Festivals in Nepal

Nepal is a tiny country with an enormous cultural diversity. This diversity springs from the many ethnic origins of its people, their many languages and customs and the mix of religions that have evolved and spread through villages and isolated mountain valleys. As a result there is a saying that “there is a festival somewhere in Nepal every day.” In fact this is a major underestimate.

Festivals come in many forms – often noisy, vibrant spectacles that reflect reverence for mythical events and beliefs or the power of religious deities that control and influence life both present and future.

There are just too many festivals to list and describe. Visitors could perhaps start the annual cycle of festivals with a celebration of the Nepali New Year, based on the 2000 year old solar calendar, and attend the Nava Barsa and Bisket Festival in Bhaktapur. This festival draws huge and energetic crowds to two days of music, dance and ritual that celebrates the mythical story of the killing of an evil serpent that was said to kill every suitor prince that tried to win a beautiful princess.

Another famous festival held in Kathmandu itself is the eight-day Indra Jatra and Kumani Jatra. This boisterous event pulses through ancient parts of the city and culminates in the precession of the Kumari, Living Goddess, where devotees can catch a glimpse of this secretive young Goddess.

There are also a multitude of regional festivals occurring throughout the year. From the jungle lowlands to the most remote mountain valley, there is always something to celebrate.
Langtang Ri has a number of treks and tours that are conducted each year to coincide with some of Nepal’s most important and spectacular festivals. Please search our list of festivals products or send us an inquiry about any specific festival you would like to experience personally.

Nepal observes numerous holidays most of which have cultural or religious significance. Visitors wishing to partake in the holidays or observe local festivals should contact our Kathmandu office and inquire about up-coming festivals that may fit within your intended travel itinerary. The longest holiday in Nepal is during the Dashain festival in late September or October. Government offices and banks observe most of the national holidays. Private business offices observe major holidays only. The following is a list of public holidays in Nepal during 2015.

  • Basant Panchami is on Saturday, February 13, 2016
  • Martyrs’ Day is on Saturday, January 23, 2016
  • Maha Shivaratri is on Monday, March 7, 2016
  • Rashtriya Prajatantra Divas (National Democracy Day) is on Friday, February 19, 2016
  • Holi is on Tuesday, March 22, 2016
  • International Women’s Day in Nepal is on Tuesday, March 8, 2016
  • Ram Navami (Birthday of Lord Rama) is on Friday, April 15, 2016
  • Nepali New Year’s Day – Bisket Jatra is on Wednesday, April 13, 2016
  • Buddha Jayanti (Buddha’s Birthday) is on Saturday, May 21, 2016
  • Janai Purnima & Gosainkunda festival is on Thursday, August 18, 2016
  • Haritalika Teej – Festival of Woman is on Sunday, September 4, 2016
  • Ghatasthapana is on Saturday, October 1, 2016
  • Fulpati Saptami is on Saturday, October 8, 2016
  • Maha Ashtami is on Sunday, October 9, 2016
  • Maha Nawami is on Monday, October 10, 2016
  • Bijaya Dashami is on Tuesday, October 11, 2016
  • Constitution Day Nepal is on Saturday, April 16,2016
  • Dipawali & Laxmi Puja – Festival of Lights is on Sunday, October 30, 2016
  • Goru Puja is on Monday, October 31, 2016
  • Bhaitika – Festival of Brother is on Tuesday, November 1, 2016
  • Chhat Parva is on Wednesday, November 6, 2016
  • Tamu Lhosar is on Tuesday, December 13, 2016
  • Christmas Day is on Sunday, December 25, 2016

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