Nepal events fill the annual calendar like rain barrels in a rainstorm. Called the "Land of Festivals," most all Nepal festivals and special events are based on some type of religious celebration, mainly Hindu or Buddhist. With such a diverse and fascinating mix of religion and culture throughout Nepal, annual festivals tend to be extremely colorful, captivating, and the perfect way to become more in tune with Nepal's cultural backdrop. It is often said there are more events in Nepal than there are days of the year. Though many tourists are interested in experiencing some cultural festivals in Nepal, many religiously based holidays or events are celebrated in the privacy of homes.
The most important, as well as the longest running, of all religious events in Nepal is called Dashain. It is described as "a day of Victory over demons" and falls in later September and continues through to the middle of October, which is after the national rice harvest. It is common for Nepali people from around the world to gather back in their home country to celebrate Dashain with their families. This event emphasizes family and community ties.
Diwali, equally well-known as the "Festival of Lights," or Tihar, is the second most prominent of all Nepal festivals. Each year it is celebrated in either October or November. During the time of Diwali, tourists will see Hindu rituals and festivities happening. It is celebrated to honor the god of prosperity, Ganesh, and the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. For five exciting days, Diwali is celebrated with fervor, Each day is dedicated to certain, special events. The Nepali events celebrated during Diwali each represent different culturally and religiously significant acts and rituals.
The Nepali New Year is in mid-April. Bhaktapur residents celebrate the Death of the Snake Demons Festival at this time as well. There is a grand and raucous tug-of-war in the middle of the city after chaotic chariot pulling through the narrow city streets. It is quite a display and something to see if you're nearby. Once the winners are determined, the chariots are then hauled off to the winners specific locale and the festivities continue.
Trekking is one of the most popular things to do in Nepal. Mt Everest and the Annapurna Circuit attract thousands each year. Anyone planning a trekking journey should note any popular holidays or Nepali events surrounding planned dates. Depending on the holidays, treks can be seriously disrupted by porters leaving for home and closed government offices. It isn't that uncommon to be left at the side of the hiking trail with your own baggage to carry. This can happen with mountain climbing and rafting as well throughout any holiday season. If you're planning on travels during a peak holiday time, be sure you have a guarantee from any tours you arrange to stick with you under all circumstances..
Throughout cities such as Kathmandu and Pokhara, the atmosphere becomes charged with excitement leading up to any special Nepal events. Hostels and hotels become over booked, streets are jam-packed with pedestrians, and traffic is as congested as ever. As with many places around the world, this is a time to celebrate but also a time to keep a keen eye on your things and be aware of everything around you. Nepal festivals and events can also translate into one of the most successful pickpocketing periods which can ruin a trip. All Nepal festivals are scheduled according to the phase of the moon and the Nepali Calendar, which differs from the Western calendar. This means that some events in Nepal can run through an entire month of celebrations.
While many Nepal events are celebrated all over the country, there are also many that proceed only in certain regions. When traveling in Nepal, it's best to check out an annual calender of events to see what events in Nepal will be coincide with your plans. This makes it much easier to make plans to attend and also to foresee what holidays may disrupt any travel arrangements.