Festival in Nepal – Dashain, Tihar and Chhath – Major Festival of Nepal
Nepal is one of the most diversifying countries. In each footstep, you got lifetime unforgettable opportunities to be closed with rich bio-diversity, varying landscape, and even more diverse culture of the people. So we, Nepalese are proud to be called as a citizen of a multilingual, multicultural and multiregional country. For this reason, in each nook and corner of our villages and town, you can experience our own unique cultures and traditions which have been following for centuries or even more. Here, every day may be a celebration for one of the community because of rich cultural diversity. So, it would not be a wonder for anyone to be called Nepal as “Land of Festivals”. Furthermore, everyone here is so loyal and respectful that we all celebrate each other festival harmoniously although we have numerous cultures, festivals, values, and norms.
Since it has numerous cultural diversity, so it would not be possible to include or listed out all festival of Nepal at once, however, I have decided to provide you information on some of the most nationally importance major festival of Nepal namely Dashain, Tihar, and Chhath in detail.
Dashain is the greatest national festival of Nepal. It is celebrated throughout the country for about 15days. It is the longest and most notable festival celebrated in Nepal runs from the “bright moon” until the full moon in the Hindu month of Ashwin. Sometimes, it may fall on either September or October, based on the Gregorian calendar due to the differences between a lunar versus a solar based time-keeping system. During this time, if tourists come to Nepal, they got a wonderful opportunity to be closed with our Greatest National Festival Dashain.
Dashain is celebrated to rejoice and entertain the victory of good over evil. According to Hindu Religious Mythology, Dashain is celebrated as a rejoice of Goddess Durga’s victory over evil Mahisashur, Ram over the evil demon-king Ravan. So it is the festival of victory of bright over dark.
Ghathasthapana is the first day of Dashain. Onward, families started to worship the Ashta-Matrikas i.e. 8 Tantrik Goddesses and the nine avatars of Goddess Durga for the remaining 9 days. On the 10th day, everyone receives blessings, tika, and Jamara from the seniors. This continues for the next 5 days and ends with “Kojagrata” Purnima, the full moon day with the rejoicing of kite flying, card playing, new clothes, sweetmeats, swings, earning money and much more.
Tihar is another five-day long greatest festival after Dashain Celebration. Tihar is a festival of lights, color, and brotherhood dedicated to Goddess Laxmi to unfold joy and harmony throughout the nation. So it is called as festival of “Lights or Deepawali”. It falls on the new moon of the Hindu Month Kartika but on the western calendar may be either in October or November. During this time, Lights are lit and stacked around each house to praise Goddess Laxmi. People make rangoli, garland, and sel roti special foods for celebration. On this festival, animals like dog, Crow, bull, cow are given high importance and worships.
On the first day, the crow is worship as a symbol of message carrier of our day to day life with our belongings. On the second day, the dog is worship as a symbol of the god of death messengers with garlands, and red or white dots on their foreheads. On the third day, a cow is worshipped as a symbol of prosperity, and happiness. At night Hindu goddess of Wealth Laxmi is worship by lighting up oil lamps in doorways and each window of the home. Young girls go to each home, sing, and dance saying “bhailo” as a chant. But now both girls and boys, young to old participate in this program and rejoice together. On the fourth day, oxen are worship along with Goverdhan Mountain. On the fifth day, sisters put seven-colored tika on their brother’s foreheads blessing long happy and prosperous life.
Chhath Puja is a four-day long festival celebrated in October or November by the natives of Mithila religion. But now it is popular all over Nepal. It is celebrated by the worship of the God Sun for nourishing our life on earth. The worshipers fast for the longevity and prosperity of their family members during rising and setting up of the sun. Holy bathing is so popular during this time. People eat Thekuwa and Anarsa as sweet dishes and share a love with each other.