14th April is Good Friday, but for our clients currently trekking and holidaying in Nepal they’ll also be able to enjoy a New Year celebration, which welcomes in the year 2074!
Although our calendar, the Gregorian calendar, is recognised in Nepal they also have others which are used so it's currently the year:
2017 – 2018 AD / CE
& 2144 Bird & Fire Year
2074: The official calendar in Nepal is the Bikram Sambat or Vikram Samvat calendar, which is approximately 56 years and 8 months ahead of ours. The number of days in each month changes each year and can go up to 32. The Bikram Sambat / Vikram Samvat calendar is mostly used in Nepal and India but some countries or regions of them, also use it like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Bhutan.
1138: Then there is also the Nepal Sambat national lunar calendar of Nepal. This started to be used on the 20th October 879 AD and was in widespread use for all daily purposes until the beginning of the 20th century. Today, it is used for ceremonial purposes and to determine the dates to celebrate religious festivals and commemorate birthdays and death anniversaries.
2144 Bird & Fire Year: Meanwhile up in the mountains for the Sherpa people – well it’s all different again! For the Sherpas it’s 2144, the Bird and Fire year. The Sherpas originated in Tibet, which is what Sherpa means - a person (pa) from the East (sher). Since they are traditionally Tibetan Buddhists they follow the Tibetan Calendar, which is composed of either 12 or 13 lunar months, each beginning and ending with a new moon. A thirteenth month is added every two or three years, so that an average Tibetan year is equal to a solar year plus they follow a system of animal years. Their New Year is called Losar, which is celebrated on the first day of the lunisolar Tibetan calendar, which corresponds to a date in February or March in our Gregorian calendar.
The Nepalese love a party and they start the New Year with a big procession in Bhaktapur which was the capital of Nepal during the great 'Malla Kingdom' until the second half of the 15th century. Today it is the third largest city in the Kathmandu Valley and is about 14km from Kathmandu centre. It’s a popular and amazing place to visit and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone artworks.
The New Year or ‘Navavarsha’ is one of many festivals celebrated in Nepal with parades, parties, family gatherings and a lot of food & drinks!
So in summary, if you want a party – there’s nearly always one happening in Nepal, even at the base camp of Mt Everest! – check out Paul Oakenfold running a charitable gig at Everest Base Camp a couple of days go: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-39586287