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

Condolences pour in following chopper crash that killed Tourism Minister and six others

Condolences pour in following chopper crash that killed Tourism Minister and six others

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari died in a helicopter crash which killed six others onboard.

Travelling with Minister Adhikari were the pilot of the helicopter Captain Prabhakar KC, tourism entrepreneur Ang Tshiring Sherpa, security personnel Arjun Ghimire, Under-Secretary at the Prime Minister’s office Yubaraj Dahal, Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Birendra Shrestha, and CAAN Engineer Dhruba Das Bhochhibhaya

Statements expressing sorrow have been pouring in for the Minister who was known for his grounded and approachable personality, and for the six others who lost their lives.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari expressed shock and sadness on the demise of seven people on board.

Bidya Devi Bhandari President of Nepal@PresidentofNP

आज ताप्लेजुङ हेलिकप्टर दुर्घटनामा परी लोकप्रिय युवानेता मन्त्री रविन्द्र अधिकारी, पर्यटन उद्यमी आङछिरिङ शेर्पा, राष्ट्रसेवकहरु तथा क्याप्टेन प्रभाकर के.सी. सहित सात जनाको दुःखद अवसानले मलाई स्तब्ध बनाएको छ । सम्पूर्ण परिवारजनमा हार्दिक समवेदना व्यक्त गर्दछु !!

प्रदीप ज्ञवाली@PradeepgyawaliK

श्रध्दान्जलीका यी शव्दहरू लेख्नु पर्दा हात काँपिरहेका छन् ।
कसले सोचेको थियो र यो जीवन्त मुस्कान यति अल्पायुको होला भनेर ?
अलविदा रवीन्द्र कमरेड !
हाम्राे सम्झनाको क्यानभासमा तपाईँ सधैभरि बाँचिरहनु हुनेछ ।
यस दुखद दुर्घटनामा परी दिवंगत हुनुहुने सबैमा श्रध्दासुमन ।

Nepal Association of Tour & Travel Agents (NATTA)

हार्दिक समवेदना
यहि २०७५ फागुन १५ गते बुधबार अपरान्ह करिब १३.३० बजे संस्कृति पर्यटन तथा नागरिक उड्डयन मन्त्री माननीय रबिन्द्र अधिकारीज्यू सहित ७ जना सवार रहेको एयर डाइनेस्टीको हेलिकोप्टर तेह्रथुमको चुहानडांडा विमानस्थल निरीक्षण पछि ताप्लेजुङ्गको सिस्नेखोला स्थित दारेढुङ्गाको जंगलमा दूर्घटनाग्रस्त भई मन्त्री अधिकारीज्यू लगायत सबैको निधन भएको खबरले नेपाल एशोसिएशन अफ टूर एण्ड ट्राभल एजेन्ट्स (नाट्टा) लगायत संपूर्ण पर्यटन क्षेत्र अभिभावकविहिन, स्तब्ध र मर्माहत भएको छ । 

पर्यटन प्रवद्र्धन र विकाशमा थोरै समयमा पर्यटन क्षेत्रले अनुभुत गर्न सक्ने परिणाममुखि काम गर्न सफल मन्त्री अधिकारी, सफल एंव वरिष्ठ पर्यटन व्यवसायि आङ्ग छिरिङ्ग शेर्पा र नेपाल सरकारका राष्ट्र सेवक कर्मचारीहरुको अप्रत्याशित निधनबाट पर्यटन क्षेत्र तथा समग्र मुलुकले नै अपूरणीय क्षति व्यहोर्न पुगेको छ । 

यस अत्यंत दुखद घडीमा म स्वयं लगायत नाट्टा कार्यसमिति, पूर्व अध्यक्ष परिषद तथा सम्पूर्ण नाट्टा परिवार मन्त्री अधिकारीज्यूसहित सबैमा हार्दिक श्रद्धान्जली अर्पण गर्दछौं र दिवगंत आत्माको चीर शान्तीको कामना गर्दै शोक सन्तप्त परिवारजनमा गहिरो समवेदना प्रकट गर्दछौं । साथै यो अपूरणीय र अप्रत्याशित क्षतिको पीडा सहन गर्न सक्ने शक्ति मिलोस भनि ईश्वरसंग प्रार्थना गर्दछौं ।

सीएन पाण्डे
अध्यक्ष

Gagan Thapa@thapagk

रविन्द्र दाईको दुर्घटनाको खबरले स्तब्ध भए,मनमा झिनो आशा थियो तर त्यो आशा धेरै समय टिक्न सकेन। मैले आज एक असल साथी गुमाएको छु,देशले एक आशातीत नेता! रविन्द्र दाइ लगायत सवैमा हार्दिक श्रध्दाञ्जली!!

Ambassador Randy Berry@USAmbNepal

We are saddened to hear of the helicopter crash and extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of all those who perished on the flight.

