirit of togetherness. It's a time for families to come together, for friends to reunite, and for the community to strengthen its bonds.

    Chhath Parva

    Chhath Parva is a vibrant and colorful festival celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm in Nepal, especially in the Terai region and some parts of the Kathmandu Valley. The festival is dedicated to the worship of the sun god, Surya, and his sister Chhathi Maiya. The festival is celebrated over four days in late October or early November, typically six days after Dipawali.

    During Chhath Puja, people gather by rivers, lakes, or other water bodies to offer prayers to the sun god and seek his blessings for prosperity and good health. The rituals involve fasting, abstinence, and bathing in the holy waters. The first day of the festival, known as Nahay Khay, involves the purification of the body and the mind by taking a dip in the river and consuming a special diet.

    chhath parva in nepal

    On the second day, known as Kharna, devotees observe a strict fast throughout the day and break it in the evening by offering kheer, puri, and bananas to the sun god. The third day, known as Sandhya Arghya, is the most significant day of the festival, where devotees offer prayers to the setting sun and the rising moon. This is a magical moment when the sun and the moon appear to be in perfect harmony, and the devotees seek blessings for their families and loved ones.

    The fourth and final day of the festival, known as Bihaniya Arghya or Usha Arghya, involves offering prayers to the rising sun and breaking the fast. The festival is a time for coming together, celebrating with loved ones, and seeking blessings from the sun god. The colorful rituals, the magical moments by the river, and the delectable traditional food make Chhath Puja a truly unforgettable experience.


    December has a lot packed for you. From Udhauli Parva of the Kirat community, Christmas of Christians, Yomari Punhi, and Bibaha Panchami of Hindus, you can see a great variety of festivities showcasing not only religious but also cultural diversities in Nepal.

    Bibaha Panchami

    Bibaha Panchami is a traditional festival celebrated in Nepal that marks the marriage anniversary of Lord Ram and Sita. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ram and Goddess Sita's wedding took place on this day in the ancient city of Janakpur. The festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the waxing moon in the month of Mangsir, which falls between November and December. This day is considered to be an auspicious day for marriage ceremonies, and many Nepali communities organize mass weddings or perform individual marriages on this day.

    The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor, particularly in Janakpur, where a grand procession is carried out from Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, to Janakpur. The procession is called "Ram-Janaki Bibaha Panchami Yatra" and is a significant event for the people of Nepal. The procession features beautifully decorated chariots carrying idols of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita, along with a group of devotees singing and dancing to traditional music.

    janakpur decorated

    In Janakpur, the festival of Bibaha Panchami is celebrated with great pomp and show. The wedding of Lord Ram and Sita is reenacted on this day, and the city is decorated with colorful lights and flowers. People from all over Nepal visit Janakpur to witness the Mela and grand celebration as they seek blessings from the divine couple. The fair features cultural performances, traditional food stalls, and a host of activities centered around the theme of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita's wedding.

    In recent years, the Nepalese government has taken initiatives to promote the Bibaha Panchami festival as a tourist attraction, recognizing its cultural and religious significance. The festival offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness the grandeur of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita's wedding anniversary celebrations, while also experiencing the rich cultural heritage of Nepal.

    Udhauli Parva

    As the leaves change color and the air turns crisp, the Kirat people of Nepal gear up to celebrate Udhauli Parva, the "Festival of Harvest." This joyous occasion marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the winter solstice.

    The Kirat people embrace their deep-rooted relationship with nature during this festival. During Udhauli Parva, the Kirat people offer prayers and sacrifices to the mother goddess of fertility, nature, and prosperity, Goddess Salini. The festival is a celebration of the abundant harvest, and it is believed that the goddess' blessings will bring good fortune for the next harvest season.

    The festival includes a variety of cultural events such as folk music, dance performances, and traditional Kirati games. People dress in colorful traditional attire and gather around bonfires, singing and dancing to celebrate the occasion. The vibrant and energetic Sakela and Chandi Nach dances take center stage, accompanied by the rhythmic beats of traditional instruments.

    One of the significant aspects of the festival is the animal sacrifice, where a buffalo is sacrificed to the goddess Salini as an offering for a good harvest in the following year. However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards celebrating the festival without animal sacrifices. Overall, Udhauli Parva is a celebration of community, nature, and tradition for the Kirat people of Nepal.


    Christmas in Nepal is a festive occasion celebrated by a small but vibrant Christian community in the country on the 25th of December. While the holiday is not a public holiday in Nepal, many Nepalese people, regardless of religion, enjoy participating in the Christmas festivities. The significance of Christmas lies in its representation of the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God, and the arrival of hope, joy, and peace to the world.

    christmas in nepal

    Traditional customs and rituals during Christmas in Nepal vary depending on the Christian denomination. It includes attending midnight mass at churches, exchanging gifts, singing Christmas carols, and decorating Christmas trees. The midnight mass is an essential aspect of the celebrations, where people gather to pray, offer thanks for the year gone by, and seek blessings for the year ahead.

