Festivals Celebrated
Sithi Nakha Chandi Bagbati festival in Bhaktapur
14 June, 2013

Sithi Nakhaa, a Newar festival, is celebrated in honor of Kumar Kartikeya, son of Shiva and Paravati who is regarded as the protector. Kartikeya is symbolized by a small carved stone placed in front of the entrance of a home and worshipped by offering rice grains, flowers and newari food of wo and chatamari.

The festival takes place at the start of monsoon season and is marked by cleaning wells to preserve water for future hence protecting the environment. For certain newars families Sithi Nakha is the last day in that year to worship their tutelary deities.

In Bhaktapur locals visit the shrine of nava durga on this day.

Bhairv Bhadrakali and Indreswor Jatra in Panauti
23 June, 2013

Founded by King Ananda dev Malla in 13th century Panauti is an interesting ancient Newari town located about 20 km southeast of Bhaktapur. Built at the confluence of rivers Roshi and Punyamati Panauti is a sacred site for the Hindus where a bath is believed to relieve the believers from sins.

The courtyard of Indreswor temple(1294AD), alleys and the streets of Panauti, in fact the total layout of the town Panauti - its art and architecture makes one feel as if one has travelled centuries back in time.

Steeped in tradition people in Panauti enjoy festivals year around, among which Panauti Jatra is regarded as the most important one.

Panauti Jatra, this exciting festival of nine days is enjoyed by worshipping Lord Shiva, Goddess Brahmayani, God Bhairava and Goddess Bhadra kali. With much gusto the chariots with Bhairav and Bhadrakali are pulled and the palequins with brahmayani and shiva carried on shoulders and parade through the main square in the town.

Gatha-Muga
05 August, 2013

Yet another important Newari festival Gathan-muga is celebrated in Bhaktapur by burning a huge straw effigy of evil spirit who is believed to cast a spell in order to destroy the much needed harvest. For protection from this spirit people wear iron rings and hammer nails on the doorway.

The process of making the effigy and carrying it outside the town limits backed by traditional music is quite hilarious. The festival h takes place in the evening is highly lively.

Gunla Festival Starts
07 August, 2013

Buddha for a month during monsoon used to preach‘Dharma’ to his followers. Hence, the religious and spiritual trend of Gunla,which actually is the 10th month of Nepal era calendar started. This festivasl falls in mid of monsoon and lasts for a month. It starts 15 days before full moon and ends 15 days after. It is the time when monks retreat, fast , meditate and pray - it is their time of learning. Buddhist devotees visit Buddhist shrines during this period.

In Kathmandu early in the morning processions of Buddhist newars playing specific music for the occasion visit Swoyambhunath regularly.

Nagpanchami
11 August, 2013

Naga is regarded as a mythical serpent representing water. Therefore, the belief is lakes, ponds and other water bodies are inhabited by Nagas. Whenever there is a drought special worshipping of Nagas are performed in order to get rains. On Nagpanchami, the day dedicated to Nagas every Hindu household worships Nagas. In the morning, after purifying the house and themselves, the householder pastes the picture of Naga by at the main entrance of the house and performs puja.

On this, day people visit Taudaha Lake, the home of Karkot Naga - the king of the Nagas. A festival occurs at Changu Narayan, the oldest temple in the valley dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the protector.

Kumbeswor Mela in Patan/Janai Purnima
21 August, 2013

Built in 1392 AD during the reign of King Jayasthiti Malla Kumbeswor dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the three temples with five storeys in Kathmandu valley. On the day of Janai purnima pilgrims go for a pilgrimage to Gosainkund, a high altitude lake which is also a popular trekking destination in the hills north of Kathmandu.

Within Kumbeswor complex there are two ponds supposed to be linked to Gosainkund by a cavernous The two ponds here (Konti) are believed to be connected by a subterranean canal to the holy Gosaikund lake. Janai Purnima mela sees multitude of devotees visiting Kumbeswor and observing silver covered phallic symbol of Shiva - the linga. People also pay homage to Bagalamukhi, the wish fulfilling goddess located south to the Shiva temple.

Gai Jatra (Gunhi punhi) - The Cow Festival
22 August, 2013

Gai jatra festival is celebrated with lot of gusto and merriment. In Bhaktapur, throughout the day, processions of people dressed comically parade the town dancing to the tune of highly enlivening Gai Jatra music. If nothing more, the day is totally entertaining.

Hindus believe that the gates of Yamlok, the domain of Yamraj-the God of death-open only once a year,on the day of Gai Jatra. It is pertinent that after people die their departed souls reach Yamlok. The belief is that the passage to the gateway is very tough. Therefore, to ease the passage of the souls the families pray that cows are there to bring those souls to the gate of Yamlok. Hence, the families of the lost members organize processions followed by symbolic cows or boys decorated as cows.

