It dawned on me the other day that nearly all of the photos I have been showing have been covered in dirt and dust and I’m probably painting a very grimy picture of Kathmandu. In all honesty, dirt and dust is just about all I’ve seen since I’ve been here.
And yet again.. a cow
Loved this building in black and white..still very dusty
Cheapest form of transport and delivery – just takes awhile
Open market – everywhere
HOWEVER, this past weekend I went up to a great little cottage in Shivapuri which is only about a 20-30 minute escape from the dust of the city. Nepal is now in the season of celebration and blessings are given for everything. Dogs were blessed on one day, cows on another, men, women, and children on others. It’s really amazing to be in an area where virtually EVERYTHING and everyone is given a special blessed day. People celebrate here like they do everywhere, eating and drinking and enjoying each other’s company. Bamboo swings set up throughout the city, dancers and musicians young and old celebrate this time of year.
dancing festival in the city
food and fun
It’s a delicate balance of happiness and celebrating life as it is handed to you mixed with extreme poverty and a daily standard of living that encompasses very hard work and sometimes barely scraping by.
bamboo swings set up all over Kathmandu.
Everyone is a part of the fun
Young musicians celebrating.
Had just been blessed the day before
garland and paint between the eyes for blessings
Red powder paint on forehead and garland around the neck
candles and decorations both inside and outside of houses
Electric candle with Kathmandu in background
Lit up like Elvis
Along with the the standard holiday festivities I was able to fit in some hiking and just a beautiful relaxing 2 days in a very cool location.
goats on slanted hill
Top of the hill
Sun glistening off of the wheat
My room, very peaceful
Peacefully stay out
inside the monastery
everything is a little over the top
Nepali flags everywhere
Laxmi Puja at Shivapuri Heights Cottage
The evening of November 3rd is a very special evening in Kathmandu with the celebration of Laxmi Puja – part of the Tihar Festival also known as the Festival of Lights. The Shivapuri Heights Cottage provides a great venue to witness the festival and is also the perfect vantage point to view the spectacular display of lights down in the Kathmandu Valley.
Tihar, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most dazzling of all Hindu festivals. During the festival all the houses in the city and villages are decorated with lit oil lamps. Thus, during the night the entire village or city looks like a sparkling diamond. This festival is celebrated in five days starting from the thirteenth day of the waning moon in October.
So many I loved but couldn’t include from the last few themes:
It’s so pleasant!
Sun Smiling For you…
Trees Dancing for you…
Birds singing for you…
Because I requested them All to wish You. HAPPY DASHAIN
Well, It is the only quote I could find and understand for this 15 day festival in Nepal called Dashain. Dashain (Nepali: दशैं) Dashain is celebrated for approximately 15 days and involves prayers (pujas), food offerings, holy bathing, blessings through coconut oil and the sacrifice of thousands of animals including several hundred thousand goats, chickens, buffaloes, ducks and pigeons by almost every Hindu household in order to appease the goddess and hope it will bring good luck and festivity.
There is a movement towards ending the sacrifice of animals for this festival and the numbers have actually dropped over the past few years. However, it is a cultural event that still continues and I was able to attend one such happening at the start of this festival. This particular sacrifice was a puja for automobiles and safe driving.
It was an interesting experience. I was not bothered so much by the slaughter of the goats because after the puja the goats were used to actually feed families. Nothing went to waste and people felt safer driving.
Along with the puja I was able to walk through the city which was nearly empty according to the locals. Apparently during the festival most people travel back to their local villages to visit their families. At the time I walked through the city over 2 million people had already headed home. I am including some photos from the day from sacrifices to parades I hope you enjoy.
OK.. to be honest I did not study this country before visiting. it was a spontaneous trip to meet up with some friends and just enjoy a couple days away from work. While there I did not study any of the historical information available. Nor did I even pay attention to any of the historical information presented. I did some tours, drank some beer and did a little shopping. It was a trip intended and carried out solely for my own personal amusement. I am fighting it, but I will not feel guilty for doing nothing for 4 days but enjoying myself and ignoring all of the potential intellectual gains I could have made in this very interesting country. Enjoy my trip.
This all started from a random site I found called thenester.com. Apparently there is a group of people who have committed to posting a topical theme a day for 31 days. 31 Dayers 2012