Festivals and Events in Pokhara
Rice Plantation festival
Rice is the major crop and food in Nepal. Looking at the importance of this crop, Rice Plantation festival has flourished along with the traditional culture based on agriculture. For last 11 years, tourism traders of Pokhara have been celebrating the rice plantation ceremony as a festive occasion. Pokhara on all Season has been the main motto of this festival. Tourists from within and outside the country enjoy playing on the mud fields made ready for planting the rice. This festival invariably falls on 15th of Asad (accordingly, on the 29th of June) every year. It is a Nepali tradition to celebrate this festival by eating beaten rice with curd, singing “Asade song” and planting rice together, playing with the mud (throwing mud to each other and recreating themselves). Activities like tourists participating in running rice on the mud have added a peculiar charm to this festival.
Closely following the period of English New Year, Restaurant and Bar Association, Pokhara (REBAN) has established a tradition to celebrate the “Street Festival”. Every year this program begins from 28th December to 1st January. This festival has been proved as an important event for the enhancement of tourism in Pokhara. This program is being held at the Lakeside which is the tourism center of Pokhara.
In such a dealing and performance, tourists get not only the tourism related information; they also get a unique sort of pleasure out of those temporarily established street restaurants. In order to provide entertainment to tourists, folk dance and folk song are followed by the culture, art and costumes of various indigenous communities which are displayed on the same occasion.
Elephant riding, horse riding and boating race, tourist race etc are the other attractions of the festival. At the same time, tourism business people also extend their cooperation and get united for the effective preparation of the festival.
On the occasion of Nepali New Year, Pokhara Hotel Association has been conducting Fewa Festival. Every year from 7th April to 15th April this festival is organized at Champion Chowk located by the side of Fewa Lake. This is the place where one can observe Nepali way of celebrating New Year. There will be various cultural programs with Nepali folk songs and folk dances which make the tourist also to join the celebration. There will be sales and exhibition of Nepali handicrafts, paintings, architectural and agriculture goods. Many verities of Nepalese foods, deliciously displayed on the occasion. This is an event where a tourist can experience the way of exchanging greetings of Nepali way on the eve of their New Year.
Annapurna International Food Festival
As a part of Jaun Hai Pokhara (Let’s go to Pokhara) campaign started by RHAN in the year 2004, Pachhimanchal Hotel Association – Pokhara has come up with an unique festival with an International theme, The festival was appropriately named as Annapurna Food Festival as a tribute to Goddess Annapurna, the Goddess of Food and festival equally aimed to bring about abundant food and the happiness to everyone.
Along with this festival was indeed a continuation of Jaun Hai Pokhara campaign. Though the different in its modus operandi, this food festival is also aimed in promoting Pokhara as a tourist destination and it was one of the many efforts to promote the domestic as well as International tourism.
New Year Pokhara Festival
The restaurants bring their shop to street. Tourists enjoy the food, events and cultural programs during the festival. Several items for fun and entertainment like cultural parade on the street, boat race, waiter race, tug of war, beer drinking competition are conducted. This festival falls during 7th April to 15th April of the year.
The World Tourism Day
It is celebrated on 27th of September to give a special welcome to the tourist. This day also reminds all about keeping alive of Nepali tradition, culture and hospitality to our visiting guests. This is also considered to be an auspicious day in tourism.
New concept of tourism has come into the forefront replacing the traditional ones in Nepal. As an adventurous game, paragliding competition has been conducted so as to familiarize the natural city of Pokhara in the world tourism market. This game has become an alternative means of entertainment for all tourists coming to Nepal. Ever wondered, like a free flying bird up in the sky, if you could also soar high up in the air towards the pearly clouds, into the beautiful blue and experience the sensation of flying! It’s an amazing event of paragliding, closest to free flying without disturbing the nature. This will be an incredible ride into the air.
National Festivals in Pokhara
This is an important Hindu religious festival to commemorate wars in which truth is victorious. It is a 10 days festival, where almost all the government offices also remain closed, which starts from the new moon in October. It is an auspicious event of blessings from elders to youngsters.
This is the festival of lights celebrated all over Nepal. Worshiping the goddess of wealth and prosperity – Laxmi. It is a holy ritual where faithful animals like, crows, dogs, cows and oxen are worshipped on the first four days.
This is also an important festival celebrated immediately after Tihar. This is something sisters worshipping their brothers and brothers blessing for their sister’s good health, happiness and protection. This festival is more colorful and musical with lots of fun.
Thote is a Gurung’s festival and celebrated during the month of September and March. It is a very colorful, rythematic and cultural festival. Many Gurungs assemble with their traditional dresses and traditional weapons (fake) and equipments and march pass through the major parts of the city up to Naya bazar.
This is the festival of women generally falls in September. Women observe this festival with a view to ensure a long and healthy life of their husbands. This is also observed by unmarried ones also to find a good life partner. They sing and dance wearing red costumes and remains in fasting for more than 24 hours. Mostly the songs are to express the problem they face at home.
It involves several dancers from Newar community. There should be at least 3 nymphs and 1 clown in the shape of a cow. It falls at the end of August. It is usually observed for the departed soul.