Top 5 Festivals to Rejoice When in Nepal

Updated on April 23, 2024

Here are some Local Festival to Rejoice in While in Nepal


The longest and most auspicious festival for people in Nepal - Dashain (September/October) is a Hindu festival with differentiated rituals followed in different parts of the country. From Ghatasthapana (barley planting) to Fulpati, Ashtami, Navami, and Dashami, ritualistic celebrations keep the folks busy. High swings made of bamboo and the local rope are set up in plenty in the open, a must-do ritual; you might want to try it. The festival is also accredited with rituals of tika, Jamara, and blessings among kins from the elder members. Worshipping of gods and goddesses in temples is a common sight, but the number of animal sacrifices performed to please the gods may intrigue and perhaps make some loathe Dashain.


Tihar or Deepawali lies just after the festival of Dashain (October/November). This festival is a five-day celebration that comprises Kag Tihar (Crow worship), Kukur Tihar (Dog worship), Gai Tihar (Cow worship), Gobardhan Puja, or Mha Puja (Oxen or self-worship), and finally Bhai Tika (worship of brothers by sisters). During the festival, garlands, colorful decorations, and fancy lights can be seen embellishing streets, shopping centers, small shops, and houses. Youngsters going from door to door singing and dancing to folk tunes can be seen as Dyeusi and Bhaili traditions in all parts of the country. Making mandalas with colors is an artistic display that adds to the festive ambiance. You wouldn’t want to miss this festival due to the enthusiasm for celebration and unique cultural practices.


Holi, the festival of colors and sharing love, is celebrated for two days in late February/March. People put colors on each other and spray water, often using water guns (Pichkari) and balloons filled with water. The celebration begins after gathering at a commonplace or going around in small groups to kith and kin and putting colors on each other. The Holi in hilly regions is celebrated one day before that in Terai. In Kathmandu, Holi is marked with the erection of a long bamboo stick (Lingo) covered with colorful pieces of cloth (Chir) at Basantapur Durbar Square. In the evening of Holi, the Lingo is brought down, and the Chir is burnt to mark its end. Holi also marks the end of winter and the arrival of spring.

Gai Jatra

The festival of Gai Jatra was started in the Malla period by Pratap Malla, who had lost his son and wanted to provide consolation to his grieving wife. Gai Jatra or Sa Paru is celebrated mainly in the Kathmandu Valley by Newars with processions in memory of the losses of family members. A cow or a child dressed like one is usually paraded around the streets as it is believed that the holy animal helps the deceased in the journey of the after life. However, the celebration traditions vary, and the uniqueness of stick dancing in Bhaktapur, Matayaa in Patan, and dancing deities in Kirtipur are noteworthy. In the evening, street shows depicting acts of social injustices and evils are portrayed through small plays, the participants often mocking their targeted issue in the funniest yet harshest possible ways.

Chhath Parva

Originally started by natives of Mithila, the Chhath Parva can now be celebrated around the country. Decorations of water sources, ponds, rivers, and lakes, along with offerings of fruits and other delicacies to the god Sun, stand out as a unique cultural trademark. The festival is held in October/November and lasts four days.

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