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Vijaya Dashmi Deepawali / Chhath Parva  / Vivaha Panchami  /Maghe Sankranti  / Saraswati Puja / Holi 

Nepal is a country of festivals. In fact, the Nepalese are said to observe more festivals than there are days in the year. Hardly a day passes without some festivities, ceremonial observances or pilgrimages occurring in country so as its region in Mithila. The following is a brief description of the major festivals observed in the Mithila (Janakpur).

Navabarsha (mid-April)

Nawa Varsa or Nepalese (Mithila)  new year  is celebrated every year with great enthusiasm. This great according to the officially recognized Vikrama Era fall on the first day of the first month the Nepalese year (Baishakh) Which corresponds to mid April around. As elsewhere, the New Year is observed by exchange of greetings, singing and dancing.

For the people in Mithila however it is more then this. They celebrate this occasion as beginning of hot days by putting  cold water in head by elders, and then playing with water.

Nag Panchami (July/August)
(fifth day after the full moon of Shrawan)

In Hinduism, Nag (the divine serpent) is glorified as the provider of rain. Nag is worshipped to provide a good harvest during the monsoon season, and Nag Panchami, the fifth day of the bright lunar fortnight, is set aside for worshipping serpents. Devotees on this day paste pictures of Nag over their doorways with cow-dung. As part of the rituals to propitiate the divine serpents, milk, their favorite drink is offered to the pictures. Failure to appease them may invite droughts and disaster in the days ahead.

Devotees also teats sour food at early morning. 

Janau Purnima, Rishi Tarpani (July/August)
(one day preceding the full moon of Shrawan)

On this day, Brahmins (The priestly class) and Rajput  have their annual ritual of changing their sacred thread called the janau. This is also the day for Raksya Bandhan (a safety thread bon). Most prefer their Brahmin priests to put it around their wrists with the chanting of mantra (holy hymns).

 Rishi Tarpani is the day to pay ablution to Rishis, as the hermits practicing self-denial are known. The full moon day thus sees hordes of Hindu priests with their clean-shaven heads taking dips in the holy water to purify their bodies before they get on with their business of offering sacred yellow threads to their clients. 

Krishna Ashthami (August)
(seven days after the full moon of Bhadra) 

The birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is one of the greatest Hindu festivals for the Hindus of Nepal. Krishna’s exploits as a child when he subdued fierce demons and performed miraculous feats specially endear him to his devotees. In his boyhood, Krishna killed the evil king Kansa, his maternal uncle, to liberate the people from his atrocities. During the 18-day war depicted in the great Hindu epic Mahabharat, Krishna served as the de facto commander and strategist for the righteous Pandavas.

Teej (August/September)
(2nd till the 5th day following the new moon of Bhadra)

A blissful conjugal life, progress and prosperity for her husband, good fortune for herself, and purification of her own body and soul: these are what an ideal Hindu woman is supposed to aspire for. Teej, the lively festival exclusively for womenfolk, is a spiritual endeavor towards the realization of their aspirations. For an unmarried women, compliance with the age-old tradition ensures a good, loving and caring husband.

The festival combines both sumptuous feasts and tormenting fasts. On the first day of the three-day celebration, groups of women, both married and unmarried, congregate at one place in their finest attires. Amidst laughter, songs and music, the grand feasts begins. The merry making goes on till midnight, from which time onwards the women undergo a 24-hour fast.

The next day sees these women, in their crimson saris, singing and dancing on the streets leading to Shiva shrines. The main activities revolve around the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu. On this special day, the temple remains closed for all males, except the Brahmin priests. Female devotees, as a mark of total devotion to Shiva the Destroyer, circumambulate the lingam, the phallic symbol of the Almighty, making offerings of flowers, sweets and coins, and praying for their husband’s longevity, progress and prosperity.

The third and last day of the festival is called Rishi Panchami, which is the fifth day of the waxing moon. On this day, women who have undergone the agonizing fast pay homage to various deities situated on the banks of sacred rivers. After a holy bath in the rivers, they use a piece of datiwan (a sacred plant with religious and medicinal significance), to sprinkle holy water all over their body 360 times. The ritual helps them secure exoneration for all sins they might have committed in the past year.

Chaurchan (September)

Its mean the fourth day moon of August cosidered as a day sacred to Ganesha, The elephant headed god of good luck. People celebrate this day offering various seasonal fruits and flowers to all powerful Ganesha and pray for protection from unnecessary evils.


