Almost every day in Nepal is a celebration! From the Buddhist New Year Lhosar, to Hindu festivals worshiping Gods and Goddesses for prosperity, marital happiness, the triumph of good over evil and even to protect against snakebites, Nepal's festivals reflect its diversity and vibrant culture. We asked our fantastic volunteer, Sabina Maharjan a Kathmandu born, Canberra local, to tell us about the significance of Nepal's festivals.
Today is Shri Panchami. This auspicious day is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. Most Hindus observe this day as highly significant in their journey of learning.
Most people are aware that Deepawali is significant for worshiping Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity and Dashain is significant for worshiping Goddess Durga, the goddess of power and valor. Similarly, Shri Panchami is significant for paying respect to the Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. Shri Panchami is also widely known as Basanta Panchami, marking the beginning of spring, offering relief after a harsh winter.
Growing up, Shri Panchami was a very important day in my childhood. I believed that if I worshipped the Goddess with due diligence on this day, I would become wiser and more knowledgeable. I would visit Saraswati temples with my friends early in the morning with high hopes of receiving the holy blessing.
Although I am now a grown up, I am still keen to learn something new everyday. I hope to learn from my surroundings and the environment I live in, and from every person I interact with. We are all always hoping for something or the other, and it is this very emotion that keeps us motivated and determined.
Sabina in beautiful Nepalese dress.