Dashain is one of the major festivals celebrated throughout the country. The greatest Hindu national festival begins with the first day of ceremonial Ghathasphana literally meaning installing a ceremonial water vessel at a certain purified place in one’s household Seed grains of barley, holy water and sand from the river are the materials required. Seventh day is also known as Fulpaathi, sacred flower day. Finally, the tenth and last day is Vijaya Dashami. Dashain is celebrated by Nepalese to signify the victory of truth or good wil over evil and Goddess Durga Bhawani is worshipped whole heartedly during Dashain. On the day of Dashami (also known as tika) , Hindu family members receive blessings and red tika (vermilion) on their forehead from their elders denoting the blood that ties them together.
Tihar is also one of the national festivals following Dashain that is celebrated all over Nepal as the festival of colours and lights. This festival is solemnized in honour of Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and good fortune. The festival starts by paying homage to crow, the messenger of Yamaraj ( God of death). Second day is to celebrated by worshiping dog, man’s best friend who is believed to be the guardian at Yamaraj’s gate. Goddess Laxmi is worshipped and made offerings to in the third day of Tihar to enlighten their homes with wealth and fortunei. Fourth day is known as Mha Puja, worshipping one’s body. This day also marks the initiation of a New Year among Newari people who are inherent of Kathmandu Valley. Last day of the festival is Bhai Tika, celebrated by all the sisters to honor and worship their brothers for blessings and wish them success in their ventures.
3. Janai Purnima (Rakshyabandhan)
Janai Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day of the moth of Shrawan or Bhadra. Devotees take a holy bath in the pure and holy lake Gosainkunda in Nepal to venerate Lord Shiva and wish for their protection from evil. Newar Community people make a soup of sprouted beans known as kwati. Hindu people change their Janai( sacred thread) on this day. Sisters also tie the “rakhi” on their brother’s wrist and wish for togetherness and strength to keep them strong and happy in their lives. This day along with the sacred thread marks the security of devotees and their faith upon Hinduism protected by the Lords.
Devotees honor Shiva in all Shiva temples around Nepal. More than 1 million devotees come for Lord Pashupatiath Darshan on this day and the temple is filled with adherents and disciples. For the worshippers of Lord Shiva, this is the best time to visit Nepal and receive blessings from Lord Pashupatinath and other temples of Lord Shiva the Mahadev. it is believed that those who visit Pashupatinath on this day is cleared off of any and all sins that one made in his or her past. Through Lord Shiva's blessings, one can also receive longetivity and vitality in their lives. Shivaratri as the name suggest is celebrated as the night of Lord Shiva and the government has announced public holiday on this day. Shivaratri marks the day when Lord Shiva drank the deathly poison and protected the entire world from its evil affect.
Nepalese celebrate Gaijatra to entertain their families who are mourning on the death of their loved ones. Adorning themselves in unique costumes of saints, Lord Krishna and other characters, the participants parade with a decorated cow around the city. Gaijatra celebration in Bhaktapur is the most famous of all. Tall bamboo contraptions, wrapped in cloth and topped with horns of straw, are carried around the city in the memory of the lost member. The members of family wear dresses and parade as Lord Krishna, Gopinis, saints etc and try to entertain their mourning family members.
6. Indra Jatra
Lord Indra is the King of Gods and he is believed to reign heaven. During the time of the year when the fields that have been planted, the monsoon is ending and the season of harvest is coming soon. Now is the time to be grateful to Lord Indra, the king of heaven last for 8 days with singing, mask dancing and jubilation. During this festival one can also get a chance to see Kumari ( Living Goddess). And this festiva is widely celebrated in Kathmandu Durbar Square.
7. Machindranath Jatra / Festival
This is a chariot pulling festival which is celebrated in Patan City, lalitpur. It is one of the longest festival in Nepal which lasts for a month. If you visit Nepal during April then you can participate in this festival. Machindra nath is also considered as a god of rain whichty brings the monsoon. Devotees light the diyas during this festival to show their devotion and respect towards lord Machhindranth and be thankful towards the Lord for the food that he provided and protecting the mankind.