A time for great celebrations, making of new resolutions, execution of surreal jatras, and social unity- The Nepali New Year.
The Nepal New Year, commonly known as the Nepal Sambat amongst the Nepali community is here. Every year the entire nation welcomes this day with great verve and élan. As Nepal is a culturally distinct nation, harboring more than 60 ethnic groups, there are to be precise, nine different New Year’s day in Nepal. Despite this “Nepal Sambat” is considered the “national New Year” of Nepal, bringing people of all cultures and ethnicity in solidarity and unison. Since the Nepali New year is seen as a profoundly religious day, various cultural rituals and a hope to have a prosperous year ahead are a huge part of this day’s significance.
On this day many families gather together to relish festive meals. Households and commercial buildings are festooned with flower garlands and various jatras and street dances are conducted within the country. People exchange greetings and wishes and pledge to have a fruitful year. In addition Hindus visit different temples to pray and worship and subsequently go around the temples. Since the Nepali calendar marks spring as the beginning of the year, people residing here can enjoy the fresh spring weather from the first day the Nepali year till the end of May. This is the relevant weather to go for a hike or to cycle to the “Annapurna Circuit”. One can also make a visit to the breathtaking Phewa Lake, where they can see the reflection of the surrounding snowcapped mountain on the surface of the lake.
Every ethnic group has their own unique way to celebrate the first day of the year, yet Newars- the oldest residents of the Kathmandu Valley celebrate this day in the most idiomatic manner. The people of the Newar community conduct various jatras on this day. Among these innumerous jatras, the Bisket Jatra is the most renowned one. According to legends and ancient Hindu mythology this jatra is celebrated to rejoice the “death of a serpent.” Various areas of Bhaktapur city celebrate this festival according to their own rituals. The most action-packed and momentous activities are seen in the aesthetic and ancient Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Hundreds of energetic and devoted individuals pull a chariot that holds the statue of the Lord Bhirava to the Khalla Tole. They then take part in a festive tug of war wherein the “east side” and the “west side” residents compete. The preparations for this eventful day starts days before the event as people start assembling the chariot near the Nyatapola Temple a month earlier.
Similarly young girls of the Newari community get dressed up as a kumari (vestal virgins) and take part in New Year's Day parade in Kathmandu. Various similar parades are conducted in which Newars get dressed as different gods and goddesses and walk around the city. One can also witness similar demonstrations in Thimi and Bode. In Thimi, one can see a procession of different Hindu gods and participants who cover themselves in the holy color –red, as they dance and sing in joy, while in Bode the atmosphere gets a bit more intense as a villager has to pierce his tongue with an iron spike and roam around the city with fiery torches on his shoulders.
The beginning of the Nepali year is simply astonishing and hence, is marked by enthusiasm, social unity and almost regal festivities. Your New Year and spring 2076 B.S is going to be even more worthwhile and memorable as Hotel Roadhouse- (a hotel giving people the opportunity to experience the best of both worlds- contemporary modern day comforts and a feel of ancient artistic Newari Architecture) has a special promotion for guests who book directly through the website with the promo code: BAISAKH2076. Booking a room here for this New Year is definitely a win-win situation as you get to experience the essence of both modern and ancient.
The entire team of Hotel Roadhouse wishes everyone a prosperous, content and blessed year ahead, and cordially invites guests to come and have an indelible stay at better prices, in the heart of the lively Thamel.