Celebrating multiple New Years in Nepal.
Nepal is a country of diversity. There are more than 90 ethnic groups of people in this tiny country thanks to its as diverse geography. Each ethnic group has their own culture and many of them follow their own calendars and celebrate New Year’s accordingly. Let’s look at some of the more popular New Year’s celebrated in Nepal.
- Nepali New Year: Bikram Sambat
It is the year 2071 in Bikram Sambat now. This is the official calendar of Nepal administration and the government of Nepal follows it for all its activities. The New Year starts on Baisakh 1st which lies in mid-April. People celebrate New Year with family gatherings, picnics and visiting temples, etc.
- Newari New Year: Nepal Sambat
The New year is celebrated by the Newar people, the original habitants of Kathmandu Valley. They follow the Lunar calender and the New year lies around October to November a day after the no moon day. It is celebrated by worshipping oneself wishing for good health and prosperity for the coming year.
- Gyalpo Loshar:
Gyalpo Loshar is the Tibetan New Year. It is celebrated by the Tibetan origin people of the high mountains like the Sherpas. Every year they have an animal representing the year. They also follow the Lunar Calender but the New Year’s Day lies in February or March. This year it is on February 18th. Gyalpo Loshar is celebrated by offering various types of Tibetan homemade breads to the Buddhist deities and rimpoches. It is first offered to the elders of the family and enjoyed by the rest of the family.
- Tamu Loshar:
The Tamu Loshar is the new year of the Gurung community of Nepal hailing from the mid-western part of Nepal. It is celebrated towards the end of December. The New Year indicates the end of winter and start of spring. There is a lot of rejoice with gatherings in the villages with lots of dancing, singing and feasting.
- Sonam Loshar:
Sonam Loshar is the New Year of the Tamang people of Nepal. They are an indeginious community hailing from the hills around Kathmandu Valley. Their New Year lies in January or February, the day after the no moon day. They prepare for the New Year on the last month of the year by cleaning and decorating their houses. They wear new clothes and go to monasteries, and Chaityas to offer prayers and get blessings from elder monks. Then later they gather for Dancing, singing and feasting with their families.
- Maghi festival:
Maghi festival lies on the Magh 1st of the Bikram Sambat Calendar, which lies around mid-January. The Maghi festival is celebrated as the New Year’s day by the Tharu Community, the indeginious group of the Terai region. They celebrate the New Year as the end of Winter and beginning of Spring. They select a new judge, medicine man and guard on this day. The person is responsible to handle is post for the next year. They also clean their houses and make plans for the year ahead. The family members are also assigned their responsibilities on this day. They also celebrate the New Year with some dancing, singing and a huge feast with the whole village attending.
- And of course we also celebrate the international new year of the Gregorian Calendar in Nepal with enthusiasm. It has become more popular these days with young people going out to clubs with friends to celebrate the New Year. There is a major three day street festival in Pokhara for the New Year where many locals and tourists go to welcome the New Year.
With this here is to a great New Year 2015 to all.