About Culture of Nepal
Several of the festivals of Nepal last from one to several days. As a predominantly Hindu and Buddhist nation, most of the Nepalese festivals are religious ones. The festivals of Nepal have their roots in Hinduism as 82% of the population of the country is Hindu. Buddhism, the second-largest religion of the nation which accounts for 9% of the population, has influenced the cultural festivals of Nepal. Dashain or Dusshera is the longest and the most important festival of Nepal. Generally Dashain falls in late September to mid-October, right after the end of the monsoon season. It is “a day of Victory over Demons”. The Newars celebrate the festival as Mohani. Tihar or Diwali, Holi, Saraswati Puja, Rakshabandhan, Bhai Dooj, Janmashtami, Kali Puja, Gai Jatra, Nag Panchami, Teej, Chhath, Kartik Poornima, Maghe Sankranti, Ganesh Chaturthi, Maha Shivratri and Chhechu are other widely celebrated important festivals of Nepal. New Year’s Day of the lunar calendar Nepal Sambat occurs in November. Several Jatras took place throughout the year and public holidays are declared in some regions.
Other important festivals include Buddha Purnima (the celebration of the birth of Buddha) Maha Shivaratri (a festival of Lord Shiva) and during Maha Shivaratri festivities, some people consume excessive drinks and smoke charas. Sherpas, mostly located at higher altitudes and in the Mount Everest region, celebrate Mani Rimdu, for the good of the world. Most festivals include dancing and music, and a variety of special foods are consumed during festivals and on special occasions.
The Sagan ceremony is the ritualized presentation of five food items (boiled egg, smoked fish, meat, lentil cake and rice wine) to a person which is done to bring good fortune as per Tantric tradition.