Sociology Index

Social Customs and Traditions In Nepal

Social Customs And Traditions Of The World

The culture of Nepal is a blend of the culture of the border Indian subcontinent and Tibet. The cultural heritage of Nepal has evolved over the centuries. This multi-dimensional heritage bounds the diversities of Nepal's ethnic, and social groups, and it expresses in music and dance; art and craft; folklore and folktales; languages and literature; celebration; foods and drinks. Legends state that dances in this country originated in the Himalayas. The dance traditions of Nepal are very ancient and unique. With altitudes and ethnicity, the dances of Nepal slightly change in style as well as in the costumes. The Dishka, a dance performed at weddings, exhibits intricate footwork and arm movements.

Accompanying music and musical instruments change in tune with the themes, which revolve around topics like harvesting of crops, marriage rites, a girl's yearning for her love, and themes and stories from everyday life in the villages.

Hindu and Buddhist traditions in Nepal go back more than two millennia. Buddha was born in Lumbini, and Pashupatinath temple, Kathmandu, is an old and famous Shiva temple of Hindus. Traditionally, Nepalese philosophical thoughts are ingrained with the Hindu and Buddhist philosophical ethos and traditions. Tantric traditions are deep rooted in Nepal, including the practice of animal sacrifices.

Dashain or Vijaya Dashami is the longest and the most important festival of Nepal. Dashain falls in late September to mid-October, right after the end of the monsoon season. It is "a day of Victory over Demons". New Year's Day of the lunar calendar Nepal Sambat occurs in November.

Other important festivals include Buddha Purnima (the celebration of the birth of Buddha), and Maha Shivaratri (a festival of Lord Shiva), and during Maha Shivaratri festivities, some people smoke charas. Sherpas, mostly located at higher altitudes and in the Mount Everest region, celebrate Mani Rimdu, for the good of the world.

The Sagan ceremony is the ritualized presentation of five food items (boiled egg, smoked fish, meat, lentil cake and rice wine) to a person which is done to bring good fortune as per Tantric tradition.