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Nepali Mother's Day

By: Sawadee Adhikari

Nepalese people take great pride in their traditions. A well known tradition is Mother's Day, which is known as Mata Tirtha Puja. Mother's day is a day where everyone can truly show their love, appreciation and gratitude to their one and only mother for their undying support.

Mata Tritha Puja falls on the last day of April or sometime in early May. On this day, every single household will be buzzing with excitement. Religious ceremonies don't really take place, but since the day is dedicated to mothers, it calls for lots of celebrations; for the mother keeps the family together and ties the loose strings. Even little children somehow get enough money to buy their mothers a gift. Children who live away from home spend the day with their mothers, regardless of how far away they live. All in all, Mata Tritha Puja is a day full of joyous and wonderful celebrations.

A good thing about this day is that those who don't have a mother to celebrate with go to Mata Tirtha, which is a sacred site of pilgrimage and holy bathing. This is a place where people can "look upon their mother faces" without their mothers being there, whatever the reason maybe.

There is a story that was passed on from a long time ago: a man whose mother passed away was really depressed. He went to a body of water in the forest, which was as big as a pond, to make offerings to his beloved mother. Miraculously, his mother's face appeared on the surface of the water and she accepted her son's offerings. Thus the place became known as Mata Tritha, and it became known for seeing mother's faces. It is such an inspiring place that people come from various locations to show their love to their mothers.

Published in Arts and Education

Written by: Sawadee Adhikari

Bikram Sambat (B.S.), the official calendar of Nepal, has 56.7 years more than the AD year (i.e. 2010 A.D would be 2066-2067 B.S). The first day of Bikram Sambat is the first day of the month Baisakh. It usually falls around April 13- 14.

New Year is known as "Navavarsha" in Nepal. During this holiday, people get together with their friends and family and celebrate the day wearing traditional Nepali clothes by cooking feats, going on picnics, and dancing. New Year's Eve is celebrated with lots of food, drinks, dancing, and of course, making new year's resolutions. During New Year's Day, the entire country comes alive with colourful celebrations that involve a lot of social entertainment.

Not only is it a time to have fun for the young generation, but it is considered a holy day for the old generation. In the morning, before the celebrations start, people go to Mandirs (temples) and perform religious rituals or people go to rivers to bathe. Bathing in holy rivers signifies the cleaning of old bad habits and the start of new good habits.

It is also said that by remembering God on the very first day of the New Year, we strive to get God's blessing throughout the whole year. People want to receive God's blessing on such a special day. New Year's Day is an official holiday in Nepal.

[Image:Kalakacharya and the Saka King (Kalakacharya Katha-Manuscript,Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai, via Wikipedia]

Published in Arts and Education

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