Nepal, occupying 0.03% of the total landmass of the earth, is a home for more than 101 ethnic groups, each having their own unique culture and traditions. Nepali is the National Language of Nepal but people from different ethnics group speaks different languages and altogether there are 92 spoken languages till known. Hence, we can say that Nepal represents the real glimpse of the term “Unity in Diversity”.
We all have our own New Year and celebrate 9 different New Year accordingly. We celebrate each of them with same diligence and enthusiasm. Different castes of Hilly and Mountain region like Gurung, Thakali, celebrates New Year in Poush 15 (December/January) which indicates the beginning of new Gurung calendar. Likewise, people from mountain region like Sherpa,Tamang, etc. celebrates Gyalbo and Sonam Lhoshar as their new year which falls from early January to mid-February following the Tibetan calendar. People in Terai such as Tharus celebrate their New Year on the first of Magh i.e. in mid-January. However, Baishakh 1st is regarded as a national New Year, and all the castes celebrate this day with more greetings and sharing happiness among each other.
At present, Nepal Sambat is the official calendar of Nepal. In addition to these, the Gregorian calendar, Newari calendar is also used in Nepal. It is a lunar calendar based on ancient Hindu tradition which is 56.7 years ahead of the lunar Gregorian calendar in count. The calendar starts with the first day of the month Baisakh, which usually falls on the 13th or 14th of April in the Gregorian calendar. In Buddhist communities, the month of Baishakh is associated with Vesak, known as Buddha Purnima in Nepal.
Nepalese New Year’s Day is one of the oldest of all holidays celebrated in Nepal which implies a celebration day where people exchange gifts and greetings, good wishes and participation in rituals to ensure good fortune in the coming year. People express their wishes in the coming year will be filled with good health, happiness, and prosperity for themselves and all their loved ones.