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]