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A Brief Guide to Festivals in Nepal 2021

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During your visit, there is a high chance of you stumbling upon a local festival in Nepal. There are several annual festivals which could be the highlight of your trip to Nepal. But one needs to be aware of the festivals in Nepal and knowing a thing or two will only make it easier for you.

Festivals in Nepal could be Hindu, Buddhist, Newari, or a hybrid of all, such as Dashain/Holi. Hindu events mostly occur in the form of huge pilgrimages and fairs (mela) or a special act of worship (puja) at temples. Parades (jatra) are common and animal sacrifices are considered a usual ritual.

Tip: Purchase an English version of the Nepalese calendar to keep or visit www.hamropatro.com to keep up with upcoming events and holidays in Nepal.

Nepali Festival Calendar

S/NFestivalsMonths (Date may vary)
1Magh/Makar SankrantiAlmost always 14 January
2Basanta Panchami5 February
3Shiva Raatri1 March 2022 in Nepal
4HoliMarch 19 2022
5Nawa Barsa14 April
6Buddha Jayanti8 May
7Janai Purnima22 August
8Dashain Oct/Nov
9TiharNovember

Having a perspective of when and where festivals in Nepal occur is important for travelers. It will not only help you to align your timing but will also help you to avoid inconveniences of closed offices, hotels, and sold out transportation tickets.

Below are some of the widely celebrated festivals in Nepal, mostly annual and are sorted according to the months they fall in. In general, you will get to experience at least one festival when in Nepal.

Magh/Makar Sankranti is a rare solar event when the sun is furthest from the earth. To celebrate the Sankranti, people take bath at sacred rivers (Devghat or Sankhu) as a ritual.

Basanta Panchami is celebrated the day after the new moon by Hindus. The day is also considered as Saraswati Puja, the goddess of learning. On this auspicious day, schools undergo special worshipping rituals with decorations and food.

Shiva Raatri (Lord Shiva’s Night) is one of the biggest festivals occurring at Pashupatinath. The day is marked by bonfires and bizarre yogic demonstrations throughout the Pashupatinath temple. Tens of thousands of pilgrims fill the whole street as the traffic is blocked around the area for the day.

Holi is the Nepali version of the springtime water festival. The festival is not only famous inside the country but also common to most Asian countries to follow Hinduism. It is also known as the festival of colors and reasonably so. No one is safe from the water balloons and colored powders, not even tourists.

Nawa Barsa or New Year falls on the first day of Baisakh (April 13 or 14) in Nepal. It is quite familiar with every new year celebration throughout the world. However, Bhaktapur’s five-day celebration called Bisket or Biska is one fo the fascinating combination of religious precessions such as tug-of-war and more.

Buddha Jayanti is celebrated on the occasion of the anniversary of the Buddha’s birth. During this time Buddhist temples are decorated with thousands of lights followed by dance rituals by priests dressed as the 5 appearances of Buddhahood

Janai Purnima/ Rakhsya Bandhan occurs during July-August. The festival is dedicated to changing the sacred thread (janai) worn by Hindu men followed by a full-moon day ritual in Shaaun. The festival is equally important to siblings as men and women receive a yellow and orange “Protective Band” called Rakshya Bandhan.

Dashain (Dashera) is the greatest and longest festival that is embraced by all sorts of caste and culture in Nepal. The 15 days celebration is for families to gather and enjoy delicious cuisines. Dashain is the liveliest festival amongst all the other festivals in Nepal. Governmental and Non-governmental offices are closed during this season and expect to witness animal sacrifices left and right.

Tihar (or Diwali for India) lasts for five days and is associated with the goddess of wealth good fortune, Lakshmi, and the god of death, Yamraj. The festival is also popular as the festival of lights. Almost every settlement in Nepal is lit up with twinkling lights and candles creating a surreal and joyful environment.

To sum it all up, there are hundreds of festivals in Nepal. However, those mentioned above are some of the major ones significant to certain ethnic groups and tribes. For further inquiries regarding the festive season in Nepal and their effect on traveling, please reach us at info@coretreks.com. Happy Traveling!

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Asmit
2020-07-16
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Lifetime Experience We had a super time in Everest Base Camp last year. Trekking to this place was dream for many years which come true with the help CoreTreks and team members.
Lena B
Lena B
2020-03-06
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Higly recommended I did the Langtang Valley trekk with Gosaikunda lakes included. The preparation and communication for that has been great all the time. Nim is an excellent and knowledgeable person. My Trekkingguide was Gorakh and i couldn't have hoped for a better one! I felt like i was in good hands throughout the trekk and he took care of my dietary needs. They also booked my bus ticket to Pokhara and asked the bus driver to pick me up at a place which was closer to my accommodation. Thank you so much Nim!! Next time i will do the Manaslu trekk with you :)
Hidayat Toda
Hidayat Toda
2020-03-04
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Feel exeprience in nepal as a family Core track is a professional tour team and comapny, they treat you as a family, they prepare all the things you need, the team was very nice and warm, and also you will feel as in a family, just go and book with them
Michael S
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Great service Beautiful temples and delicious food After touring around the Kathmandu valley, I’m inspired to explore more about Nepal. Unfortunately it will have to be during my next visit. The city is way busier than I expected it to be. As we drove outside the valley, we discovered some peaceful environment and beautiful temples. The Nepali cuisine in Kathmandu was something I would love to try again. They are spicy but delicious. I have to say that the people in Nepal are really friendly and welcoming. Everyone greeted us with love and treated us nicely. There was no fear for a lone traveler like me to get through the tour. Thanks to CoreTreks and the team for making this tour possible for me. I booked last minute but they helped me through everything. I really appreciate it. If you are looking to visit Nepal, I highly recommend that you book from CoreTreks they are the best.
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It deserves more than a 5 STAR for their services sweet words are easy to say, nice things are easy to bye, but good people are difficult to find. life ends when you stop dreaming...travel in Nepal to leave the best memories. thank you for everything coretreks for friendly smile,for the care during the journey. again, i want to go there return. i help all my friends to see Nepal with your help and support. you guys deserve more than a 5 star for excellent services for tours and trekking in Nepal. see you soon again!
Martin L
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satisfied with the service and packages Dec 2018, we had plan to visit Nepal and book the packages with core treks, they guide us the best packages for ABC and we are fully satisfied with the service and packages. Thank you team, keep it up
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