Nepal is a small country but renowned as multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country. Despite having diverse religious and cultural belief, Nepalese people unite during various festivals celebrated throughout the year. Dashain and Tihar are the most important festivals for all the Nepalese. But if students are planning to live in Kathmandu valley then local festivals like Bisket Jatra and Jibro Chedne (tongue piercing) Jatra only in Thimi area, Bhoto Jatra, Ghode Jatra ,Gai Jatra, Indra Jatra where people receive blessing form the living Goddess Kumari, etc. are some major festivals in this area.
Since Nepal is culturally rich country, various different festivals can be celebrated in various parts of country in different times of a year. There are about 125 various ethnic groups in Nepal. So, a festival is celebrated in one of the parts of country every week or month. But if you are lucky enough then you can observe a bit of these various festivals in Tudikhel of Kathmandu. The festivals like Sonam Lhosar, Gyalbo Lhosar, Tamu Lhosar, Chandi Naach, etc. are celebrated by different ethnic groups at this place by performing various rituals and cultural programs.
Among all various major festivals with their dates are given below:
1. Dashain and Tihar:
Dashain and Tihar is the most popular festival in Nepal. Dashain is celebrated for 10 days as the symbolic meaning of win of Goodness over evil. Tihar also known as festival of lights is celebrated for 5 days that is celebrated normally after 15 days of the end of dashain. Basically, these festivals fall in the month of October/November.
2. Buddha Jayanti:
It is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Buddha. If falls on the full moon day of either May or June. Buddhists people all over the world celebrate this festival by doing various rituals. In Nepal, people especially gather around BoudhaNath Stupa, Swoyambhu Stupa or Lumbini to worship Lord Buddha.
3. Fagu Purnima (Holi):
Fagu Purnima or Holi is a Hindu festival but celebrated and enjoyed by people from different religions all over Nepal. It is also known as festival of colors which is celebrated as a symbol of win of goodness over the bad when mythical demoness was burnt to death. This festival generally occurs on late February and sometimes early March.
4. Maha Shivaratri:
It is the celebration dedicated to Lord Shiva and falls on February/March. Millions of devotees from Nepal and India worship Lord Shiva by visiting Shiva Temples near them and especially to PashupatiNath Temple in Kathmandu that lies in the bank of Holy River Bagmati.
It is the biggest festival for Christian community and is celebrated on 25th of December every year as the birthday of Lord Christ. Christmas is celebrated in Nepal as in the other parts of the world.
Apart from these festivals, more other seasonal and regional festivals are celebrated in Nepal and during your intern in Nepal, you can observe many of these festivals and enjoy them and have a lifetime memory.