• Updated on Dec 24, 2023

Nepal is a country of festivals, every day in one corner or the other there is always a celebration going on. This multiple vibrant festival is the outcome of different ethnic groups of people living together.

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Nepal being a colorful country is the outcome of almost 125 different ethnic groups and 123 different languages but all living together in a peaceful environment, making a local festival a national festival. This is so because every ethnic group has its festivals and celebrations which now take a national form, celebrated nationwide.

Below are some very popular festivals in Nepal, which are not to be missed by any travelers when they are at the right time while visiting Nepal. Please note that Nepal follows the Lunar calendar also known as Bikram Sambat (BS) over the Georgian calendar, now Nepal is in 207 BS, so the date for every festival varies year by year.

For any information about the forthcoming festival in Nepal please contact Discover Altitude.

Discover Altitude here tries to focus on some of the popular 10 national festivals in Nepal which are celebrated nationwide.

Dashain Festival

When comes to talking about the festivals of Nepal Dashain is the first which comes to the mind of every Nepali. Dashain is one of the most popular festivals in Nepal, which is celebrated nationwide for 5 days but the official festival starts 5 days prior, making it a 10-day festival.

Although the Dashain Festival is celebrated for 10 days, the main highlights of the Dashain festival start from the 6th day. This festival is mainly observed by the goddess Durga, so it is also known as the name Durga Pooja Festival, which is popular in India and other Hindu dwellers areas.

Durga Pooja or Dashain Festival has its history and ancient tales but the main outcome of the celebration is victory over evil, truth over falsity, and Gods over demons. To celebrate the festival goddess Durga is worshiped in every temple and house, as she is regarded brave, powerful, and ever-loving goddess.

In the context of Nepal, people sacrifice animals in the temples and houses, and the blood is splashed on the idol of goddesses to pacify their trust (there is a mythical story related to animal sacrifice).

On the final day of the Dashain festival, people take blessings from parents, relatives, and elders with tika on their forehead, tika is mainly made up of rice, curd, and red powder, which symbolizes power, and bravery, protection, and devotion.

All family members gather together from the 6th day until the 9th day and then they travel to their relatives' and in-laws' houses to take blessing which continues for a couple of days.

Dashain Festival in 2023 AD: 21st October- 26th October

Tihar Festival


Tihar Festival is also known by the name Deepawali Festival. Tihar is the second largest and most popular festival in Nepal after Dashain. The festival of Tihar lasts for 5 days, starting with the dog festival, crow festival, cow and ox festival, and ending with the brothers and sister festival, making it a 5-day Tihar celebration.

Tihar is also known as a festival of lights, every individual house is beautifully decorated with lights and lamps which last for the same 5-day, ending with the final day for brothers and sisters to put tika.

This also makes the brothers and sisters festival, on the final day sisters, put a tika over their brother’s forehead and vice versa and bless each other with long and healthy life and prosperity. 

In return, brothers do the same promising to help a sister in her time of need and to continue the bond of love and also promise them to come every year to the Tihar Festival to take blessing no matter where they are.

Further, gifts are exchanged and the sister cooks delicious typical Nepali cuisine and serves the family members.

Tihar Festival in 2023 AD: 11th November- 16th November

Holi Festival

celebrating Holi festival in Kathmandu. 

Holi is another important festival in Nepal, it is known as the festival of colors. Holi is celebrated nationwide for a single day, but in the context of Nepal, Holi is celebrated separately in the Hilly and Terai areas on alternate days. People gather everywhere, visit relatives, and friends, and splash different colors on each other, making it an outdoor festival.

This Holi festival is also celebrated to exchange love, so it is believed even the worst enemies become friends from the day of the Holi festival.


Apart from this, the Holi festival is celebrated for the victory of good over evil, this is related to an ancient story from the Vishnu Purana, a holy Hindu text.

Holi Festival in 2023 AD: 24th March Holi festival in the Hilly region of Nepal

25th March Holi festival in the Terai region of Nepal

Maha Shivaratri Festival

Maha Shivaratri Festival or Shivaratri Festival is also a popular one-day festival in Nepal. Shivaratri festival is mainly dedicated to lord shiva, the most worshipped god in Hinduism. It is believed that on this particular day, Lord Shiva got married to mother goddess Parvati and some, it is a day when Lord Shiva consumed poison to save all the sentient beings.

During Shivaratri, devotees gather around Shivalaya (Temple of Lord Shiva) the whole night and day they sing and dance and consume marijuana as well. Different varieties of foodstuff are made from marijuana and are offered to devotees.

Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu which is also the center of all Shivalaya around the world gets busy with thousands of pilgrimages.

