Autumn is one of the most popular traveling seasons in Nepal. The monsoon has just ended, and the weather becomes a lot more stable providing good visibilities of the Himalayan Grandeur. It is a highly favorable traveling season. The weather will be very suitable even for adventurous journeys to the Himalayas. Autumn is a busy period because of stunning views, to witness cultural insights with the numerous Hindu festivals which is why the most number of visitors to Nepal flock during the fall season be it for cultural tours or trekking vacations.
The crucial points and cultural advantages of traveling in Nepal during the autumn season. Three most important festivals are celebrated during the fall season, namely Teej, Dashain, and Tihar. The Teej festival is celebrated between August and September. It is a festival which is marked by women for three days but is counted as four days. Dashain is the most significant, widely celebrated and the longest of the festivals in Nepal. It is usually celebrated in Late September of October. It goes on for fifteen days. However, the most crucial time of this celebration is the 10th day. Tihar is the festival that occurs during late October or November. It is also called the festival of brothers and sisters. This festival goes on for five days and the last day is of most importance. This is when the sisters perform a ceremony of applying Tika on the brothers' forehead, praying for his prosperity, good health, and long life. The brother in return shower his sisters with gifts.
Hatalika Teej 12th September 2018
Teej is considered significant by both single and married Hindu women. Single girls/women fast and worship Lord Shiva to get a husband that is ideal, dedicates his love for her. The married women pray for the longevity of their husband's lives. Rishi Panchami is the fourth and final day of this festival. The women go to the nearest stream or river to take a bath before partaking in a prayer. They believe this will strengthen the bond between the husband and wife. For the single women, they will get a husband of their dreams. This is also a time for the women to share their joys and sorrows with their female friends and relatives. It is also a significant time to socialize at this annual event.
- The 1st day- Dar Khane din. Day of feasting organized by male members of the family.
- The 2nd day- The ladies partake in fasting, singing, and dancing.
- The 3rd day- Ganesh Chaturdashi
- The 4th day- The final day of Rishi Panchami
Parvati, the daughter of the Himalayas, stayed fasting and worship with a wish of getting Lord Mahadev as her husband. Her dedicated and robust devotion became successful. After that, Hindu women started to follow the same tradition.
Indra - Jatra 24th September 2018
Lord Indra is considered the god of rain and a god in heaven by the Hindus. This festival honors Bhairav who is a manifestation of Lord Shiva the destroyer of evil. Indra Jatra is celebrated with mask dances depicting various deities and demons. Kumari Jatra is also celebrated where the Kumari is taken on a chariot procession during Indra Jatra. The devotees display sacred images and human representation of the deities.
Why is Dashain special?
Dashain is the most celebrated of all Hindu festivals in Nepal. This festival is also known as Vijaya Dashami and Bada Dashain. This long festival represents the victory of good over evil.
Tika and Jamara (wheat grass) on the 10th Day
Dashain falls after the harvesting period. The farmers can enjoy this festival with zest after an abundance in the harvest. When this festival falls just before the harvest, it can be celebrated knowing the crops will be harvested soon.
1st day: Ghatasthapana (the official beginning of the Dashain festival), it is worshiped in Dashain Ghar to honor Devi Durga Bhawani - 10th October 2018
7th day: Fulpati (Saptami) - 16th October 2018
8th day: Asthami ( the non-vegetarians sacrifice a goat or other male animals for consumption)
9th day Navami: (this day is dedicated to worship the mighty goddess, Durga)
10th day Vijaya Dashami: (Dashain Day) - 19th October – The elders put Tika and Jamara (wheat grass) by the elders who also bless those receiving it. The Tika is specially made by mixing the rice in yogurt and vermillion powder.
Having tika and Jamara (Wheat Grass) from the elders and getting. Jamara can also be young maize, paddy, and barley.
The mythological history mentions that Rama achieved a victory and Rawan who abducted his wife, Sita. Dashain is celebrated to mark that victory. The worshippers also wish for virtues of Rama who was kind-hearted and compassionate.
The victory of goddess Durga Mata over Mahishasuris is also linked to this festival, for which Durga Mata is worshipped with vigor.
Read more on Dashain.
What is Special about Tihar (Deewali)?
Tihar is celebrated to mark the strong bond between brothers and sisters. The celebration goes on for five days. It is also called Yama Pachak. The different days also celebrate certain animals and bird.
1st day: Kaag Tihar falls on the 5th of November 2018 – people worship the crow, give them delicious meals as the crows keep the environment clean by scavenging on the dead bodies and garbage.
2nd day: Kukur Tihar - The Hindus worship the dog which is considered a human being's closest ally who protect the household.
3rd day: Gai Tihar or Laxmi Pooja – The people worship the Cow who is regarded as a form of a Goddess. They worship goddess Laxmi with colorful lights and candles. Laxmi is also considered the goddess of Wealth.
Laxmi Puja in Tihar
4th day: Goru (Ox) Tihar- People worship Goru (Ox) as this creature helps in plowing the land and farmers can grow foods, fruits, and vegetables.
5th day Bhai Tika - 9th November 2018 - Bothers, and Sisters worship each other for the perfect bonding and wish for longer lives. Pancharangi Tika (5 colors) will be put on the forehead of brothers at first and then to the sisters, offering presents and a variety of delicious food.
Deusi Bhailo (Is similar to Caroling) in Tihar
On the day of Laxmi Pooja (3rd day), Bhailo is played. Primarily, the girls visit door to door with chantings. They bless the owner of the house for wealth and prosperity, and they get presents and money from them. From the 4th day, Deusi will be played. Now, all the people can join in it, and Deusire begins.
The autumn is one of the best times to research festivals in Nepal as it has a combination of the most celebrated festivals and the weather is beautiful. The research can be combined with a tour around the country or go on a trek to enjoy the excellent vistas Nepal has to offer.
Read more about Tihar Festival