Yet another aspect of Gai jatra is the dance of the Bhairab. In pottery square in the evening locals enact the dance emulating Bhairab and 13 other Hindu deities. Bhairab is the fierce looking manifestation of Hindu God Shiva, the one who takes care of the time given to all the beings in the universe.

All Buddhist monasteries are open throughout the festival.

Mataya in Patan
23 August, 2013

One of the major festivals of Patan Mataya id dedicated to Lord Buddha. Unable to influence Buddha, Mara, the ultimate embodiment of desire surrenders to Buddha and and asks to be pardoned. Hence, on the day of Mataya devotees visits shrines dedicated to Buddha starting from dawn throughout the day. The belief is that by visiting the shrines merit for the dead relatives is gained.

Krishnajanmasthami - Birthday of Lord Krishna
28 August, 2013

Lord Visnu reincarnates himself whenever he has to eradicate evil from Earth. Lord Krishna is his eighth reincarnation. Lord Krishna was born on the seventh night of lunar fortnight in late August. His birthday is celebrated as Krishnajanmasthani. One of the reasons for this reincarnation was to vanquish his uncle the evil king Kansha and his evil cousin Shishupala. The other reason was to establish righteousness and truth in the world. For this reason in the great Mahabharata war he sided with the virtuous Pandava brothers in order to deafeat the amoral Kauravas. On Krishnajanmasthani Hindus, pay their respect to Lord Krishna at his shrine Krishna Mandir in the town of Patan, at Changu Narayan and at shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Bhaktapur.

Bhimsen Jatra in Patan
30 August, 2013

Bhimsen is the second of the five Pandava brothers from the epic .Mahabharata. Believed to be the strongest person of that time Bhimsen was worshipped by the newari traders in the old days so that they had the strength to trek to Tibet and India to trade. The trend of worshipping is still strongly prevalent within newar business community, hence, Bhimsen is regarded as businessman’s god.

The temple of Bhimsen in Patan durbar square was built in 17th century by the king Srinivasa Malla. The festival is celebrated by displaying a range of food and placing Bhimsen in a palanquin and parading him in the durbar square.

Panchadan
03 September, 2013

Panchadan is Buddhist festival celebrated by Buddhist newars in Kathmandu valley Banepa and Panauti. Rice,wheat, fruit, salt and money are given to Buddhist priests. In Bhaktapur huge figures of 5 dipankars are carried by the devotees and paraded around the town.

Ganesh Chaturthi
09 September, 2013

Ganesh chaturthi is the day that his mother Parvati created him with sandalwood paste and his father Shiva gave him the position of a superior deity. Ganesh is regarded as the deity of good luck, prosperity and wisdom. On this day devotees visit Ganesh shrines to worship him. At four directions just outside Bhaktapur there are four Ganesh shrines and within Bhaktapur among the many eight are historically considered as most important.

Mangal Kunda Jatra in Bhaktapur
11 September, 2013

Indra Jatra (Yanha punhi) - Festival of The King of The Gods
18 September, 2013

Indra Jatra is dedicated to Lord Indra, king of the Gods. As the legend goes to appease his mother Indra left heaven to come to Earth with the sole purpose of collecting parijat flowers. While gathering the flowers he was caught by the locals of Kathmandu and kept captive. His mother worried by a long departure of her son traveled to Earth in his search. In time, people of Kathmandu learned of the identities of the mother and son. In their honor, the king and the people rejoiced for a week. Every year this particular week is celebrated as Indrajatra.

The festival, which lasts for eight days, has many facets. 'Dus avatar' the depiction of ten reincarnations of Lord Vishnu is shown at the old part of Kathmandu. The chariots of the living goddess Kumari, Lord Bhairava and Lord Ganesh are pulled in the streets of proper Kathmandu. Dances are performed by the demon Lankhe and the deities Sawa Bhaku. Excitement follows 'Tanang kisi's'(Indra's elephant who had come to look for him) abrupt rushes in the streets.

The festival is celebrated as 'yunha punhi.'

Sidhapokhari Jatra
19 September, 2013

Located in Dudhpati, Bhaktapur, about a minute’s walk from Krishna house, Sidhapokhari, a picturesque water tank of about 500 sq m.was built in 15th century during the reign of King Yaksya Malla. Siddha pokhari besides being a properly restored historical pond also has religious significance. The festival of Sidhapokhari is dedicated to goddess Indrayani, one of the emanations of goddess of power. A night before the festival her idol is brought here in a palanquin. To welcome her the locals alight the whole pond with oil wicks. It is a sight worthy of beholding. On the day of festival from early morning devotees worship the deity.

In the present day Sidhapokhari has proven to be an ideal site for recreation and socializing too.

