Nepal has an abundance of colorful festivals. It may also be clear by now that all such festivals revolve around the different phases of the moon.
Janai purnima is one of the great festivals of Hindu people of Nepal it is also called as rakshya bandan. This festival is celebrating in the full moon day of 7th august. On this day Brahmins change their janai (sacred thread) once a year on this day while other Hindus have a sacred thread tied around their wrists. For the Brahmins, it’s an affirmation of their status, while in the case of the latter, the thread around their wrist is supposed to offer them protection against all ills. Most people keep the thread on for at least three months, until Laxmi Puja, when it is taken off to be tied around a cow’s tail, a deed that assures a smooth journey to heaven since, after you die. Lord Vishnu once punished his proud devotee called bali. He tied him with scares threat and sent him to hell so from that day it is believed that the sacred thread is tied around the body and wrist by Hindu people to rid themselves from their sites.
On the day of janay purnima people eat the famous meal eaten during janay purnima is kwati. kwati is a delicious soup made up of the mixture of 9 different sprouted beans. The beans are soaked in water for 3 or 4 days until they get sprouted and are cooked with special seasoning.
Teej is a festival celebrated by Nepali women, for the long life of her husband and long and firm relationship between them until the death this life and all the lives to come. It is also called as ‘Haritalika Teej’.
Teej is celebrated on 3rd day of Bhadra Sukala Paksha (according to Nepali lunar calendar). It generally falls in late August or early September .Teej is traditionally dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, remembering her union with Lord Shiva. It is a three-day-long celebration that combines splendid feas Teej is traditionally dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, remembering her union with Lord Shiva. It is a three-day-long celebration that combines splendid feasts as well as rigid fasting as well as rigid fasting.
It is celebrated especially for 3 days. On the first day called eve (dhar khane) both married and unmarried women gather at a place on red outfits and start singing dancing on folk songs. At nights the feasts called ‘dar’ starts with continue until mid night and then the 24-hour fasting starts. The second day is fasting day. Some women fast without having ah single drop of water for the whole day whereas some takes fruits and juices. On this mostly wear sari and some of jewelries or red outfits. The women visit nearby lord shiva temple to pray for their husbands for long life and also for the happiness and prosperity of the family. They spend whole day by singing and dancing. The third day called Ganesh chaturthi is the final day. Women get up early get cleaned and perform the puja to both diyo and goddess Parvati. Then only the women break their fasting by taking solid foods and this way the festivals of teej ends.
Dashain is the one of the great and most important festivals for the hindu people of Nepal. It is generally falls in month of aswin according to Nepali Calender and septemebe/ocotober according to the English calendar. It is the granded longest and the most auspicious festival in Nepal. Meanwhile, Dashain has also emphasized the importance of family reunion, which is helpful to ease social contradictions. All the government agencies, educational institutions and other public sectors will be closed down during this festival period.
The festivals start from Ghatasthapana where a the bareky maze are planted in special worship room as (Dashain Gar). From this day to 10th to 9th days form of goddess Durga is worshipped. The seven days is called fulpaati on these days people collect 9 different flowers and leaves into the worship room. The eight day is Maha Astami where people sacrifices animals like goats’ buffalos etc. The ninth day is known as Maha Navami, during which all the celebrations and ceremonies will reach the peak. The tenth day or final day is called Vijaya Dashami or Tika. People put red Tika, jamara planted during Ghatasthapana, and receive blessings from elder ones. We visit our neighbors home to receive tika and for blessings. This process continues for four days until Kojagrat Purnima. the full moon day, masks the ending of Dashain Festival. Literally, Kojagrata means "who is awake". On this day, Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and luck, will come to earth and bless the people who didn't sleep all night. Therefore, it has become an excuse for Nepalese people to gamble overnight. There is also tradition of buying new clothes for all the family members.
Tihar is second biggest Nepalese festivals after Dashain celebrated by hindu people. It is generally falls in the month of kartik and October in English calendar. Tihar is also known also Dipawali which is a five – day-long Hindu festivals. the festival begins with Kaag Tihar in Trayodashi of Kartik Krishna Paksha and ends with Bhai Tika in Dwitiya of Kartik Sukla Paksha every year.
It is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to not just the humans and the gods, but also to the animals like crows, cows, and dogs that maintain an intimate relationship with humans. People make patterns on the floor of living rooms or courtyards using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals outside of their house, called Rangoli, which is meant to be a sacred welcoming area for the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism mainly Goddess Laxmi. The last of Tihar is called Bhai Tika whereas brothers and sisters will gather together and accept Tihar quotes on their foreheads. After placing the multi-colored Tika and splendid garlands to the brothers, the sisters would offer them some Shaguns (a kind of candy) as Tihar gift. And then the brothers would follow the same ritual to put Tika on their sisters and give them some money in return. This celebration has enhanced the close relationship between brothers and sisters.
Gaijatra is one of the most famous jatra in Nepal celebrated by Newars of Kathmandu Valley. ‘Gai’ means cow and Jatra means ‘Procession’ it falls on august/September. This festival commemorates the death of people during the year. So is celebrated to remove the sadness of death of family members. According to the historical evidence, when King Pratap Malla lost his son, his wife, the queen, remained grief-stricken. The king was very sad to see the condition of his beloved queen. The king, in spite of several efforts, could not lessen the grief of his wife. To show her wife that death is natural part of life, he called on people for a carnival if someone has died in their family. Many people came which showed the queen that it is not only her son had died somebody has died in every family in this festival from that day the tradition of Gaijatra started.
During that day all the family members and relatives gather in a place and Chant Bhajans in the memory of departed soul and also the music band is an indispensable part for the festival of cows. And the music instruments vary from Nepalese traditional drum to western trumpet and modern electronics. It's said that the festive music can not only appease the God of Anger, but also scare the evils away. With drums beating and cymbals clashing, Gai Jatra reaches its climax.