Public holidays in Nepal

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Only one day of the week i.e. Saturday is celebrated as a holiday in Nepal. Public offices as well as other private businesses are open six days a week. However, Nepal has a lot of religious as well as non-religious events that are marked down in calendars as holidays. In such days except a few, most government offices are closed. Private institutions are also closed down on such holidays but it is not mandatory for them. Some privately owned businesses even operate on such events.

Some of those festive events celebrated in Nepal are region, religion or gender specific. For example a certain holiday in Nepal can only be for women. International organizations in Nepal are also free to have their own rules regarding holidays. They normally close down during Saturdays and Sundays as weekends while operating five days a week.

The longest consecutive public holiday in Nepal is during Vijaya Dashami. On this festival, holidays fall consecutively i.e. from Fulpati to Duwadashi for six days. Two other days which are a part of this festival: Ghatasthapana and Kojagrat Purnima are holidays but do not come serially with the six day holidays. It is also to be noted that these festival holidays do not fall on the exact calendar date every year. They are celebrated on the basis of Lunar days also known as tithi, so they might fall on different days and even month every year. Holidays such as Loktantra Diwas(Democracy Day) and Republic day are celebrated on the basis of Bikram Sambat calendar dates.

Holidays in Nepal[edit]

The following is the list of holidays for the calendar year 2015 in Nepal.[1]

Date Holiday Name Holiday Type Brief Information
January 15 Maghe Sankranti Religious The first day of the month of Magh.
January 30 Shahid Diwas Non-Religious Martyr's day in Nepal remembering the first four Martyrs of Nepal.
January 31 Sonam Losar Religious One out of the four Losars celebrated specially by the Tamang community.
February 4 Saraswati Puja Religious Schools celebrate this day by worshiping Goddess Saraswati, Hindu Goddess of knowledge, music, arts and nature.
February 19 Prajatantra Diwas Non-Religious Democracy day of Nepal.
February 27 Maha Shivaratri Religious Celebrated in reverence of Lord Shiva.
March 8 International Women's Day Non-Religious International Women's day is celebrated on this day in Nepal.
March 16 Fagu Purnima Religious Also known as holi, the festival of colors. In Terai region of Nepal, this festival is celebrated on the next day.
March 30 Ghode Jatra Religious Observed primarily in Kathmandu valley with horse parades in Tundikhel.
April 8 Ram Nawami Religious Birthday of Lord Rama.
April 14 Navabarsha Non-Religious Nepalese New Year or the first day of Bikram Sambat calendar.
April 15 Vatsav Moliya's Birthday Non-Religious A Legend of next generation.
April 24 Loktantra Diwas Non-Religious Democracy day of Nepal.
May 1 Majdur Diwas Non-religious International labor day.
May 4 Buddha Jayanti Religious Birth date of Lord Gautam Buddha, born in Nepal.
May 29 Ganatantra Diwas Non-Religious Republic day in Nepal.
July 12 Utsav Moliya's Birthday Non-Religious
August 29 Janai Purnima and Raksha Bandhan Religious Sacred thread festival, Janai Purnima marks the renewal of the sacred thread by Brahmins. Raksha Bandhan celebrates the holi bond between brothers and sisters.
August 30 Gaijatra Religious Celebrated only in Kathmandu, this festival worships cows. Also a day when commemoration of the dead takes place.
September 5 Krishna Janmashtami Religious Celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna
September 16 Teej Religious Celebrated by mostly women for the wellness of their husband.
August 30 Rishi Panchami Religious Celebrated only by women by fasting to show gratitude to the ancient preachers.
September 2 Gaura Parwa Religious Celebrated mostly in far western Nepal, this festival is observed in other parts as well.
September 8 Indra Jatra Religious Celebrated only in Kathmandu, commemorates the founding of Kathmandu.
September 25 Ghatasthapana Religious The beginning of Dashain.
October 1 Fulpati Religious Seventh day of Dashain when jamara is brought from Gorkha palace to Kathmandu.
October 2 Maha Asthami Religious The day to appease Goddess Durga’s manifestations, the blood-thirsty Kali.
October 3 Maha Navami and Bijaya Dashami Religious This year Maha Navami and Bijaya Dashami falls on the same day. Maha Navami is the last day of Navaratri. On Bijaya Dashami mixture of rice, yogurt and vermilion is prepared and is known as Tika. Elders put Tika, Jamara and Kokha on the young ones and give them blessing.
October 4 Ekadashi Religious Eleventh day of Dashain where the celebration continues.
October 5 Duwadashi Religious The final consecutive holiday of Dashain celebration.
October 7 Kojagrat Purnima Religious Final full moon day after which Dashain officially ends.
November 11 Laxmi Puja Religious In the morning cows are worshipped. Later, usually during the evenings, Laxmi, Goddess of wealth is worshipped.
November 12 Mha Puja and Govardhan Puja Religious People worship themselves, oxen and cowdung.
November 13 Bhaitika Religious Sisters worship their brothers. Gifts are exchanged between them.
November 17 Chhath Parwa Religious A festival dedicated to Hindu Sun God.
December 25 Christmas Religious Commemoration of birth of Jesus Christ.
December 30 Tamu Lhosar Religious Losar celebrated mostly by the Gurung Community.