Tihar is among the largest and most dazzling festivals of Nepali Hindus. The festival falls during the month of October-November. The festival is celebrated for five days, beginning from the 13th days of the waning moon in October-November.
Festivals and Dates
This is a Hindu married women's day for their men.. This festival falls on the third day of the first fortnight ( waxing moon) of the Hindu Calendar month-Bhadra which usually falls between August and September. This is truly women' s day in Nepal, most probably the happiest day for them in whole year.
Shivaratri which means the Shiva's Night falls sometime in the month between February and March. The festival marks the birth day of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is one of the three trinity Hindu Gods and the most worshipped. The other two are Bramha-the creater of the Universe and Bishnu-the Keeper.
Nepali New Year, the first day of the Baisakh Month, which usually falls mid April is celebrated all over Nepal but the celebration at Bhaktapur is special due to its connection with Bisket Jatra Festival. If you are traveling to Nepal during April, it's worth attending the celebration in Bhaktapur. Bisket Jatra means the Celebration after the death of serpents.
The 8 day long Indra Jatra Festival begins on the 12th day ( Dwadasi) of the bright fortnight ( waxing moon) of lunar month Bhadra and concludes on the 4th day ( Chaturthi) of the dark fortnight ( Waning moon) of lunar month Ashwin but the most important day is the 3rd day when the procession of Kumari-the Living Goddess and other deities are taken out.
Holi-also known as Phagu Purnima is the festival of colors. The festival falls on the full moon day of Hindu month-Phalgun which usually falls early March.The festival has its root to the burning of "Holika"-the sister of the demon king-Hiranyakashyapu. The legend goes that Hiranyakashyapu's son Pralhad was pious to Lord Bishnu-the protector of the deities of the enemy camp.
Ghode Jatra, the horse racing festival of Nepal, celebrated on the New Moon day of mid March or early April is among the important celebrations of the Kathmandu Valley. Grand horse parade including various acrobatic style of shows are performed by Nepal military at Tundikhel-a fenced parade ground located in the heart of Kathmandu city.
Gai Jatra-which means "the procession of cows" is an important festival celebrated by Newari community, particularly in Kathmandu Valley. Government offices and schools in Kathmandu valley remain closed today. The festival falls on the first day of the second fortnight (waning moon) of the Hindu month Shrawan-which usually falls between July and August.
This is the occasion for the family reunion; a reason for someone to return home, if he or she has been away from home for a while. Government offices and schools remain closed throughout the country and people of all classes and caste celebrate the festival with equal zeal and interest.