Once you have arrived there will be plenty to keep you busy, but depending on the time of year, here are a few events taking place…
Spring (March – May)
Named the ‘Festival of colours,’ happens throughout Nepal and India every spring. A celebration of love and life, revellers show their gratitude by throwing brightly coloured powder over one another in the street. Participants are advised to wear old clothes and leave valuables at home.
Autumn (September – November)
The most important holiday in Nepal, families travel great distances to reunite and celebrate the Hindu festival of Dashain with their loved ones. The occasion marks the triumph of good over evil, and families celebrate with masked dances and by purchasing goats to slaughter and roast. In some towns, streets will run red with goat blood. Most shops and restaurants are closed so try and wangle an invite to the festivities.
Kathmandu Jazz Festival
The Kathmandu Jazz Festival attracts a host of talented musicians from around the world. Since it first started in 2002, the festival has grown in both popularity and size. Today the schedule includes concerts, free shows and a range of educational workshops, which take place at venues across Kathmandu.
Tihar is the second largest festival in Nepal and is celebrated by both Buddhists and Hindus. Known as the festival of lights, towns across the country are illuminated throughout the five day jamboree. Gifts are exchanged between family members and gamblers are allowed to try their luck(placing bets is unrestricted during this holiday). The festival ends with a special day devoted to brothers who receive tikka blessings on their foreheads.
Winter (December – February)
Nepalis flock to the monasteries throughout the country to celebrate the Tibetan New Year and welcome good fortune for the upcoming months. You’ll see Nepalis in traditional dress and Buddhist monks in elaborate costumes, dancing, chanting and praying. Drums and song fill several days of ritualistic practice, and customary offerings attempt to appease religious leaders and spiritual heads.