Dashain - The Festival Commemorating the Victory of Good Over Evil
05 October - 14 October, 2013

Dashain is the most important of all the Hindu festivals. It lasts for fifteen days during which religious rituals are performed, homes purified, new clothes worn and feasts enjoyed. It is the time for the family to be together and rejoice. The first and the last three days of the festival are considered the most auspicious days and the later five days are spent by visiting the relatives.

The festival is celebrated in the honor of Lord Rama - the seventh reincarnation of Lord Visnu and Goddess Durga - an emanation of Goddess Parvati who symbolizes power. In the ancient times Lord Rama killed the evil king Ravana and Goddess Durga killed another evil king Mahisasura. Both the incidents were symbolic to the victory of good over evil, thus protection to mankind.

In Bhaktapur the devotees visit and perform puja at eight shrines of asthamatrika located at eight directions around the town and that of Tripurasundari located at the middle of the town from the beginning of the festival for nine consecutive onwards.

Tihar - Festival of Lights
03 November - 05 November, 2013

Tihar is popularly known as the festival of lights. During the five evenings and nights of Tihar the houses and the temples are bright with lighting of oil wicks and candles. During the first two days the crows and the dogs are worshipped. Crows are believed to be messengers, therefore, one always expects them to bring good news and the dogs are believed to be the gatekeepers of Yamlok, the domain where one's soul goes after death. The third day 'Laxmipuja' is dedicated to Goddess of wealth Laxmi, symbolized by a cow. Thus, on that day cow is worshipped and offerings of food is given to her. In the evening the doorways and windows of every home are opened and by the sides lighted candles or oil wicks are placed to welcome Goddess Laxmi. On the fourth day, 'Mha puja' one's body is cleansed and worshipped for good health and longevity. On the fifth day, the last day, 'Bhai puja' sisters pray for long life of their brothers an

Haribodhani Akadasi
13 November, 2013

Haribodhini akadasi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the protector. Throng of devotees visit Visnu shrines throughout the day. Changu Narayan, a 4th century world heritage site dedicated to Vishnu sees crowds of worshippers.

It is believed that if one fasts on the night of this sacred occasion all sins committed will be washed away. In the evening sacred plant tulsi planted in houses in the belief that Lord Vishnu will reside in home as he spends four months of the year as on Tulsi plant.

Changu Narayan Mela
14 November, 2013

Sacred fire which is believed to burn eternally is displayed at Changu Narayan.

Bala Chaturdasi
01 December, 2013

The day of Bala Chaturdasi is dedicated to the souls of the dead human beings. Among the hindus in Nepal the general belief is that a whole year is required for the souls of the departed to reach Yamlok, the world of the dead. Among many rites that the relatives perform to ease the souls to reach Yamlok on the day of Balchaturdasi they sprinkle satbij - seven types of cereals in Shlesmantak ban, the jungle and the vicinity of Pashupatinath.

The night before Balachaturdasi people go the Pashupatinath and sing hyms to Lord Shiva. On the eve Shivalinga, a phallus representing Shiva is bathed with Panchamitra - cow’s milk ,honey, clarified butter, yoghurt and a sweet syrup.

On the day of Balachaturdasi the relatives of the departed are found to offer satbij to Lord shiva, kailash - abode of shiva and various holy places all over Pashupatinath area.

As a religious ritual the sprinkiling of satbij in the name of the departed remain close to the hearts of the close relatives, specially sons and daughters. It has both the religious and emotional significance.

Panga Jatra
11 December, 2013

Located atop a hillock, about 5 km south of Kathmandu the newari settlement of Panga is well known for its festival. The festival is dedicated to Goddesses Bisnudevi and Balkumari. Both of them are placed in palanquins and carried around the town. The festival which goes throughout the day is rejoiced by the locals.

Kirtipur Jatra
12 December, 2013

Slightly larger and located nearby Panga the town of Kirtipur, a stronghold of Malla dynasty, is famous for its Indrayani festival. During the festival goddess Indrayani ia placed in a palanquin and carried to major shrines in Kirtipur.

Hindu shrines of Bagh bhairav temple, Umamaheswor temple and Buddhist shrine of Chilanchu mahavihar are religious landmarks of Kirtipur.

Dattatreya Jayanti
16 December, 2013

The three headed god Dattatreya is the son of sage Attri and his wife Anusuya. A highly dedicated devotee of the hindu holy trinity - Brahma the creator. Visnu the protector and Shiva the liberator the sole wish of Anusuya was to have son with values of the holy trinity. Ultimately due to her devotion she gains a child as per her wish.

On the day of Dattatreya jayanti devotees flock to the temple of Dattatreya in Bhaktapur. The temple was built during the reign of King Yaksha Malla in 15th century.

