Songkran – the wettest festival in the world
New year in Thailand begins in April. It’s called Songkran and it’s the wettest festival in the world. Celebrated in the hottest month of the dry season this festival marks a forthcoming beginning of monsoon and rice planting season.
Songkran festival celebrations in Thailand, Phimai.
Casting gods on the street
Traditional wedding in Nepal
Traditional Hindu wedding. Nepal, Bhaktapur.
Wedding photographer: Artem Zhushman
To build a school for Nepal
…we are not the organisation which is trying to look good, we are just a small group of people who care about. We build a school, a simple school in Nepal, and this is our mission.
Roman Gek, school-for-nepal founder
How to build in two years a school in a remote nepalese village without any government support.
The city of Devotees
A dozen or so snaps are certainly not enough to tell a story about Bhaktapur. Neither is just a few days enough to explore this ancient city. So I keep coming back to Nepal, to delve deeper into this special place.
Bhaktapur has its own rhythm. Well, to be honest, it’s very slow compared to our modern city lives. But it’s a great chance to experience the rhythm of life from centuries ago.
Protected as a Unesco World Heritage site, the old part of Bhaktapur has retained a beautiful, medieval charm; not only as a monument, but as a home for many locals. They do their daily living there – worshiping at shrines, sifting rice on narrow streets, washing clothes at public water wells, making crafts or just chatting in the city’s squares.
Don’t rush. Take time to wander down the narrow streets surrounding the more famous sites in Bhaktapur, peep into backyards and doorways, be respectful of local life and you’ll be benefited with an unbelievable experience.
click for slideshow
Buddha Jayanti in Kathmandu
Celebration of Buddha birthday at Bouddhanath stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal.
More information – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddha’s_Birthday
In Nepal, Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on the full moon day of May. The festival is known by various names, Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, Vaishakh Purnima and Vesak. The day marks not just the birth of Shakyamuni Gautam Buddha but also the day of his Enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana. But as a gentle effect of the West, the event of the birth is given paramount importance.
Mahashivaratri in Kathmandu
Every year thousands of sadhus – holy pilgrims from all over Nepal and India come to Pashupatinath temple, the biggest hindu temple in Nepal located in Kathmandu. And even more devotees come to get blessing from temple’s priests and pay their respect to sadhus on the special festival called Mahashivaratri (The great night of Shiva).
As an act of worshiping to Lord Shiva sadhus smoking ganja (cannabis or marijuana) with chillum a special pipe made from clay and spell mantras. It’s believed that to smoke with sadhu is the way to get blessed on this special day. So many locals come for that as well, especially young people. Officially it’s not allowed, but possible to do.
Only hindu people allowed to go inside the temple and during Mahashivaratri there are special sacred guests staying inside. They called naga babas – holy men who have renounced all material and earthly attachments and accoutrements, including their clothes.
Timal shamans festival in Nepal
Nepali shamanism is a unique mixture of Hinduism, Buddhism and ancient Bon religion. It’s based on belief in balance and harmony between human beings, nature and divine. People turn to shamans to get healing, blessing and protection in both physical and spiritual aspects of life.
In Nepal shamans commonly called “Jhakri” or “Dhami”, but every ethnic group has its own special word as well. The main ethnic group in Timal area are Tamangs. Originally related to Tibetian culture, tamangs have their own rich traditions and spiritual practices. Continue reading