As an Indian, it is easy to visit a few neighboring countries on a road trip, one of them being Nepal. Many adventurous trekkers go to for mountain trekking and hiking. You must have heard about Pokhra, Poonhill Trek, Tadapani, and Kathmandu. Wherever in the world you visit, you must have heard about one suggestion that you must engage with the local people. The Nepalese people are very sweet by nature, and if you happen to have a friend there, make sure that you learn maximum things about them. Nevertheless, you still have many things to talk with them if you have some information beforehand. Take tips from the traditions of Nepal mentioned below that give you the starting points for your conversation.
Kukur Tihar- For the love of dogs
The Kukur Tihar festival of Nepal is like Diwali for dogs in the country. Tihar is the other name for Diwali in this country, and Kukur Tihar festival is celebrated on the second day of Diwali. People worship the dogs on this day for their importance in Hindu mythology. Every dog on the street, on this day, is recognized, worshipped, and honored. People drape a flower garland around the neck of dogs, apply a red tilak or teeka along with rice on their forehead, and then feed them with an assortment of food. It is important to mention that the Kukur Tihar festival is meant not only for domestic dogs, but for the ones on the streets as well.
The Nwaran ceremony, or the ceremony to name a child, is prevalent by different names in different cultures. We all need a name and our parents give the name to us on specific occasions. The Nepalese name their boys after nine days of their birth and girls are named after eight days of being born. An astrologer decides the date and name for everyone, based on the date, time, and day the child was born. The interesting part about this tradition is that people believe that this auspicious name should never be disclosed to just anyone. It is a special name and hence, the person should reserve it for special occasions like Pooja ceremonies. For daily uses, there is another, less important nickname. Strange, isn’t it?
A Kumari in Nepal is a living goddess, who is basically a girl who has not reached her puberty. The girl is chosen from the specific clans of Newari community. They live in a special place meant for Kumaris, live a sacred life, are not allowed to make friends, rarely meet their family, and leave the place only on special occasions. The Hindus worship these girls as goddesses and they also behave as human goddesses. The sad part about this tradition is that once the girl or Kumari reaches puberty, some other girl replaces her.
The Teej Festival
The Hindu traditions have a varied history of fasting for the husbands and praying for a good husband in the name of various festivals. Teej is also a festival in Nepal that women celebrate by fasting for their husbands. The unmarried women fast to pray for a caring husband. The festival is based on the belief that Goddess Parvati had kept a fast for Lord Shiva and they had got married. On this day, women worship Lord Shiva. Thousands of people visit the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu. Women wear red sarees, and celebrate this day with dancing and singing.
Nepal, just like India, is rich in Hindu traditions. It is a vibrant country that you must see beyond just touristy things. A road trip to Nepal, especially from North India, is not an uncommon thing, You can easily go to Nepal for a vibrant vacation and return with a heart full of memories.