Seto Machhindranath Snan
08 Janauary, 2014

Seto macchindranath is the deity who blesses longevity and sound health. The temple dedicated to this popular deity is in a courtyard Janbahal in Kathmandu.

At the time of snan the deity is bathed with panchamitra – cow’s milk ,honey, clarified butter, yoghurt and a sweet syrup.

Hanuman Ghat Triveni Mela
16 January, 2013

To celebrate the coming of warth and longer days due to the sun entering southern hemisphere devotees take a bath a t the holy confluence of hanumante river at hanuman ghat in Bhaktapur.

Pashupatinath Madhav Narayan Jatra
30 January, 2014

On this day at Pashupatinath area a mass of devotees follow a silver statue of Lord Vishnu which is submerged in the holy Bagmati river. The devotees take a bath in the river.

Sri Panchami
04 February, 2014

Sri Panchami or basanta panchmai is dedicated to Saraswoti - goddess of education. Students worship her on this auspicious day. Devotees visit a Saraswoti shrine which is located on a small hill west of Swoyambhunath.

This day also marks the end of winter and start of Spring.

Shivaratri
27 February, 2014

Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu holy trinity holds highest reverence along with Lord Visnu and Lord Brahma from the Hindus. Shiva Ratri is the night celebrated in his honor. On this special day and Snight thousands of pilgrims and followers of Hinduism, visit Pashupatimath shrine and Dattatreya shrine in Bhaktapur.

Holi
16 March, 2014

Perhaps the most rejoiced Hindu festival by the young, Holi indeed is a jovial festivity of colors. Holi is celebrated with throwing of red vermilion powder to friends and near ones. Traditionally being offered red tika on one's forehead is a sign of respect. The festival itself is named after the asura princess Holi, the sister of asura king Hiranyakasyapu.

Machhindranath Jatra in Nala
19 March, 2014

Among the four noted Karunamayas, Nala Karunamaya or Machhindran of Nala is one of the four Karunamayas. Believed to be the creator of the world he also goes by the name of Lokesvara.

The festival of Nala Karunamaya takes place on full Moon Day of the vikram sambat month of Phalgun.

Ghoda Jatra
30 March, 2014

The religious highpoint of this festival is getting together of deities Lumari, Bhadrakali, Kankeshori and Bhairab at Asan tole in Kathmandu. Local deities are paraded in localities during this festival which goes on for few days.

Ram Nawami
08 April, 2014

Ram nawami is celebrated in honor of Lord Rama, 7th reincarnation of Lord Vishnu and born as crown prince of ayodhya and destined to get rid of King Ravana of Sri Lanka, the mbodiement of evil. Devotees visit Ram temple in Bhaktapur on this day.

Bisket Jatra
10 April – 18 April, 2014

'Biska' jatra is the festival celebrated in the memory of slaying of mythical serpents who used to commit regicide. The festival is celebrated in high spirits at Bhaktapur. Since the Biska begins in the last days of the Nepalese year and ends in the beginning days of the New Year, it is regarded as the New Year festival as well.

During the nine days of the festival chariots of God Bhairava and Goddess Bhadrakali are pulled with lot of merriment within the town limits. At a place called Lyasinkhel a lyasin or a tall pole is erected with two long embroidered cloths hanging from it. These cloths represent two evil serpents that in the past had troubled the royal family by mysteriously killing every suitor to the princess at night. Ultimately, a brave prince with the blessings of Goddess Bhadrakali came along and killed them even as they appeared from the nostrils of the sleeping princess and began to enlarge themselves. Thus, to show the townspeople the cause of previous suitors' death they were hung from the pole and at present, the cloths represent them.

The main highlights of the festival are on April 10, 13, 14, 17 and 18.

Buddha Jayanti - Lord Budha's Birth
2014

2,565 years ago, Lord Gautama Buddha was born a crown prince on full moon at Lumbini, a village in the Southwestern part of Nepal. His search for the ways of reaching the state of non-suffering led him to attain enlightenment in his mid-thirties on same full moon. On his eightieth year, he passed away, once again on the same full moon. Thus, this particular full moon, which usually lies in late April, is celebrated as Buddha Jayanti – as a tribute to Lord Gautama Buddha. In Kathmandu, this day is celebrated by the Buddhists and Hindus alike at by paying their respects to Swayambhunath stupa and Buddhist vihars in the valley.
Pashupatinath Temple

Festival Bhairav Chariot

Musicians in Bhaktapur

During Biskaa Festival

Boudhanath

Images of Hindu Deities

Gaijatra Festival in Bhaktapur

Gaijatra Festival in Bhaktapur

Gai Jatra

Indra Jatra

Indra Jatra

Childrens Playing During Dashain Festival

Puja of Vehicle During Dashain

Tihar - Festival of Lights