Holi The Festival of Colours

Holi The Festival of Colours

Happy Holi

Holi is festival of color. This festival is also farewell of winter and welcoming of summer in Southern Asia. Holi is celebrated in full moon day in Phalgun . Hence, Holi is also called Fagu Purnima. Holi is called Dhuli in Sanskrit.

Holi is welcoming of spring and summer. It is also observed to get blessing of God for coming harvests and fertility of the land. This festival is celebrated in most of South Asian counties. Actually Holi is the night of Falgun Krishna Chaturdasi but celebration starts from the very next day on Purnima. Holi is the festival of color, friendships and love.

Holi-Festival-Celebration

The ancient Hindu festival of Holi falls on late February or on early March. Allegedly named after the mythical demoness Holika, it is a day when the feast of colours is celebrated. The festival is of a week. However, it’s only the last day that is observed by all with colours. The ancient Hindu festival of Holi falls on late February or on early March. Allegedly named after the mythical demoness Holika, it is a day when the feast of colours is celebrated.

© Quamrul Abedin | www.quamrulabedin.com | 2014

The festival is of a week. However it’s only the last day that is observed by all with colours. Phagu is another name for Holi where Phagu means the sacred red powder and Pune is the full moon day, on which the festival ends. People can be seen wandering through the streets either on foot or on some vehicle, with a variety of colours smeared over them. Families and friends get together and celebrate the occasion with a lot of merry making. This spring time celebration is also an outburst of youthful exuberance in which throwing colours and water bolloons (lolas) on passer- by is acceptable. But, the Indian community, that is, the Marwari class who has settled down in Nepal for centuries and the people of Terai celebrate it a day later with more pomp and ceremony.

Happy-Holi

Maha Shivaratri (The Night of Lord Shiva)

Maha Shivaratri (The Night of Lord Shiva)
Happy Maha Shivaratri 2017

Happy Maha Shivaratri 2019

Maha Shivaratri meaning the night of Lord Shiva is one of the major festivals of Nepal and literally means Night of Shiva.

It is believed that on this day, the stars in the Northern Hemisphere are at most optimum positions to help raise a persons spiritual energy.It is also believed that the Shiva principle is most active on this day of the year.

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated marking the convergence of Shiva and Shakti. Maha Shivaratri also celebrates the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandav, the cosmic dance.

Hundreds of thousands of devotees visit Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, one of the holiest shrines of the Hindus. Pashupatinath is considered the Guardian and Protector of the Kathmandu Valley and Nepal.

Devotees chant Om Namah Shivay and Mahamritunjaya all night praying for light over darkness. Tourists are seen enjoying the ambiance with curiosity, as colorful and naked sadhus are seen meditating, posing for photographs and interacting with disciples.

Maha Shivaratri at Pashupatinath Temple

Maha Shivaratri at Pashupatinath Temple

Special attendance camps are set in the courtyards of the temples. Children are seen collecting donations from passersby on this day preparing for holy meal and bonfire in celebration of the special night.

Arrangements for Maha Shivaratri at Pashupatinath Temple Maha Shivaratri is known as one of the most celebrated religious festivals for Hindus. Every year Hindus from all over the world are seen thronging many Shiva temples during this festival. Pashupatinath Temple is the place with the biggest crowd on this day.

This year, on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri, the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) is expecting a crowd of 1.3 million people from across the world. For the successful celebration of the festival, the management unit in Pashupatinath have started cleaning the area. Also, this year more importance has been given for figuring out an easier way to manage crowd so that devotees can carry out their Puja and Darshan faster and more conveniently.

Spring is one of the best times to visit Nepal, and Indian tourists enjoy visiting during the most auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri. Special provisions are made to ease Darshan for Indian pilgrims at Pashupatinath during Maha Shivaratri, which falls on Feb 24 this year, according to officials at the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT). The PADT will also make available Pashupati Darshan passes at easy outlets near Pashupati area to facilitate pilgrims from India.

