Festivals, nepal

Losar festival in Nepal

Celebrations of a traditional Tibetan New Year festival called “Losar” in Boudhanath stupa area in Kathmandu, Nepal.


Families prepare for Losar some days in advance by thoroughly cleaning their homes; decorating with fragrant flowers and their walls with auspicious signs painted in flour such as the sun, moon, or a reversed swastika; and preparing cedar, rhododendron, and juniper branches for burning as incense. Debts are settled, quarrels are resolved, new clothes are acquired, and special foods such as kapse (fried twists) are made. A favorite drink is chang (barley beer) which is served warm. Because the words “sheep’s head” and “beginning of the year” sound similar in Tibetan, it is customary to fashion a sheep’s head from colored butter as a decoration. Another traditional decoration that symbolizes a good harvest is the phyemar (“five-grain bucket”), a bucket with a wooden board that creates two vertical halves within. This bucket is filled with zanba (also known as tsamba, roasted qingke barley flour) and barley seeds, then decorated with barley ears and colored butter. (from Wikipedia)


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.

Mahashivaratri in Pashupatinath
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