Buddha Jayanti Festival in Nepal

Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Lumbini – Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Buddha Jayanti in Nepal is also called Buddha Purnima. Buddha Purnima means Buddha Jayanti. The date of Buddha celebration falls in (Baisakh – Jyestha) April or May  each year, depending on the cycle of the moon. It falls on the full moon day of Baisakh, the first month of Hindu calendar. Every year Baisakh Shukla Purnima, Buddha Purnima festival is celebrated not only in Nepal but also the other country. This festival is celebrated especially by Buddhist.

Birthday is celebrated on Baisakh Shukla Purnima 27, 2074 B. S. (May 10, 2017)

As we, all know that Nepal is a south Asian country. It is located between the two powerhouse of the world, Indian, and China. We also know that Buddha Jayanti is the celebration or festival in the remembering of Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini Nepal in 543 B.C. Here in Nepal, Buddha Jayanti is one of the great celebration in Nepal. The government of Nepal gives a national and public holiday on this holy day.

Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Lumbini – Birth Place of Lord Buddha

The spring full moon day when Buddha Sakyamuni Buddha was born is celebrated as Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima or Swanya Punhi. The day of Baishakha Purnima is thrice blessed since it commemorates the three important events in the Buddha’s life’ his birth, the day he attained enlightenment and the day he passed into Nirvana. In Kathmandu, a capital of Nepal, celebrations marking Buddha Purnima are concentrated around the Swayambhunath Stupa, one of the cultural heritage site in the Kathmandu valley, the most sacred among all Buddhist monuments in Nepal. Devotees of Lord Buddha gather from early morning on this Baishakh Purnima in all over the country to worship and walk around the shrine in ritual circumlocution. Offerings of butter lamps, rice, coins, and flower, and prayer ceremonies go on throughout the day. Religious scroll paintings (Pabha) and images of the Buddha are put on display.

Buddha Jayanti also known as Buddha Purnima falls on the full moon day of Baishakh (Baishakh Sukla Purnima). It is a great festival for the Buddhists and so it is observed with great pomp and show. Buddha Jayanti in fact commemorates the three important phases of Buddha’s life-his forth, enlightenment and his nirvana (demise).

Lumbini - Peace and the Light of the World

Lumbini – Peace and the Light of the World

The Buddha Purnima celebrations are equally fascinating at Boudhanath Stupa, another world heritage site in the Kathmandu valley. An image of the Lord Buddha is mounted on an elephant at the head of the procession that circles the Stupa and then proceeds to another Buddhist Stupa at Chabahil, Kathmandu. Large symbolic lotus petals are painted on the Stupa with a yellow dye of saffron.

On this auspicious occasion, many ceremonies are held around Buddhi shrines _ and stupas like Lumbini, the birth place of Gautam Buddha, Swayambhu stupa on the hillock to the west of Kathmandu and such many Buddha stupas across the world. From early in the morning, devotees duo native and foreigners throng around the Buddhist shrines and stupas with musical bands and offerings viz-rice, flowers, butter lamps and incense.

Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Lumbini – Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Special pooja/ritual functions and other programs are held to highlight the Buddhist ideology/philosophy. Sacred pauba scroll paintings and Buddha images are put on public display. Most importantly, at Anandakuti Bihar, a relic (a sliver of hone from the body) of Lord Buddha is brought out to pay homage from the devotees. As the night falls, the stupas, Bihar and even houses are illuminated with multi- colored lights of candles and butter lamps.

The prophet or peace and non-violence, Gautam Buddha was born as a crown prince to his parents- king Suddhodana and queen Mayadevi in Lumbini on the full moon day of Baishak over 2,500 years ago. It was on the same day that he got enlightenment in Bodhgaya and coincidently passed away into nirvana at Kushinagar in India on the very day. Unfortunately, Mayadevi died a few days after she gave birth to her great son. He was christened Siddhartha and was brought up in royal care and comfort.

Source: Imnepal

Yak blood drinking festival begins in Mustang

A cultural festival of the Thakali people in which people drink the fresh blood of yaks has commenced at Boksikhola, Kobang in Mustang district.

