Navabarsha : The Nepali New Year
We celebrated New Year 2022 with much admiration, but that is not all for the Nepalese. Nepal is home to diverse ethnic groups and has the perk of celebrating New Year at different times. Nepali New Year, also known as Navabarsha, is one of the greatest festivals of Nepal celebrated by the whole nation.
Why do we celebrate Navabarsha?
Most Nepalese organizations and offices use the Bikram Sambat calendar to arrange their activities (or B.S.). On the other hand, other international organizations organize their events according to the Gregorian calendar (or A.D.).
According to the official Nepali calendar, we will enter the year 2079 B.S. this year, which is nearly 56 years and eight months ahead of the rest of the world. The Nepali Bikram Sambat (or Bikram Era) calendar also has twelve months, but the first month is Baisakh, which corresponds to mid-April on the internationally recognized Gregorian calendar. Nepali New Year or Navabarsha, is a joyous occasion for Nepalese residents and those who visit Nepal, like all new year celebrations worldwide.
Cultures and religions drive the Nepali New Year. People belonging to different ethnic groups celebrate Navabarsha in their unique way. The most well-known event of Navabarsha is Bisket Jatra. “Bisket Jatra” is easily described as one of the most vibrant Jatras in Nepal during this time of year, and it is held in the historic city of Bhaktapur. The legendary Mahabharata battle is commemorated in Nepal during this festival. A massive wooden post is set up in the town square, signifying the victory gained in the battle. Bhairab and Bhadra’s images are also carried throughout the city on chariots so they can enjoy the view of the city. Residents from the lower section of Bhaktapur compete against those from the upper part of Bhaktapur in a tug-of-war. The team that wins this competition is supposed to be blessed with a fantastic year ahead.
People in Nepal traditionally didn’t use to celebrate the Gregorian New Year. However, the majority of the population in urban areas nowadays appears to have gotten swept up in the Western holiday spirit, all thanks to globalization and media saturation by the west. The hype surrounding the foreign New Year is greater than that of the Nepali New Year. We can see the difference in how people celebrate each new year.
The English New Year is driven by the western culture and celebration style, which includes late-night parties, going out with friends for drinks, and the countdown to the new year. Meanwhile, Nepali New Year or Navabarsha is celebrated with families by planning to spend the day together. On the day of the festival, they visit temples and organize outings and gatherings.
Missing home this Navabarsha? We got you!
The Chowk offers you authentic Nepali Cuisine so you can start the new year feeling closer to home and your loved ones.
We wish you all a Happy Navabarsha 2079 and invite you to celebrate this new year with us at The Chowk.