Public Holidays in Nepal
Nepal, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, is not only renowned for its stunning landscapes but also for its rich cultural and spiritual heritage. Its public holidays provide a fascinating glimpse into the country's diverse tapestry of traditions and beliefs. Explore some of the most significant and vibrant public holidays in Nepal:
Dashain (Vijaya Dashami)
Dashain, often referred to as the "Festival of Tika and Jamara," is Nepal's most significant Hindu festival. It's a time for family reunions, animal sacrifices, and receiving blessings from elders. The red tika and jamara (barley grass) are symbols of prosperity.
Tihar, the festival of lights, is a five-day celebration that worships animals like crows, dogs, cows, and oxen. It culminates in Laxmi Puja, where the goddess of wealth is revered, and homes are illuminated with oil lamps and candles.
Buddha Jayanti (Buddha's Birthday)
Buddha Jayanti marks the birth, enlightenment, and death of Siddhartha Gautam Buddha. Devotees visit Buddhist shrines, light butter lamps, and offer prayers for peace and enlightenment.
Holi (Fagu Purnima)
Holi in Nepal, known as Fagu Purnima, is a festival of colors. People play with colored powders and water, celebrating the victory of good over evil.
Indra Jatra is a unique Newar festival celebrated in Kathmandu Durbar Square. It honors Lord Indra, the god of rain, and includes the Kumari Jatra, where the living goddess Kumari makes a public appearance.
Gai Jatra (Cow Festival)
Gai Jatra, also known as the Cow Festival, is a day of remembrance for the deceased. Families who have lost loved ones lead decorated cows through the streets, believing it helps their souls find peace.
Shivaratri (Maha Shivaratri)
Shivaratri is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Devotees fast, visit temples and offer prayers to seek blessings. The Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu is a major pilgrimage site.
Ghode Jatra, or the Horse Festival, features horse races, parades, and acrobatic shows at Tundikhel in Kathmandu. It's celebrated to ward off evil spirits.
Constitution Day, observed on September 20th, commemorates the promulgation of Nepal's new constitution in 2015. It's a relatively new addition to Nepal's list of public holidays.
New Year (Nepal Sambat)
Apart from the Gregorian New Year, Nepal also observes its own New Year, known as Nepal Sambat. It's a time of cultural celebrations and feasting.
These public holidays in Nepal offer an enchanting window into the country's rich tapestry of culture, religion, and traditions. They provide both locals and visitors with opportunities to immerse themselves in Nepal's warm hospitality and vibrant celebrations. Whether you're participating in the grand Dashain festivities or witnessing the colorful Holi celebrations, Nepal's public holidays promise an unforgettable cultural experience in the heart of the Himalayas.
Upcoming Holidays (next six months)
|Prithvi Jayanti||January 11||Thursday||Public Holiday|
|Maghe Sankranti||January 15||Monday||Public Holiday|
|Sonam Losar||February 10||Saturday||Public Holiday|
|Prajatantra Diwas (National Democracy Day)||February 19||Monday||Public Holiday|
|Nari Diwas / International Women’s Day||March 08||Friday||Public Holiday|
|Maha Shivaratri||March 08||Friday||Public Holiday|
|Vaisakhi (Nepali New Year)||April 13||Saturday||Public Holiday|
|Majdur Diwas (Labour Day)||May 01||Wednesday||Public Holiday|
|Buddha Jayanti||May 23||Thursday||Public Holiday|
|Memorial Day (Ganatantra Diwas)||May 29||Wednesday||Public Holiday|