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Archive for the 'Nepali Festivals' Category

मलेसियामा विजयादशमी लाइभ कन्सर्ट

admin October 2nd, 2008

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-Debendra Surkeli, Malaysia

Dashain Day 1: Ghatasthapana

admin September 30th, 2008

Dasain, GhatasthapanaGhatasthapana - September 30, 2008
The first day of Dashain is called Ghatasthapana, which literally means pot establishing. On this day the kalash, (holy water vessel) symbolising goddess Durga often with her image embossed on the side is placed in the prayer room. The kalash is filled with holy water and covered with cowdung on to which seeds are sown. A small rectangular sand block is made and the kalash is put in the centre. The surrounding bed of sand is also seeded with grains. The ghatasthapana ritual is performed at a certain auspicious moment determined by the astrologers. At that particular moment the priest intones a welcome, requesting goddess Durga to bless the vessel with her presence.

The room where the kalash is established Continue Reading »

Janai Purnima & Gai Jatra

admin August 16th, 2008

Janai Purnima & Gai JatraJanai Purnima
August 16, 2008 - Janai Purnima
Janai purnima, the full moon day in August every year, the day that our priests tie the sacred rakshya around our wrist is known as Sacred Thread Festival. On this day Hindu men, especially the Brahmans and Chettris perform their annual change of Janai. According to Hindu rules the cord must be changed without fail by a Brahman on this day.

On Janai Purnima, there is a big mela (religious fair) at Kumbeshwor lake in Lalitpur. Devotees come here to worship Lord Mahadev and to tie a knot around their wrists.

A legend in Nepal says that long ago a devotee, while bathing in Goshaikund lake, dropped his brass in water. Sometime later, it miraculously appeared in Kumbeshwar Pond in Patan. People believe that the vessel made its way from the mountain lake through some underground river into Kumbeshwar Pond, a belief given further support by the fact that the water of the Patan Pond remains abnormally cold throughout the year. On Janai Purnima day thousands of devotees, unable to make the long mountain trek to Gosaikund, are content to bathe at Kumbeshwar.

This ospicious day is also know as Raksha Bandhan as Raksha (eternal protection) is tied round the wrist, the same which bound the arm of the mighty Bali, King of the Danavas.

Gai JatraAugust 17, 2008- Gai Jatra
The festival of “Gai Jatra”, the procession of cows, is celebrated in the Nepali month of Bhadra (August-September) on the next day of Janai Purnima. This festival of cows is one of the most popular festivals of Kathmandu valley.

According to the traditions, every family who has lost a relative during that past year participates in a procession through the streets leading a cow. If a cow is unavailable, a young boy dressed as a cow is substituted. Continue Reading »

Buddha Jayanti

admin May 19th, 2008

Buddha Jayanti, Gautam Buddha's BirthdayBuddha Jayanti - 20th May 2008
The belief and the practice of Buddhism in Nepal dates back to the time of Prince Siddharth Gautam, who was born in the southern Terai region of the country in about 543 BC. Till he was 29, the young prince led a very sheltered life in the royal palace of his father. He was completely unaware of the tragedies of everyday life. One day, he convinced his charioteer to take him outside the walls of his palace and he was shocked to see the sight of an old man, a cripple, and a corpse.

The realization that there was more to life than the lavish and luxurious life he was leading, made him abandon all the worldly pleasures and search for enlightenment and the true meaning of life. After much wandering and searching, Gautam finally attained enlightenment while meditating under a pipul tree. Henceforth, known as Continue Reading »

Chaite Dasain

admin March 26th, 2008

Chaite DashainChaite Dasain - 26th March 2008
Chaite Dasain used to be the original day of the grand Dasain festival. It is said that the main Dashain festival was celebrated in this month. But at that time people couldn’t spare their time for celebrating this great festival because of everyone being busy in harvesting crops. So, they shifted the grand Dashain festival in the month of Sept- Oct as most of the people are almost free from farming works. Some people even beleive, because people got their stomachs upset after feasting on spicy food during the warm month of Chaitra, the grand celebration was shifted to the cooler season. But the religious fervor is still evident in the celebrations of the day. People celebrate Chaite Dashain by worshiping & sacrificing buffalo, goat, cock, duck to the goddess Durga throughout the country.

Holi

admin March 21st, 2008

Holi, Fagu PurnimaHoli - 21st March 2008
The ancient Hindu festival of Holi falls on late February or on early March. Allegedly named after the mythical demoness Holika, it is a day when the feast of colours is celebrated. The festival is of a week. However it’s only the last day that is observed by all with colours. Phagu is another name for Holi where Phagu means the sacred red powder and Pune is the full moon day, on which the festival ends. People can be seen wandering through the streets either on foot or on some vehicle, with a variety of colours smeared over them.

