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Festivals in Kathmandu - Nepal

Bala Chaturdashi - Kathmandu

Bala Chaturdashi

There are two chaturdashis every month and this one falls on the new-moon day in late November or early December. Pilgrims make their way to Pashupatinath, burning oil lamps and scattering grain for the dead.  

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Basanta Panchami - Kathmandu

Basanta Panchami

This festival heralds the beginning of spring with the honouring of Saraswati, the goddess of learning; it is held all over Kathmandu but the shrine of Saraswati, located just below the platform at the top of Swayambhunath, is the most popular place for festivities. This festival is particularly...

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Bisket Jatra - Kathmandu

Bisket Jatra

Celebrate Nepali New Year in mid-April which begins at the start of Baisakh. The best place to celebrate this festival is in Bhaktapur which hosts an exciting chariot festival.

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Buddha Jayanti - Kathmandu

Buddha Jayanti

Held in Lumbini (the birthplace of Buddha) on the date of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and ascension into nirvana (all the same day), this festival is celebrated with a great fair. Full moon celebrations continue in Swayambhunath, Bodhnath and Patan, with monks dancing being one of the...

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Chaitra Dasain - Kathmandu

Chaitra Dasain

Taking place six months prior to the more important Dasain celebration, both festivals are dedicated to Durga. The festival culminates in the early morning sacrifice of goats and buffaloes in Kot Square, central Kathmandu. The Chaitra Dasain festival also heralds the start of the month-long Seto...

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Dasain - Kathmandu


The biggest annual festival in the country, this party lasts for fifteen days, celebrating the victory of the goddess Durga over the evil forces of Mahisasura. Animal sacrifices are held all over the country while primitive swings and hand-powered Ferris wheels are erected at the entrance of many...

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Gai Jatra (August & September) - Kathmandu

Gai Jatra (August & September)

The ‘Cow Festival’ which is dedicated to all those who have died in the previous year, takes place immediately after Janai Purnima. The festival is based on Newar culture that when a soul dies, cows guide them to Yama, the god of the underworld. During the festival cows are led through the...

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Ghanta Karna - Kathmandu

Ghanta Karna

This festival, celebrated on the 14th day of the dark fortnight of Saaun, has a significant legend behind it. It is named for ‘bell ears’, a nasty demon that was distinguishable by the bell earrings he wore to drown out the name of his sworn enemy, Vishnu. On the 14th day, a god disguised as a...

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