Lakhey: The demonic dancer

His huge, terrifying mask depicting cavernous eyes, notched, saw-like teeth and protruding fangs can instill terror on the onlookers, while those long, dark-red wig and wild, gyrating movements complete the awe-inspiring countenance. Lakhey is a demon in Newari folklore. But he’s often defined as ‘the deity among the demons’.   Believed to be a carnivorous demon...
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Gaijatra festival: In memory of the departed

The traditional festival of Gaijatra translated as ‘cow festival’ was observed on Monday amidst fun, gaiety, humor, satire and entertainment throughout the country. The festival, beginning on the first day of the waning moon in the month of Bhadra as per the lunar calendar, lasts for a week. Legends have it that King Pratap Malla...
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Nag Panchami: The festival of Snakes being observed across the nation

Nag Panchami, the festival of snakes, isn’t for the faint of heart! This festival is all about the worship of snakes. Hindus are observing the Nag Panchami festival today as per the time-honored tradition. Nag Panchami is a festival dedicated to Nag or the serpent god and is observed on the fifth day of the...
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Kumari: The deified living goddess

Nowhere else do you get an opportunity to witness and encounter a live goddess but in Nepal. Not only does Nepal have many gods, goddess, deities, avatars and manifestations, which are worshipped and revered as statues, images, paintings and symbols, but it also has a real living goddess. Kumari is the tradition of worshiping young...
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Rato Machhindranath: The Chariot Festival

Everybody greets one another with vermillion, kids huddle over ice-cream stalls, and elders sit in small groups to chat. Every evening, hundreds of people gather in the streets of Patan (Lalitpur) to see the Rato Machhindranath chariot being pulled to its next destination. A few strong and enthusiastic attempt the pull while others just enjoy...
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Bisket Jatra: A Colorful Affair

Bisket Jatra With the arrival of a new year, Bhaktapur revels in the celebration of Bisket Jatra marking the start of 2071. The nine-day Bisket Jatra takes place over the period of the Nepalese New Year of Bikram Sambat; it is regarded as a New Year Festival as well. This year, it starts from 10th of April for a...
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Nepal’s Horse Festival Has Deep Cultural Roots

Every spring as the dogwood and bougainvillea bloom, Kathmandu’s maidan, the ancient parade ground, echoes with the sound of hoofs. Ghode Jatra, the Horse Festival, features the army’s cavalry brigades in races, jumping, dressage, polo and more. The festival’s historic beginnings are lost in time, but legend records an origin story. A gambler named Keschandra,...
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History of Saga Dawa Festival

The highlights of Saga Dawa Festival Tour 2013 will fall on May 25th. As an ancient festival, the Saga Dawa Festival is celebrated by people in different areas in differing ways. Tibetan Buddhists try to do what the Buddha said and give alms and pray. It is thought that praying and alms giving and doing...
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Changes in Losar in old Tibetan woman’s eyes

On the 7th Day of the Tibetan New Year, or Losar, 73-year-old Yangzom from Lhoka was dining in a restaurant on Lhasa’s main street. It was her first time to celebrate Losar in Lhasa with two of her daughters who work there. Wearing a brown hat, Yangzom was dressed in a dark red coat and...
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Countdown to Tibetan New Year Gala

It’s that time of year again for Tibetans in China and around the world to celebrate Losar, the Tibetan word for “New Year.” According to the Tibetan calendar, New Year falls on March 2nd this year. A stage spectacle combining traditional singing and dancing is in rehearsal to celebrate the occasion. Song and dance run...
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