Did you know the Nepali calendar is 56 years ahead of the English calendar or the AD calendar? It is 2023 AD now, but it is going to be 2080 in Nepal! Nepali people follow their own calendar called Bikram Sambat (B.S). So, when it is mid-April of the English year, there will be a new year in Nepal.
Nepal is a diverse country where different people observe the new year in diverse ways. So, how do Nepalese celebrate their New Year? We will cover that in detail in this blog.
Nepali New Year starts with Sunrise
Unlike in other culture, Nepali New Year starts with the first golden rays from the sun. In many cultures and countries new year starts at mid night. There is no eve and mid night celebration party with alcoholic drinks in Nepali New Year. Nepalese new year is more about religion, family, and a new beginning.
New Year New Promises
Similar to other culture, Nepalese review their past year and make new promises for new year. This is like new year resolution in popular culture. People start their new businesses on this day, as this day is considered as auspicious day and no need to check for ‘Sait.’
A Brief About Nepali Calendar
It is believed that emperor Bikram Aditya started the Nepali New Year, and hence the calendar got the name “Bikram Sambat Calendar.” New year is called Navabarsha (नव वर्ष) in Nepali. The calendar has twelve months, where the first month is Baishakh and Chaitra is the last month. This is also a Nepali calendar started from Nepal and gradually established in whole Mahabharat area.
What do people do on New Year?
New Year celebration is not drastically different in Nepal. In fact, just like every other person, Nepalese love to have an enjoyable time during the new year. Here are some activities people do on New Year.
Offer prayers, put Tika, and seek blessings
Nepal, as a collectivistic society, gives priority to family. Since the new year marks the beginning of a new time, families want to make sure their members are together. On this day, elders worship their deities and offer Tika and blessings to younger ones. People also watch or study their yearly horoscope and note down things or remedies they ought to perform for a better year ahead.
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Family Picnics and Outings
Since Baiskah 1st is a public holiday in Nepal, most families plan to have a family picnic at nearby places. Upper-class people go for a staycation in different luxurious hotels and spend their time. Some families host New Year party at their homes and enjoy tasty food and drinks with family and friends. This certainly acts as a family bonding time.
Bisket Jatra is one of the popular Newari festivals. It is a big celebration in Nepali capital city with traditional way to keep age long culture continue. This is once a year celebration. This festival commemorates the start of Bikram Sambat, or New Year. Usually, Bisket Jatra festival is celebrated on the 2nd Baisakh, but festivities are observed on Baisakh 1st as well.
New Year is a time to celebrate with friends and family. We wish everyone a prosperous and blessed New Year 2080.
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