Keep calm and celebrate Nepali New year!
With the English New Year gone around three months ago, people in Nepal are now waiting for the Nepali New Year 2079. The 1st of Baisakh 2079 falls on the 14th of April, on Sunday. This also means that people get a perfect day to celebrate New Year’s Eve with their loved ones on Saturday.
In Nepal, the New Year is referred to as Nawa Barsha “a new day” and celebrated as a public holiday throughout the country. Nepal follows a Bikram Sambat calendar.
So, people, this blog is all about the festival, which is celebrated around New Year and also, we offer you an exciting deal, offers, and packages.
Festive Vibes – Jatra of Bhaktapur
In Nepal, especially Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur are rich in Culture and Heritage. Most of the residences are Newars and they celebrate Nepali New Year in a very unique style. Among all, Bisket and Sindoor Jatra have a very unique taste of celebration and luckily, it is celebrated in every Nepali New Year.
In Bisket Jatra, you can sense the struggle of pulling Nepali deity chariot in the name of Bhairav. Competition is often between, the upper part (Thane) and the lower part (Kwone) of Bhaktapur city. You can have a lot of fun seeing from the top of the house but meanwhile not a good idea to participate.
Similarly, Sindoor Jatra festival is also celebrated on the same day of the New Year in a place called Sano Thimi, Bhaktapur. It is especially known for playing sindoor (crimson powder) for spiritual consciousness. The surroundings are often vibrant with the sound of drums and cymbals.
Spiritual Hiking – Sapan Tirtha
In Nepal, on the occasion of a new year, people used to do a spiritual Hike to Sivapuri Hills. This is known as Sapan Tirtha, which means a hike of a dream. People start their hike early in the morning. On the way, people make wishes for the betterment of their family and relatives by making offerings to the deities. People hike up to Baghdawar, which is known for the source of Bagmati River. People took a holy bath and perform pujas and rituals. The trail is full of a forest walk with experiencing a wild flora and fauna.
On the other hand, people can join Tokha mela, which is around 5-8 km from Sivapuri Hills. Local people worship the Sapan Tirtha God near the holy pond in Tokha. Many people took a bath to cleanse sin and diseases. “It is believed that anyone who suffers from physical and mental illness can be cured after taking bath in this holy pond in Tokha,” said Kancha Dangol, chief priest at the Sapan Tirtha Temple.
This hike might be a great adventure for both outsiders and insiders in case of exploring spiritual activities in Nepal.
Taste of the West: Bishu festival on Nepali New Year
Bishu festival is celebrated at the beginning of Nepali New Year in the Hilly region of province 5 and 6. It is believed that it brings prosperity and happiness.
The local population throng to religious sites like Khaptad, Triveni, Baisdhara of Dipayal, and Godavari of Kailali among others, where they bathe with belief that it cleanses the spirit and mind. Locals far away from home visit during this time of the year. The community becomes lively, adding value to the importance of the festival.
There is a tradition of eating ‘gatani dubka’ a local dish, early in the morning of New Year.
One of the unique characteristics of this festival is that brother-in-law and sister-in-law hit each other with nettle soaked in water as fun and custom. It is believed that hitting each other with nettle foliage soaked in water on the body prevent skin diseases. People also enjoy a pudding of rice grains soaked in the curd. People dance and sing in Deuda (to a typical local song) and exchange their love with each other.
The festival of Pahan chare: (festival of mother God)
Pahan chare or Pasa Chare is a Newari festival held on April month, which is observed in Kathmandu only. On this day, Mahadev in the form of Pisach (Lukumahadyah) is worshipped. Thus the festival is also known as Pisach Chaturdasi. Different dance forms are performed by the local actor, wearing the different deity mask, which is especially known as Nyatamaru Ajimā Pyākhan or Swetkali Dance. The dance starts at evening and last throughout the night.
The second day is known as Ghode Jatra which is held in Tudikhel, Kathmandu. Nepalies army performed the various skill on horse riding. Many forms of Ajima (Newari mother god) statue are taken out and worshipped by a mass of people. Images of seven mother goddesses Lumadhi Ajimā, Kanga Ajimā, Mhaypi Ajimā, Takati Ajimā, Mayti Ajimā, Yatamaru Ajimā, and Bachhalā Ajimā are installed on portable shrines and paraded in their respective localities Thaiti, Bashantapur, Ason and Tudikhel of Kathmandu.
On the third day, the gathering of the palanquins of three Ajimā mother goddesses Lumadhi Ajimā, Kanga Ajimā and Tebāhā Ajimā at the market square of Ason. The festival re-enacts the meeting of the three Ajimā mother goddesses who are sisters. King Amar Malla started the palanquin procession of the Ajimā goddesses in Nepal Sambat 580 (1460). Striking the chariots, exchanging torch and flame lights, scattered a rice flatbread (chatamari) from the rooftop and traditional music are the major attraction of this festival.