Maha Shivaratri Festival in 2023 AD: 8th March in Nepal

Buddha Jayanti

Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Purnima is one of the popular celebrations around the globe, marked as the day when Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism and the ‘messenger of peace’ was born and the same day when Buddha attained enlightenment, and also the same day when he attains Nirvana (death). This marks Buddha Jayanti an important day for Buddhist followers.

Buddha Jayanti is a national celebration day in Nepal, although the majority follow Hinduism as their main religion, Buddha is also regarded as one of the 8th incarnations of Lord Vishnu.


People visit monasteries, gumba, and Buddhist shrines to offer their regard and be thankful to Lord Buddha, for the principle he propounded. Historical sites in Nepal like Lumbini (the birthplace of Lord Buddha), Swyambhunath, Bouddhanath, Patan areas, etc. remain busy with devotees.

Apart from these devotees also visit monasteries and shrines and offer gifts to monks and needy people.

Buddha Jayanti festival in 2024 AD: 26th May in Nepal (Date Not Yet Confirmed)

Ram Navami

Ram Navami is another a-day celebration Hindu festival, mainly celebrated in Nepal, India, and other areas among Hindu communities. Ram Navami is marked as a day when Lord Ram the 7th incarnation of Lord Vishnu was born to a royal family of the Solar Dynasty to King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya in Ayodhya presently in India.

The celebration of Ram Navami is done with great joy and respect towards Lord Ram for his dutifulness and devotion towards his parents, citizens, brothers, and wife Sita, which makes him known as ‘Maryada Purushottam’, a symbol of ‘Perfect Man’.

Devotees on this day visit the temple of Lord Ram and take his blessing and also, and they clean their houses and idols of Lord Ram, Sita, and Laxman and decorate them with beautiful colors and flowers.

Ram Navami festival in 2024 AD: 21st April in Nepal (Date Not Yet Confirmed)

Indra Jatra

Indra Jatra is a popular festival of Kathmandu Valley, mainly observed among the Newari Community but now become a nationwide festival making its center as Kathmandu Valley.

Indra Jatra is an 8-day festival, which starts after erecting a wooden pole from a pine tree in the heart of Kathmandu city also known as Basantapur or Kathmandu Durbar Square but the first day is celebrated in full spirit.

During the ceremony, hundreds of devotees and locals gather around the Basantapur area along with high government officials including the head of the state. The chariot of living goddess KUMARI is being carried out in a procession on the main street, and devotees flock out to take her blessing, this is the time when people can have a close view of the Kumari and take her pictures.

Indra Jatra festival in 2023 AD: 28th September in Nepal

Teej Festival

Teej Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Nepal for women, it is also known as a women’s festival.

Teej is a three-day festival, which continues with singing and dancing, and married women visit their parent's house, meet their childhood friends, and share their emotions, sorrow, and happiness through songs.

Apart from this, they fast on the third day visit Lord Shiva’s temple, and perform the ritual ceremony for the blissful marital life, long-lived of their husband, children, and family members and for unmarried women. 

Teej is observed as a festival to take blessing from lord Shiva for their blissful forthcoming married life and wonderful family relation. Married women wear red sarees, whereas unmarried girls attire themselves in different costumes.

Teej festival in 2023 AD: 18th September in Nepal

Janai Purnima

Janai Purnima is another one-day festival in Nepal, also known as Rakshya Bandhan or Rakhi festival. On this special occasion, people visit temples early in the morning and thread it around their wrists a holy thread, and also brother visit their sisters and put colorful Rakhi in their hands.

Sisters bless their brothers with good luck, prosperity, and long life, and brothers vow to protect their sisters in every need and they exchange gifts.

Janai Purnima festival in 2023 AD: 31st August in Nepal

Gai Jatra

Gai Jatra is another popular festival in Kathmandu Valley mainly among the Newari community but now its popularity has reached far away to other communities as well. King Pratap Malla around the 17th century AD, started the Gai Jatra festival for his Queen to come out of the mournful condition when their son died.

This Gai Jatra festival is now celebrated in memory of their beloved one, people from every house come into the street in disguise form to show their love and respect towards the departed soul.

Gai Jatra festival in 2023 AD: 31st August

For more information WhatsApp: +977-9841161593 or Email: info@discoveraltitude.com

Kumar Lamsal

Kumar Lamsal

Kumar is one of the Co-founders and Managing directors of Discover Altitude holding 18 years of experience in the tourism sector of Nepal. He has trekked to almost all the popular regions of Nepal and is an authorized trekking and tour guide.

Started his career as a porter to support his study, now holds MPhil and LLB degree, and is doing his Ph.D. in religious studies. He loves traveling to the Himalayas and has deep knowledge about religion, culture, and history.

Kumar is also involved in the teaching sector as a part-timer to deliver his research related to the cultural and religious diversity of Nepal and is the one who mostly answers your queries giving them his personal touch through his decade-long experience.