French Embassy in Nepal@FranceInNepal

Deeply shocked to hear about the helicopter crash that took the lives of @RabindraADH, Ang Tshering Sherpa and other officials. My sincere condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in this tragic crash.
-FXL

Yogesh bhattarai@yogesbhattarai

प्रिय साथी म निशब्द छु ! म स्वीकार गर्दिन् ! तिम्रै आवाजले एकपटक बताइदेउन् यार् ।

Baburam Bhattarai@brb1954

मैले धेरै आशा गरेका एकजना युवानेता रवीन्द्र अधिकारीको अल्पायुमै आकस्मिक निधनले स्तब्ध छु! हेलिकप्टर दुर्घटनामा निधन भएका सबैमा हार्दिक श्रद्धान्जली!

Rabindra Mishra@RabindraMishra

आउँछ, टपक्क टिप्छ, लान्छ, टरेर टर्दैन त्यो। ताप्लेजुङ्गमा भएको हेलिकोप्टर दुर्घटनामा ज्यान गुमाउने मन्त्री तथा मित्र रवीन्द्र अधिकारी लगायत सातैजनाको आत्मालाई शान्ति मिलोस् र परिवारलाई धैर्य धारण गर्ने क्षमता। कसको मृत्यु कहाँ, कसरी लेखिएको हुन्छ, कसलाई के थाहा!

Source: The Himalayan Times

Bodies of Air Dynasty crash victims brought to Kathmandu

Bodies of Air Dynasty crash victims brought to  Kathmandu
Nepali Army helicopter (MI17) taking off from Suketar Airport in Taplejung carrying the remains of the Air Dynasty crash victims to Kathmandu on Thursday, February 28. 2019. Photo: RSS

Bodies of the seven persons, including Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari who lost their lives in yesterday’s chopper crash in Pathibhara region, have been taken to Suketar Airport in Taplejung by Nepal Army.

Bodies of four crash victims had been taken to Suketar following the crash yesterday while bodies of three others have been taken there from the incident site by Nepal Army today morning despite bad weather conditions.

Chief District Officer of Taplejung, Anuj Bhandari, informed that the bodies were brought to the airport in Nepal Army’s helicopter.

According to him, weather condition has still not improved at the airport region due to which security personnel have to wait for improvement in weather to lift the bodies to Kathmandu.

The CDO further informed that bodies of all deceased including the tourism minister would be sent to Kathmandu today itself after completing due procedures at Suketar Airport.

The Air Dynasty chopper — carrying seven people including Minister Adhikari and the pilot — was on its way to Kathmandu via Pathibhara region after completing inspection of an under-construction airport at Chuhan Danda of Tehrathum when it crashed in Darebheer of Taplejung. No one survived the crash.

Source: The Himalayan Times

Festival of many communities Maghe Sankranti observed

Festival of many communities Maghe Sankranti observed

Makar Sankranti, Various ethnic groups of the country celebrate the festival by consuming an assortment of seasonal foods.

Makar Sankranti also known as Maghi, is especially observed by the Tharu, Kirant, Newar and other communities. According to culture experts, Tharu and Kirat observe Maghi as their New Year.

Om Dhaubadel, culture expert, said, “Makar Sankaranti marks the transitional phase of the weather.” People face cold during the winter season and the day of Magh 1 (15 January) is regarded as the day the season from pre-winter (Hemanta season) to winter season (Sisir season).

“To protect the body from cold, people eat tubers, such as yam and sweet potato, which they beleve, provides energy,” he said.

In the Newar community, people eat ghee, chaku (jaggery) and nuts, fish, cooked or uncooked Yam etc, which provides instant energy. “Such foods help to cope with the changing weather and provides energy to fight against diseases,” he said. In the same way, people massage their bodies and bathe. It is believed that the oil massage done during Maghi will provide warmth to the body for the whole year.

Similarly the Tharu community also consume alcohol, fish, pork, dhikri (cuisines made from rice floor) and ghonghi water sanils during the Maghi festival.

On the occasion, Tharu community performs cultural dances, and makes a plan for the upcoming year. Earlier, when the Kamalari and Kamaiya system (bonded labour) existed, it was the practice among Tharu workers to decide whether to terminate their employment or continue with it through the new year. These practices have been eradicated now.

Today marks 5,078 years for the Kirat community. The Kiratis of Tehrathum, Ilam, Panchthar, Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha and Taplejung celebrate their new year today with cultural dances and delicious food items available during the season.

Source: The Himalayan Times

5 Days Tihar Festival

5 Days Tihar Festival

Tihar is the five days celebration in Yama Panchak.

Tihar is the most celebrated festival after Dashain in Nepal. It is a five-day festival celebrated in late autumn. It has its unique ways of celebration.

Story behind Tihar
There are various stories about the celebration of Tihar. One of the famous stories behind the celebration of tihar is related to Yama the god of death and his sister Yamuna. Yama had been staying away from his sister for a long time. His sister wanted to meet him so she asked various sources to visit him and ask him to give her a visit. She sent crow, dog, and cow and at the end she went herself to see her brother. She worshipped him with tika and flowers, she put him five colored tika. Yamuna made a circle with mustard oil, Dubo Grass (Cynodon Dactylon) and put Makhmali Mala (Globe Amaranth) and asked Yamaraj not to go till the oil, Dubo Grass and the flower gets dry. Therefore, every sister worships her brother keeping him in the circle of mustard oil, putting mala (garland) of Makhmali flower and Dubo grass.

tihar-depawali-festival

Happy Deepawali

First day – Kag Tihar (Crow Puja)
On the first day of Tihar, crows are worshiped and fed early in the morning. People leave different food items outside for crows to eat. Crow is considered to be the messenger of death. People believe the crow gets the messages to the house in the morning. People worship it to bring good luck themselves.