Dasain (October)

Dasain glorifies the triumph of Good over Evil, of Goddess Durga’s slaying of the terrible demon Mahisasura, who roamed the earth, terrorizing the populace in the guise of a ferocious water buffalo. Ten days of intense sacrificial and joyous worship celebrate fertility and the victory of good over evil, as represented by the goddess Durga Bhawani and the various gods who battle the demons.

The first day of Dasain is called Ghatasthapana, which means establishing of the holy water vessel which represents the Goddess Durga. Barley seeds are planted in it.

The seventh day or Phulpati is the offering of flowers and leaves, carried by runners from Gorkha, the ancestral home of the Shah Kings of Nepal, and received by the King in Kathmandu.

On Maha Ashthami, the eighth day, the fervor of worship and sacrifice to Kali and Durga increases. Animal sacrifices highlight events of the ninth night to appease Durga, the Goddess of Victory and Might. As animal sacrifices is not practice by many they replace animals by vegetables.

Dasain takes its name from Vijaya Dashami, the Great Tenth Day of Victory. This is the day when Lord Rama slew the demon Ravana and when Durga vanquished the demon Mahisasura. On this day tika is received from
rahmins. The tika symbolizing victory is a blessing of good fortune.


& Lakshmi Puja (November)

Tihar is known as the festival of lights and is celebrated for five days. On the occasion of Laxmi Puja houses are illuminated at night. An assortment of special sweets are prepared and offered to guests. At this time certain animals are also favored with food and garlands. The first day of Tihar is dedicated to the crow, the second to the dog, the third to the cow and the fourth to the ox. On the fifth day, women who have brothers offer them tika and special food. In return the brother gives his sister a token of appreciation usually in the form of money and renews his commitment to protect her honor.


Chhath Parva (November)

There is one Hindu festival that is that is known for its unique association to Mithila. It is devoted to the worship of the Sun God. It is, therefore, also known as Surya Shashti. The festival begins on the sixth day of the month of Kartik in the Hindu lunar calendar. This corresponds to the period beginning from late October to mid November, depending upon the year. It is one of the holiest festivals for Mithila and extends four days long. Details of each day are elaborately given are



Sita Vivaha Panchami (December)
(the 5th day following the new moon of Ashwin) 

This festival, commemorating the marriage of Sita to Ram. Ram, hero of the epic Ramayana and an incarnation of Vishnu had come to Janakpur, was the kingdom of Sita’s father King Janak, to marry Sita. The occasion attracts thousands of pilgrims from India.


Maghe Sankranti or Tila Sankranti (Mid January)
(first day of the month of Magh)

Maghé Sankranti is the first day of the month of Magh. Magh is a sacred month so the first day is celebrated with a feast at home that particularly constitute of til and brown sugar. Lord Vishnu the Preserver is worshipped and thanked for the return of the warm season once more. Through the month of Magh, people busy themselves with religious activities such as taking an early morning bath in holy rivers, visiting the shrines of Vishnu and offering flowers, incense and food, and reading the Bhagavad Gita.


Basanta Panchami & Saraswati Puja (February)
(five days after the new moon of Magh)

Both festivals occur on the same day. This is the day that ushers in the spring season. Basanta Panchami is celebrated as beginning of autumn season. In Saraswati puja   day goddess of knowledge is worshipped. Many students fast on this day and eat only one meal of pure vegetarian dishes to prove their devotion.

Maha Shivaratri (February)
(new moon day of Falgun)

Maha Shivaratri, or the Great Night of Lord Shiva, is observed in honor of Lord Shiva’s day of birth. A great fair takes place at the Pashupatinath Temple as thousands of pilgrims from all parts of Nepal and India congregate in celebration.


Holi or Fagu-wa (March)
(full moon day of Falgun)

This is a colorful occasion when people smear each other with colored powder and splash water balloons onto one another and youths love to play. This continues for one full week. The fever of this game goes very high on the full moon day which is the last day of celebration. In  this day people exchange greeting as offer various sweets

Ramnawami (March)

Ramnawami a big day for Hindu is celebrated in honor of the great Hindu King Rama on the 9th day of bright fortnight of chaitra (March). But the main deity to be worshipped on this occasion is the all powerful mother goddess Durga, the wife of Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of the Hindu pantheon because as and the holy Hindu scriptures say Rama was a great devotee of Durga her blessings enabled Rama to kill his arch enemy, Ravana, the most dreaded demon king on this day. This day is symbolically commemorated as the victory of virtue over vice.


Vijaya Dashmi Deepawali / Chhath Parva  / Vivaha Panchami  /Maghe Sankranti / Holi



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