Yak – Long-haired Himalayan Bovine

As part of the festival, a part of the yak’s neck is pierced for the blood to gush out and tumbler placed under to collect the fresh blood which is then drunk. People drink the fresh blood in the belief that drinking fresh blood of yak treats gastritis, acidity, jaundice, muscle sprain, body swelling and other bowel related diseases as the yaks feed on valuable herbs like yarshagumbu, jatamasi, panchaaunle, among others growing in the highland pasture.

The festival is organized by the Joint Yak Keepers Group with the objective of selling the fresh yak blood and meat.

People from Upper Mustang, Myagdi, Baglung, Parbat and Kaski districts have thronged Boksi Khola to drink the fresh yak blood from the first day itself, said Deepa Gauchan, a local yak farmer. The festival will continue till April 30.

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Source: Republica

Maghe Sankranti Festival in Nepal

Maghe Sankranti is the beginning of the holy month of Magh, usually the mid of January. It brings an end to the ill-omened month of Poush (mid-december) when all religious ceremonies are forbidden. Even if it is considered the coldest day of the year, it marks the coming of warmer weather and better days of health and fortune. Maghe Sankranti is the beginning of the holy month of Magh, usually the mid of January.

devghat

It brings an end to the ill-omened month of Poush (mid-december) when all religious ceremonies are forbidden. Even if it is considered the coldest day of the year, it marks the coming of warmer weather and better days of health and fortune. This day is said to be the most significant day for holy bathing despite the weather. This ritual usually takes place at the union of sacred rivers and streams. Sankhamole, on the banks of the holy Bagmati river, below Patan, is thought to be amongst the most sacred sites for this purpose, though there has been a decline in the fulfillment of this ritual in the recent years due to water pollution in the river. But people still go in the wee hours of dawn just to sprinkle themselves with the water. They pay homage to various deities specially the temple of Red Machindranath and Agima Ta.

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You’ve dreamed of climbing Mount Everest. Many of us have, and when you think about Nepal, you usually lump the world’s tallest peak in with your thoughts. The thing is, unless you have a nice chunk of change (I’m talking about a hundred grand here) and a ton of patience (the lines to the summit are a travesty these days), you probably aren’t going to climb Sagarmatha, as the Nepalese call her, but that’s okay. There are plenty of things to do that are amazing (and safer) in this tiny Southeast Asia country just north of India, and we’re going to experience nine of them right now!