Kaag Tihar

Kag Tihar (Crow Puja)

Second day – Kukur Tihar
The second day of tihar is dedicated to the most loyal friend of mankind. Kukur, the dog, Puja is done by putting a red tika on dogs forehead and flower garland around the neck offering him foods and sel roti. Generally male dogs are worshiped. It is said dog can see endangers and the death coming.

Kukur Tihar

Kukur Tihar (Dog Puja)

Third day Gai (cow) Puja and Laxmi Puja
On the third day of tihar Cows are worshipped in the morning. Cows are worshipped with sesame oil light, garland of flower and red color (abir). Wheat flour, sel roti, rice and dal are feed to cows. Disciples try to pass in-between four legs of the cow. Cow is regarded as mother in Hindu religion, as we grow up drinking her milk. Some look cow as Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

In the afternoon we clean our houses, paint floors with Red Mud (Rato Mato) and cow dung (gobar). Small circle are made in front of the main gate and decorated with colorful designs. Some people call it rangoli.

Small designs of footsteps are painted from the main entrance to the puja kotha. These footsteps are believed to be the footsteps of goddess Lakshmi. Candles or pala are lit all over the house making it bright and beautiful.

Gai (Cow) Tihar

Gai Tihar (Cow and Laxmi Puja)

There is a long tradition of going housed in the evening singing songs to ask for money and foods. Generally girls and kids go out to neighbors sing traditional songs called Bhailo songs. The tradition is called “Bhailo” and songs are called Bhailini songs.

The song starts with “Bhailini aain agana gunyo cholo magna, hey ausi ko din gai tiharo bhailo”. Badali kudali rakheko, laxmi pooja gareko, hey ajako dina gaitiharo bhailo…” Meaning Bahilini are at your door to ask for a gunyo cholo (Nepali traditional dress), today is no moon day and Cow pooja and Bhailo day, the house is clean and you have done Lakshmi puja, today is cow pooja day and Bhailo”

Fire crackers are blown in this day. People play cards in Laxmi puja to welcome goddess Laxmi in the night. People believe, laxmi comes to the house which is clean and bright.
In the evening the goddess of wealth Lakshmi is worshiped by lighting numerous lights and lightening works. It is believed that by worshiping Laxmi and pleasing her in return she gives us wealth. People worship wealth and food store this day.

Fourth day – Goru Tihar (Govardhan parbat ko puja) and Mah (aatma or self) Puja: On Govardhan puja Goru Tihar, three different Kinds of puja are performed. We perform Goru Puja, or worship Oxen. We also perform Govardhan Puja, which is done by making a hill of govardhan parbat using Cow dung. Cow dung has big importance in Hindu culture. In the old days it was used for everything from light at night (Methane) to polish mud floors of traditional houses. Still now no Puja is complete without cow dung in Nepali Hindu culture.

Mha Puja Nepal Sambat 1137

Mha Puja Nepal Sambat 1137

In this night Newar community perform Maha Puja also known as self-puja. It is done to purify our body. In this puja a Mandap decorated with Saipatri (marigold flower), sweets and fruits and a special Mala (garland) which is made of thread is kept. Each member of the family has one Mandap. A female member of the family offers the person sitting on the Mandap a Sagun with her hands crossed. Shagun usually consist of fried eggs, fruits, sweets, meat, fish, lentil and pastries. In the left hand with egg and fish and in the right hand Rakshi (homemade alcohol). This day is also the beginning of Nepal Sambat, Newari New year.

In the evening many Nepali children and young men go house to house singing Deusi song (Aahai bhana mera bhai ho deusi re bhana na bhana deusere). Deusi is very similar to Bhailo. Bhailo is primarily for female and Deusi for male. However, now a days there is such distinction. People go in group with males and females members to celebrate Bhailo and deusi both.

Fifth Day: Bhai Tika or Bhai Duj:
The fifth and last day of Tihar is Bhai Tika. This day sisters put “Tika of five colours” Paanch Rangi Tika – Yellow, green, red, blue and white on forehead of her brothers, to ensure long life and pray to Yamraja for her brother’s long life and prosperity. Sister offers brothers Shaguns of dry fruits especially walnut, hazelnut (Katus), fruits and sweets and in return the brothers give their sisters gifts and money. The brothers also put Pancha Rangi Tika to sister and bow her on her feet and assure her to protect her till the end of life.

Bhai Tika Tihar

Bhai Tika

On this day, Rani Pokhari Temple (located at central Kathmandu) is opened for those who do not have any brother or sister. This is the only time in a year the temple is open to general public.

Source: weallnepali