One thing that uniquely marks Nepal culture is that it is heavily influenced by Hindu belief. There are different Hindu festivals celebrated every month in different parts of Nepal. The country has a rich history and many of its districts and towns have different backgrounds, which probably gave rise to the varied culture and festivals in Nepal.
Nepalese festivals can last from a day to many days. The biggest, most important, and longest festival in Nepal is Dashain. It is celebrated for many days starting from late September and extending to mid October. During this festival, the Nepalese celebrate their victory over demons based on the victory of goddess Durga over the demon Mahisasur. Dashain has a number of major events including Phool Pati, Dashami, Ghatasthapana, and Nawami.
Phool Pati signifies the advent of the festival. During Dashami, people wear their beautiful dresses and go to the houses of their elders, who will put tika on their foreheads. This gesture indicates that the elders have given them their blessing. Young children are not applied tika on the forehead, though. Instead, they are given money as blessing. After this, families eat together and enjoy the rest of the day. Animal sacrifices are done during Nawami. This practice is supposed to please the goddess Durga.
Some other important festivals in Nepal include Buddha Jayanti. This festival celebrates the birthday of Buddha, which falls on May 23. Buddhists and Hindus take part in the festival. Devotees visit the various temples of Buddha. People from different parts of Nepal and even from all over the world flock to Lumbini, which is said to be his birthplace. Sherpas celebrate the Mani Rimdu festival, which is held for the good of the world. There is much eating and dancing during this event, and local delicacies are served.
The Maghe Sangranti festival is celebrated every January 14. On this occasion, people go out early in the morning, put on their best clothes, and bathe in the Bagmati River. Some people dip their bodies in the convergence of Gandaki, Kali, and Trisuli rivers to cleanse themselves from sin. Then they visit the temples of Vishnu and bring different offerings like incense, flowers, and others. When they go home, families celebrate with daal bhaat tarkaari and sweets.
Food is always part of the culture and festivals in Nepal. The most common food you will see in the country is daal bhaat tarkaari. This dish is prepared with spicy lentil soup poured over cooked rice. It is served together with curried vegetables called tarkaari and pickles called achar. The dish is sold in many towns in Nepal.
Music is likewise an inherent part of culture and festivals in Nepal. Some songs are sung during particular festivals. Newari music mainly uses percussion instruments.
The culture and festivals in Nepal are numerous, colorful, and so varied. If you want to see the Nepalese culture, you should plan your trip during a festival. It will not be hard to do that since there is a festival in Nepal every month, but the major ones draw the crowds.