  1. Check Out Everest Anyway: One of the most amazing experiences you can have while visiting Nepal is, of course, to see the mountain in all of its splendor and glory. A less stressful, albeit still high-endurance, workout is an Everest first-base-camp trek, which, naturally, takes you to the mountain’s first base camp. Sound too strenuous? Go up to the peak via plane and be blown away by the fact that she is still taller than you are, even in the air!
  2. Tigers, and Tigers, and Tigers, Oh My!: If you’ve ever wanted to see Bengal tigers roaming naturally in their habitat, then you must visit Chitwan National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage National Park is truly one of the most amazing places in Southeast Asia. Resting at the base of the Himalayan Mountains, you’ll have breathtaking views of nature and the world’s grandest big cats as they romp and roam.
  3. Absorb Local Culture in Kathmandu: The Nepalese capital and largest city is Kathmandu (that’s “cat-man-doo”), and it’s really something to see. I love the energy of this city, not to mention the color and culture! There are tons of markets and bazaars in the center of the city, as well as the Royal Palace, which was built in the 14th century for, of course, the king of the country. Of particular note, however, is…
  4. Kathmandu’s Durbar Square: This ancient square is at the heart of Kathmandu and is where you’ll find the Royal Palace alongside many other notable structures. This area is so notable, in fact, that UNESCO has given it World Heritage status. There are several temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses and the Durbar Square Museum that explains it all in fascinating fashion. Trust me; you’ve never seen a square like this one!
  5. Take a Load Off in the Garden of Dreams: After you’ve hoofed it to Everest’s base camp and wandered through the glorious craziness that is Kathmandu, head over the city’s Garden of Dreams for a relaxing oasis. Inspired by the Europeans, this garden is filled with cafes and restaurants for a quick bite among the many fountains and ponds designed to calm and relax you.
  6. Party Like it’s the Festival of Holi: You’ve refreshed yourself in the Garden of Dreams, so now it’s time to do one of my favorite things in this country, and that is celebrate the Holi Festival. This Hindu celebration takes place toward the end of February or beginning of March, and the entire country goes crazy for a week dousing each other in one gigantic paint and water balloon fight… I’m not kidding! It’s AWESOME!
  7. Visit an Important Birthplace: It’s time to show reverence to another faith, and that is Buddhism. You’re in Nepal, near India, and in the Southeast Asia region where Buddhism is an extremely important part of the culture. Why not visit the birthplace of Buddha to see how it all got started? Head over to Lumbini Gardens, where Buddha was born in 623 B.C., and take in the amazing pillars and temples.
  8. Don’t Stop There: But wait! There’s more! Bhaktapur is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the country and has the architecture to prove it. Whether in person or via pictures, you’ve seen plenty of European medieval castles and churches, and now, it’s time to see how the Asians did medieval in the many amazing temples you’ll find in the city’s three squares. The shrines alone will blow you away; I know they impressed me!
  9. Get Back to Nature: You’ll discover that nature is a primary theme in this Southeast Asia country, and one of the best places to get back to it after visiting all of the temples in Bhaktapur is going to Pokhara. This little village is only 15 minutes from Kathmandu and is the home of Phewa Lake, some snow-capped peaks, and… well… monkey forests. Yep! These little critters run wild in Pokhara and are quite entertaining in and of them.

Aside from seeing the tallest peak in the world (planes fly LOWER than she is), there are some incredible sights, sounds, and experiences in this little gem north of India. What you’re going to find in Nepal is a part of the world unlike any other, filled with wonderfully friendly people living within a unique culture. Keep in mind that this is a less-developed nation, so you’ll want to take some health and safety precautions. This should not stop you, however, from visiting this amazing, amazing country! Trust me, once you’ve crossed these nine amazing things off of your list, you won’t regret not attempting an Everest summit!

Source: Venera Travel Blog

Dashain begins today with Ghatasthapan

Dashain, the greatest and longest festival of Hindu Nepalis, officially begins today with Ghatasthapana.

DashainFestival_08

Ghatasthapana is observed by people performing puja and setting up ghata, or pot, in which they sow seeds of barley, wheat, corn and rice, at homes and temples as per the Vedic tradition.

The Nepal Panchanga Nirnayak Samiti, which publishes the lunar calendar, has said 10:45 am is the auspicious time for sowing seeds in homogeneous mixture of sand and soil in a pot made of clay. The seedlings grow into jamara which is offered along with tika on the 10th day which is observed as Vijaya Dashami, also called Tika, the main day of the Dashain festival. According to the Samiti, following the Ghatasthapana, the most suitable time for replacing national flags hoisted in government offices is 11:55 am on September 26 (Friday). Similarly, this year’s Pachali Bhairav Jatra will be celebrated on September 29 (Monday). The auspicious time for the procession of goddess Tulja Bhavani has been set at 7:25 am on October 1, and the deity will be put in rest mode at 8:43 am the same day when Fulpati is observed. On this very day, Fulpati will be brought to Dashain Ghar at Hanumandhoka.

Likewise, October 2 will mark Mahaashtami along with Kalratri puja the same night. Mahanavami and Vijaya Dashami will be celebrated on same day on October 3 this year, for which the auspicious time is 10:45 am. The Samiti has suggested all concerned to perform Mahanavami rituals before proceeding to Vijaya Dashami.

tika-jamara1

According to popular Hindu myth, Goddess Durga had killed demon Mahishasur on Mahanavami day and Vijaya Dashami symbolises the victory of truth over evil.

Source: Thehimalayantimes