    One of the key attractions of Christmas in Nepal is the vibrant atmosphere and festive spirit that permeates the streets, especially in cities with larger Christian populations such as Kathmandu and Pokhara. Many shops and restaurants offer special Christmas-themed menus and promotions, and there are often public events such as parades, concerts, and charity drives. The use of traditional Nepali musical instruments in Christmas carols adds a unique touch to the celebrations.

    Despite being a relatively minor holiday in Nepal, Christmas is a reminder of the importance of inclusivity and celebrating diversity in a multicultural society. It is an opportunity to learn about and appreciate different religious and cultural traditions and to spread love and joy to those around us.

    Yomari Punhi

    Yomari Punhi falls on the full moon day in the Nepali month of Mangsir, which usually falls in December. The festival is primarily centered around the traditional Newari delicacy called "Yomari," which is a sweet dumpling made of rice flour filled with khuwa (condensed milk dish) or sesame seeds and Chaku (molasses). The dumpling is shaped like a fish, which symbolizes good luck and prosperity.

    On this day, families gather together to make Yomari and offer it to the deities, primarily the goddess of grain, Annapurna. The day begins with a ritual bath, and then people start preparing Yomari with rice flour and fillings made of both Khuwa and Chaku based on individual preferences. The dumplings are steamed and then offered to the goddess Annapurna before being consumed by the family members.

    yomari punhi in nepal

    Apart from Yomari, the festival also involves the worship of the god of wealth, Kuber. The Newar community also performs various cultural programs such as dances and dramas, making it a truly vibrant celebration of culture and tradition. In recent years, Yomari Punhi has also become a popular festival among tourists, who come to Nepal to experience the unique Newari culture and taste the delicious Yomari. 


    Nepal is a land of vibrant festivals that celebrate its rich culture and tradition. From the colorful Holi to the mesmerizing Tihar and the lively Dashain, Nepal's festivals are a sight to behold. Throughout the year, Nepalese come together to celebrate various festivals, each with its unique customs and rituals. The festivals bring people together, irrespective of their caste, creed, or religion, to share joy, love, and happiness.

    As visitors to Nepal, it's important to immerse oneself in the festivities and experience the local culture firsthand. Join in the revelry, sample the local cuisine, and learn about the customs and traditions that make each festival unique. By doing so, you not only create memories that will last a lifetime but also deepen your understanding and appreciation of Nepal's diverse culture.

    While participating in the festivals, it's important to respect the local customs and practices. Some festivals involve animal sacrifices or other rituals that may be unfamiliar to outsiders. Therefore, it's crucial to approach each festival with an open mind and a willingness to learn and respect the local customs.

    In conclusion, Nepal's festivals are an integral part of the country's identity and offer visitors a glimpse into its rich cultural heritage. So, next time you're in Nepal, make sure to immerse yourself in the vibrant celebrations and learn about the customs and traditions that make each festival unique.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • What are the major festivals celebrated in Nepal?

      Nepal is a country with diverse cultures and traditions, and there are numerous festivals celebrated throughout the year. Some of the major festivals celebrated in Nepal include Dashain, Tihar, Holi, Buddha Jayanti, Janmashtami, Mani Rimdu, and Teej, among others.

    • What are some traditional foods that are prepared during Nepali festivals?

      Nepali festivals are usually celebrated with a variety of delicious foods. Some popular dishes include sel roti, a sweet bread made from rice flour; samay baji, a dish made of beaten rice, meat, and vegetables; aloo tama, a curry made with bamboo shoots and potatoes, and Yomari.

    • Where can I learn more about Nepali festivals and traditions?

      There are many resources available to learn more about Nepali festivals and traditions. You can consult books, websites, or consult with Nepali people who can share their experiences and knowledge with you. Additionally, many cultural centers and organizations offer classes, events, and activities to learn more about Nepali culture and traditions.

    • Are festivals in Nepal only celebrated by Hindus?

      Although Nepal is predominantly a Hindu country, several festivals are celebrated by people of different religions and ethnic groups. For instance, Buddha Jayanti, which commemorates the birth of Lord Buddha, is celebrated by both Buddhists and Hindus in Nepal. Similarly, the Tiji festival, Mani Rimdu, Eid, Christmas, etc are festivals celebrated by other religious groups asides from Hindus.

    • When is the festival season in Nepal?

      The festival season in Nepal begins in September and lasts until December. This is when several major festivals, including Dashain and Tihar, are celebrated.

    • Are festivals in Nepal affected by the monsoon season?

      Yes, many festivals in Nepal are celebrated during the monsoon season, which typically lasts from June to September. Although the rains can sometimes disrupt the festivities, they are also a source of joy and celebration for many Nepalis, who see them as a blessing from the gods.

    • How are the festivals celebrated in Nepal?

      Festivals in Nepal are celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor. People dress up in traditional attire, decorate their homes with colorful lights and flowers, prepare special dishes, and exchange gifts. Many festivals also involve religious ceremonies and rituals, including visits to temples and shrines.


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