Events & Festival Calendar for Pokhara

Only a few peoples of the world celebrate so many festivals as the Nepalese, hardly a day goes by that is not celebrated somewhere. More than 50 religious festivals take place 130 days a year, which sometimes even overlap. Hinduism knows more than 200 million gods and goddesses, at least the most famous of whom are celebrated. They form a mixture of religious ritual and colorful fairground humor.

The festivals are based on the Bikram Sambat calendar (B.S.), which is aimed at the moon and therefore moves the dates from year to year. The calendar was named after King Bikramaditya Samvat. It is 56.7 years old, based on the Lunisolar Calendar. According to this calendar, the first day of the year is mid-April and our year 2000 is written here with 2057.

TEEJ

hinduism
1–3 septeber 2019

Teej is the Nepali women’s festival and
takes place over 3 days. It is dedicated
to the goddess Parvati, remembering
her union with Lord Shiva.

day 1: dar khane din
Women return to their villages where they were born to celebrate the festival with their mothers and sisters. They have a great feast (called Dar) and sing and dance in traditional Nepali attire.

day 2: fasting day
Women fast. This is a religious ritual believed to prolong their husband’s life and protect their marriage.

day 3: rishi panchami
Women cleanse their bodies and souls by going to the nearest river to wash themselves free of sins.

LAKESIDE STREET
FESTIVAL

tourist celebration
28 december – 1 january 2020

If you missed the Christmas cheer in Nepal, you will appreciate the festive spirit of this street festival in which the Lakeside road from Hallan Chowk to Barahi Chowk is closed to traffic. Cafés and restaurants fill the street with tables and chairs and both foreigners and Nepali tourists come to soak up all the food, parades and musical performances. There are also carnival rides and amusements which take place in Basundhara Park in south Lakeside throughout the festival. On New Year’s Eve, Lakeside is typically jam-packed full of people, making it difficult even to walk down the road. There is also a fireworks display at midnight in Basundhara park.

MAHA SHIVARATRI

hinduism
21 february 2020

This festival is celebrated in honour of Shiva, Lord of creation, preservation and destruction. It is believed that sincere devotion to Lord Shiva and the rituals of Shivaratri help the devotees achieve positive karma and spiritual liberation. This festival is particularly famous for the fact that it is the only day in which it is legal to consume marijuana in Nepal as it is believed to be a symbol of religious devotion to Lord Shiva.

DASHAIN

all nepal
from october 8 2019

Dashain is the biggest festival in the Nepali calendar, comparable to our Christmas. However unlike Christmas, Dashain is celebrated over 10 days, making it also the longest festival in Nepal. It marks the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon Mahisasur, and therefore celebrates and symbolises the victory of good over evil.

what
The festival is renowned for its animal sacrifices, especially of goats, and the slaughters are presented as offerings to temples for it is believed that Durga is appeased by such sacrifices. People also celebrate Dashain with the exchange of gifts, the purchase of new
clothing and the construction of huge bamboo swings for children.

HOLI

hinduism
10 march 2020

Holi is probably the most well-known Hindu festival around the world – for good reason! Also known as the festival of colour, it commemorates the victory of good over evil and the end of winter. People celebrate Holi all over Nepal by throwing colours powder and water at each other, always with laughter and smiles. Nepali children are particularly excited at their chance to smear colour or throw water balloons at tourists.

tips
»» Prepared to get colourful and wet!
»» Don’t wear your best clothes.
»» Wear a cheap white t-shirt to get the best rainbow.
»» Waterproof your camera and phone as best as you can.
»» Watch your head! Along Lakeside locals enjoy dumping buckets of water onto the unsuspecting people below.
»» You can buy colour powder in Lakeside on the morning of Holi and some shops also sell plastic water guns and water balloons.

TIBETAN NEW YEAR

buddhism
25 february 2020

The Nepali celebration of Tibetan New Year is celebrated in different ways depending
on people’s cultural background. Generally, people present offerings to lamas and spend
the day with their families cooking traditional food such as soup.

TIHAR

hinduism
27–31 october 2019

This festival, known in India and the southern regions of Nepal as Diwali/Deepawali and in English as the Festival of Lights, is Nepal’s second largest festival. It is celebrated over
5 days and shows reverence to not only humans and gods, but also to animals who have a close relationship to humans.

day 1: kaag (crow) tihar
Crows are honoured on the first day of Tihar. People place offerings of sweets on their roofs for the crows in order to avert grief and death in their homes as the crow is considered to be the messenger of death.

day 2: kukur (dog) tihar
Dogs are honoured on this day by people putting a red tikka on the dog’s forehead, a garland of marigold flowers around their necks, and are given delicious food. This celebrates the special friendship between humans and dogs.

day 3: gai (cow) tihar and laxmi puja
This day is the most important day of Tihar, as it is when the goddess of wealth, health and prosperity, Laxmi, is honoured. Cows are also honoured in the morning as they symbolise prosperity and wealth. People place garlands of marigolds around their necks and they are fed with the best grass. In the evening, families light oil lamps (diyo) or candles in their doorways and windows in order to show thanks to Laxmi and to welcome prosperity and well being.

day 4: govardhan puja
On this day there are three different pujas performed depending on the people’s cultural background.

day 5: bhai (little brother) tikka
The last day of Tihar is celebrated by sisters honouring their brothers (older and younger) with tikkas of five colours to ensure their brothers’ long lives and to give thanks for the
protection they provide. Brothers return the gesture by placing the tikkas on their sisters’ foreheads with an exchange of gifts.

NEPALI NEW YEAR

all nepal
14 april 2019

According to the Nepali calendar (Sambat), we are currently in the year 2074 and on this day will be welcoming in 2075! People typically spend this public holiday with their families, taking a picnic or enjoying the day out together.