Apart from Puja and Darshan other attractions for visitors to the temple vicinity at the time will be the colorful crowd including gorgeous Sadhu Babas from different parts of Nepal and India. People come to Pashupatinath to observe and see the different kinds of Sadhu Babas and their activities; some Sadhus are covered is ashes while some prefer to be completely naked.

Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) Chairman Mr. Govinda Tandan says, As a huge crowd is expected this year. We are working to manage a fine parking facility and a good place for devotees to sit. Also, as many devotees show eagerness to distribute food to the people present there, we are trying to manage a proper place for the devotees to enjoy their meal.

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra 2017

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra 2019

As Maha Shivaratri is mainly related with the night, the devotees stay up all night and pray to Lord Shiva. The four Prahars of Puja is carried out all night long, the devotees usually stay in tents along the Gaushala road.

Source: Nepal Tourism Board

15th Chitwan Elephant Festival 2018

15th Chitwan Elephant Festival 2018
15th Chitwan Elephant Festival 2018

15th Chitwan Elephant Festival 2018

15th Chitwan Elephant Festival 2018
December 26 – 30, 2018

The festival will also include an elephant polo competition as in the previous years. The festival
is being held every year on the eve of the New Year in the Gregorian calendar.

Other activities include picnic for elephants and elephant beauty contest.

Elephant Polo

Elephant Polo

This year, a special programme is being held on the themes of literature and tourism, according to
organising committee coordinator Suman Ghimire.

The festival is hosted by the Regional Hotel Association, Sauraha.

Nepal Tourism Board is the promoter of the festival.

Buddhist International Travel Mart to be organized in Lumbini

Buddhist International Travel Mart to be organized in Lumbini
Buddhist Travel Mart

Buddhist International Travel Mart

“Buddhist International Travel Mart” is going to be organized to promote Nepal as the birth place of Gautam Buddha. The travel mart is going to be organized by Nepal Government and Nepal Association of Travel and Tour Agent (NATTA). Buddhist International Travel Mart will be organized from January 10- 12 in Lumbini.

This travel mart is being organized with the slogan, “Explore the Buddha Land” and “Gateway to Buddhist Circuit”. A committee under Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has been formed to make this travel mart a great success.

Lumbini Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Monks, Tour Operators, Representative of Buddhist Association and Representative of National Tourism Council of 30 countries including China, India, Myanmar, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Canada, Germany, France will participate the Travel Mart. Surendra Bhattarai, Joint Treasurer of NATTA said that all the organizations and tourism entrepreneurs of Nepal will be there in the travel mart.

Bada Dashain festival begins

Bada Dashain festival begins

Dashain Festival

“Navaratri Parba” or the nine-night festival of Bada Dashain, the great festival of the Hindus of Nepal, commenced from Wednesday.

The first day of Bada Dashain festival is called “Ghatasthapana” that falls on Aswin Shukla Pratipada, the first day of the bright half of the lunar calendar in the month of Asoj.

On the day of Ghatasthapana, all Nepalis worship Diyo (an oil-fed lamp), Kalas (auspicious jar) and lord Ganesh in accordance with Vedic rituals and sow maize and barley seeds in a jar filled with soil and cow dung for germination of the auspicious Jamara (barley shoots). The auspicious hour for observing Ghatasthapana is 07:15 am today, according to Nepal Calendar Determination Committee.

Goddess Durga Mata

Prayers are also offered to Durga Bhavani, the goddess of power today. Germination of the auspicious “Jamara” is also initiated at Hanumandhoka Dashain Ghar in accordance with Vedic rituals, today.

There is also a tradition of sacrificing animals while initiating the germination of the “Jamara”.

Also today, prayers are offered to goddess Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati at the Dashain Ghar, marking the beginning of the Navaratri (nine nights).

The golden barley shoots and the auspicious Tika are given by parents to their children and by elders to their juniors on the tenth day of the Bada Dashain festival with blessings for peace, progress and prosperity. The auspicious hour for receiving Tika this year is 09:51 am on October 19, according to the Committee Chair Dr Ram Chandra Gautam.