Families and friends get together and celebrate the occasion with a lot of merry making. This spring time celebration is also an outburst of youthful exuberance in which throwing colours and water bolloons (lolas) on passer- by is acceptable. But, the Indian community, that is, the Marwari class who have settled down in Nepal for centuries and the people of Terai celebrate it a day later with more pomp and ceremony.

The days prior to the last don’t have a lot happening except, the installation of the ceremonial pole called “chir’, on the first day. It’s a bamboo pole, fringed with strips of cloth representing good luck charms. It is said to symbolize the tree on which lord Krishna hung the milkmaids’ garments while they were bathing, unseen as they thought, in the Jamuna river of northern India. As the pole is put up in the street at Basantapur, the festivities and worship commences for the week. At the end of which its taken to a bonfire.

The myth following Holi, reveals that a fiend named Holika together with her brother, an atheist king by the name of Continue Reading »

Shiva Ratri

admin March 5th, 2008

Maha Shiva Ratri, Jai sambhoMaha Shiva Ratri - 6th March 2008
Nepal is the only Hindu kingdom in the world and thus the land of Lord Shiva, Lord of all Lords, for here you can feel his presence everywhere. Even in the sacred texts of the Hindus it has been stated that Mt. Kailash in the Himalayas is the abode of Lord Shiva or Mahadeva as he is also known. Shiva the Destroyer of Evil is among the most praised and worshipped of all the gods in the Hindu religion. Hindus all over the world know him through different names and forms. The country has thousands of idols and monuments, which glorify his name, the most common one being the Shiva Linga or the phallus of Shiva that represents him. For it is the Shiva linga that Hindus regard as the symbol of creation, the beginning of everything.

Shiva Ratri is the night of Lord Shiva when He himself was created by His own Divine Grace and Hindus all over the world celebrate this day with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Shiva Ratri literally means ‘ the night consecrated to Shiva’. This auspicious festival falls on Continue Reading »

Maghe Sankranti

admin January 15th, 2008

Maghe Sangranti, Ghiu-Chaku SankrantiMaghe Sankranti - January 15, 2008
Maghe Sankranti is the beginning of the holy month of Magh, usually the mid of January. It brings an end to the ill-omened month of Poush (mid-december) when all religious ceremonies are forbidden. Even if it is considered the coldest day of the year, it marks the coming of warmer weather and better days of health and fortune.

This day is said to be the most significant day for holy bathing despite the weather. This ritual usually takes place at the union of sacred rivers and streams. Sankhamole, on the banks of the holy Bagmati river, below Patan, is thought to be amongst the most sacred sites for this purpose, though there has been a decline in the fulfillment of this ritual in the recent years due to water pollution in the river. But people still go in the wee hours of dawn just to sprinkle themselves with the water. They pay homage to various deities specially the temple of Red Machindranath and Agima Ta.

In addition to holy bathing Continue Reading »

Tihar

admin November 9th, 2007

Tihar, DipawaliTihar - November 7-11, 2007
Tihar, the festival of lights is one of the most dazzling of all Hindu festivals. In this festival we worship Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth. During the festival all the houses in the city and villages are decorated with lit oil lamps. Thus during the night the entire village or city looks like a sparkling diamond. This festival is celebrated in five days starting from the thirteenth day of the waning moon in October. We also refer to tihar as ‘Panchak Yama’ which literally means ‘the five days of the underworld lord’. We also worship ‘yamaraj’ in different forms in these five days. In other words this festival is meant for life and prosperity.

Goddess Laxmi is the wife of almighty Lord Vishnu. She was formed from the ocean and she has all the wealth of the seas. She sits on a full-grown lotus and her steed is the owl. On the third day of the festival at the stroke of midnight she makes a world tour on her owl looking how she is worshipped.

There is a story, which tells why this revelry Continue Reading »

Dashain Day 1: Ghatasthapana

admin October 11th, 2007

Dasain, GhatasthapanaGhatasthapana - October 12, 2007
The first day of Dashain is called Ghatasthapana, which literally means pot establishing. On this day the kalash, (holy water vessel) symbolising goddess Durga often with her image embossed on the side is placed in the prayer room. The kalash is filled with holy water and covered with cowdung on to which seeds are sown. A small rectangular sand block is made and the kalash is put in the centre. The surrounding bed of sand is also seeded with grains. The ghatasthapana ritual is performed at a certain auspicious moment determined by the astrologers. At that particular moment the priest intones a welcome, requesting goddess Durga to bless the vessel with her presence.

The room where the kalash is established Continue Reading »

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