One of the most significant festivals in Nepal is the Nepali New Year, also known as “Navavarsha” or “Bisket Jatra.” This festival marks the beginning of the Nepali calendar year and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and vigor throughout the country. In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Nepali New Year and how to experience it as a tourist.
Nepali New Year is celebrated in mid-April, usually between April 12-15. The exact date is determined by the Nepali lunar calendar and falls on the first day of the month of Baishakh.
The Nepali New Year is a time for new beginnings, and the festivities are all about renewal, purification, and good fortune. The celebrations last for several days, and the streets are decorated with colorful lights, flowers, and banners. People dress up in their best traditional clothes and visit temples and shrines to offer prayers.
The most significant event during the Nepali New Year is the Bisket Jatra festival, which takes place in the town of Bhaktapur, located just outside of Kathmandu. The festival lasts for nine days and is marked by the display of a chariot procession, which carries the idols of deities around the town. Thousands of people gather to witness the chariot procession and participate in various traditional games and activities, including tug-of-war, pole climbing, and traditional dances.
As a tourist, there are many ways to experience the Nepali New Year and immerse yourself in the local culture. Here are a few things you can do:
Join the Bisket Jatra Festival: The Bisket Jatra festival is one of the most exciting events during Nepali New Year, and you should definitely attend it. You can witness the chariot procession, traditional dances, and games, and try the local food.
Visit the Temples: During Nepali New Year, the temples and shrines are decorated with colorful lights and flowers. You can visit the popular temples in Kathmandu, such as Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, and Boudhanath, and join the locals in offering prayers.
Try the Local Food: Nepali cuisine is rich in flavors and spices. During Nepali New Year, you can try traditional dishes like “samosa,” “yomari,” and “sel roti,” which are prepared specially for the occasion.
Explore the Local Markets: During Nepali New Year, the local markets are filled with vibrant colors and festivities. You can explore the markets and shop for souvenirs, traditional clothes, and handicrafts.
In conclusion, Nepali New Year is a time for celebration, renewal, and purification. As a tourist, you can immerse yourself in the local culture, witness the festivities, and try the local cuisine. If you’re planning to visit Nepal in mid-April, make sure to include the Nepali New Year celebrations in your itinerary for a truly unforgettable experience.