Dashain Tika

During the Navaratri, thousands of devotees visit Naxal Bhagawati, Shobha Bhagawati, Maitidevi, Guheswori, Bhadrakali, Kalikasthan, Sankata, Mahankalsthan, Naradevi, Bijayeswori, Indrayani, Dakshinkali, Chamunda and other shrines of goddess Durga Bhavani in the early morning.

People also recite sacred verses and hymns dedicated to Durga Bhawani at temples and shrines as well as at their homes throughout the Dashain period.

Majority of the educational and academic institutions start Dashain holidays effective today. The public holiday unlike the past to mark the Ghatasthapana has been deducted from this year.

Happy Vijaya Dashami

Source: Kathmandupost

Happy Dashain Festival

Happy Dashain Festival
Fulpati at Dashain Festival Nepal

Fulpati at Dashain Festival Nepal

The Dashain Festival is also celebrated by Hindus and Nepalese in practically every other part of the planet where they live. In Nepal, Dashain is the longest and most notable festival on the calendar, and many Nepalese expatriates actually return to Nepal specifically to observe Dashain Festival in their homeland.

Dashain runs from the “bright moon” until the full moon in the Hindu month of Ashvin, lasting for 15 days. On the gregorian calendar, it falls in either September or October, varying from year to year due to the differences between a lunar versus a solar based time-keeping system. During Dashain, many Nepalese businesses and public buildings will be closed, so the tourist will need to plan ahead carefully.

Flying Kites

People Kite fly highly decorative kites from their roof tops and elsewhere and shout out “Changa Cheit” whenever kite strings get tangled.

Dashain is celebrated to mark the victory, according to Hindu religious writings, of Ramayan over the evil demon-king, Ravana, and over the demon Mahisasur, who cruelly terrorised the people of India in the form of a raging water buffalo. The Hindu goddess Durga was said to be instrumental in winning these victories, so she is especially worshiped at this time. In general, the holiday season of Dashain is a celebration of “the triumph of good over evil,” though it is tied to specific Hindu stories.

Dashain Festival

Dashain Festival

Dashain Traditions

The people of Nepal celebrate Dashain with great festivity. Some of their traditions associated with the holiday include the following:

  • Kites a flown as Dashain Festival draws near and during the festival. People fly highly decorative kites from their roof tops and elsewhere and shout out “Changa Cheit” whenever kite strings get tangled.
  • Playing card games is common during Dashain. Families get together to play for both money and for fun. While all ages take part in kite-flying, kids usually are out flying their kites while adults play the card games.
  • Homes are cleaned thoroughly and decorated ornately. This is meant to be a gesture to the Hindu “mother goddess” to come down and bless the home with good luck. Distant family members also gather and enjoy reunions in the clean and beautiful houses.
  • Many purchase new clothing and wear it at this time of year. Those who live in dire poverty don their best clothing and may buy clothes at few other times of the year besides Dashain.
  • Temporary swings are constructed out of bamboo and set up for children to play at. Adults even stop to try out the swings, which can be up to 20 feet high. They are disassembled at the end of the festivities.
  • Literally thousands of animal sacrifices are made, including buffalo, rams, and ducks. They are meant to appease Hindu goddesses and are sacrificed at temples all over the country. Many also rise early in the mornings and visit temples to worship various gods.
  • Since Dashain Festival arrives just after the harvest, there is much rice and grain in homes at this time of year. Worshipers use pigmented, red rice, called “tika,” to mark their foreheads. Some also mark them with a white circle instead, however.
Dashain Tika

Dashain Tika

Some things for tourists to look for and take part in if in Nepal for Dashain Festival include these three:

  • Attend numerous small fairs held in Nepalese villages, which often have Ferris wheels and other rides and entertainment. In major cities, like Kathmandu, you can expect to find larger fairs with more options.
  • Listen to Nepalese musical programs held at this time of year. There is “Dashain music” as surely as there is Christmas music, and it is called “Mal Shree Dhun.” In the Terai and Madhesh regions, you will especially find many musical opportunities.
  • Observe Dashain processions through the “three royal cities” of the Kathmandu Valley. The spectacle is very colorful and busily attended. It has a religious bases, for it involves the carrying of numerous statues of Hindu gods.

Source: Publicholidays