Trekking in Nepal

Nepali Festivals

The identity of the Nepali people is based on the common heritage of diverse cultures. The Hindu people draw from the ways of India in the Hindi religion, and the Sherpa people inherited the old-world ways of the Tibetan Buddhists from the north. Religion is tightly intertwined into the society of both of these cultures, and religious festivals create a national heartbeat for all people to enjoy. The two cultures express their religious beliefs and festivals differently but with their mutual respect they welcome each other to join in and enjoy.

Nepal Dashain Festival
Nepali festivals are numerous and ongoing, striving to gain the favor of the multitude of deity forms in the Hindu religion. The Dashain Feast, although not an all-inclusive representation of Hindu religious festivals, is noteworthy for its macabre and surreal spectacle. Each year in early Fall for fifteen days the Nepalese engage in a great tribute to the goddess Durga and her crucial role in the victory of the gods over the forces of evil. The participants celebrate with parades and great feasts. The festival builds up religious fervor and culminates in the massive slaughter of thousands of animals. The throats are slit so that the blood can spray out. Many such sacrifices are made at significant shrines of the goddess, bathing it in the blood, and to ensure good fortune and safety, automobiles, machinery and aircraft are spattered with blood. This is only a portion of festival’s significance, but it is certainly what will leave an impression if you find yourself as an onlooker.

Buddhist festivals celebrated by the Sherpa people are very jovial and spiritual. In the early Summer the Khumbu region celebrates the Dumji festival to commemorate Lama Sangwa Dorje, the first Tibetan lama that moved to be with the Sherpa people. The festival brings the communities together and has grown over the hundreds of years to be an extravagant occasion. The brilliant coordination applied to this annual event is that a year in advance, twelve families each are invited to host the festival for their village. This has grown to be a very expensive undertaking for the hosts, who would need to buy hundreds of katas and provide great amounts of food and western liquor for the occasion.

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