Category Archives: Nepal

Festival of lights (Deepawali) in Nepal

Nepal is a land full of cultural diversity as people following different religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and other religions live together in harmony. The month of October – November sees a lot of tourists in Nepal because it is the main trekking season and today we are going to tell you one another good reason to travel Nepal in October – November.

The two great big festivals of the Hindus of Nepal, Dashain and Tihar (Deepawali) fall during the month of October – November. The first big festival Dashain is celebrated for 15 days and the second big festival Tihar (Deepawali) is celebrated for 5 days. Dashain falls between late September to mid October and Deepawali falls between late October to early November.

During last October, some of our volunteers got to witness the great Nepali festival of Tihar (Deepawali) and celebrate it in Nepali way. There were three Australian volunteers in Nepal working in an orphanage with 40 kids. The children of the orphanage celebrate the festival every year by visiting different houses and showing their dancing and singing talents in order to raise funds.

The 3rd, 4th and 5th days of Deepawali are the main days where children and youngsters go to different houses of their neighbors, friends or relatives to play Dheusi and Bhailo. Dheusi and Bhailo is the typical act where they sing the typical Dheusi and Bhailo songs and other Nepali songs. They dance with music and some people even play Nepali musical instruments like Madal and even western instruments like Guitar. They go to houses after houses and entertain the people living in the house. This is done because of the cultural reason and for fun. The people living in the house can also sing and dance and they exchange good wishes among each other. They can play Dheusi and Bhailo for a short time or it can go for hours as well. By the end of the Dheusi and Bhailo, It is a tradition that the people living in the house have to give some money to the people who came to the house to play Dheusi and Bhailo. The people who came to play Dheusi and Bhailo leave the house by giving blessings. This is also the festival when people get to play with firecrackers, play cards, meet distant relatives, and eat varieties of food, sing and dance. The festival brings everyone together and celebrates good time with family and friends. The joy of the festival drives everyone happy from children to elders.

Another big significance of the festival is that Hindu people worship goddess Laxmi (the goddess of wealth) by making every corner of the house bright. They light candles, oil lamp, and colorful lights and decorate the houses. Even the streets get decorated. This is why Tihar (Deepawali) is also called the festival of lights. In the 3rd day of Tihar, people worship cow which is holy and seen as the form of goddess Laxmi. In the 4th day, people worship bull. The 5th and the final day is Bhai tika or brothers and sisters day where the sisters put 7 colors tika on the forehead of the brothers, worship them with garland made of special flowers, give them sweets, fruits and different varieties of food to eat. In return the brothers have to give some money or present to the sisters.

During the festival of lights our volunteers who were in Nepal especially got to be a part of the festival and experience it from close. One of the volunteers, Lauren spent most of her time with the kids of the orphanage by giving them a helping hand in preparing many things needed for the festival celebrations. She made garlands, went with the children to different houses to play Dheusi Bhailo and made many Nepali brothers at the orphanage. We saw Lauren even got a Henna tattoo on her hand which the orphanage kids made for her. Nepalese ladies get Henna tattoo especially during festivals and different joyful occasions. So Tihar or Deepawali is the festival which you should not miss if you are planning to travel Nepal.

 

 

volunteers making MoMo for the kids

It was a day filled with excitement as we were making momo’s for the kids of the orphanage. Momo is a popular dish, which every Nepalese love and anyone who visits Nepal must taste it. We were making momo’s for about 35 kids of the orphanage and the staff’s. Actually the plan was of one of the Danish volunteer who was working at the orphanage and another volunteer, Lauren decided to go ahead. It was not a simple task as making momo’s takes long time and lot of work like chopping vegetables, making sauce, making dough, giving shape to momo’s and other things was needed to be done.The volunteers were making momo for the first time and it was also the first time that the children at the orphanage were making momo at their home.

The volunteers bought the necessary ingredients from nearby shop and we started up with the preparations at 3 PM which was already late. Cutting, chopping, preparing this and that takes long time and we were making momo’s for about 45 people in total. It was so nice that some of the older kids came up to help, some chopping onions, chopping cabbages, some making dough. When the onion was killing one’s eye, the next kid was ready to help finish chopping onions. It was fun working as a team making momo’s but we were not sure if we would be able to finish making it on time and feed the kids as the dinner time was around 6.30 pm. After 5 hours of work finally it was at 8 pm when we gave the first set of momo’s  to the smaller kids. Then we gave momo’s to the older kids.

We were not sure how many momo’s to make and could not estimate but we did make a lot of momo’s and all the kids were full and happy at last. Yummy! the momo’s were really good and it gave us immense satisfaction that we did it and the momo’s were the best made! The volunteers left for their host family at around 9.30 pm. What a good moment it was, mostly we were happy to see the kids eating lots of momo’s and asking for more and more.

Official volunteer travel blog

This is The Official blog of Nepali Host Family, a Non Profit organization based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Through this blog, you would be able to read the Volunteer stories of different volunteers who volunteered with our programs. Read what they have said about volunteering in Nepal. You will also know about traveling in Nepal and trekking in Nepal and the travel stories.

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Nepali Host Family team

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