It’s already new year in Nepal!

December 30th, 2009 - 3:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Dec 30 (IANS) While the rest of the world has begun an eager countdown to the new year, which will be ushered in from Thursday midnight, it is already 2010 in the exotic Himalayan land of Nepal.
For the Tamu or Gurung community of Nepal, an ethnic people believed by many to have migrated from western Mongolia, 2010 starts from this Wednesday, the last day of the lunar calendar they follow traditionally.

Colourful processions with women dressed in exotic long skirts and blouses of Chinese brocade and musicians playing drums and ethnic instruments began weaving through the busy streets of Kathmandu to party, basking under the government declaring the day a public holiday and President Ram Baran Yadav hailing the community in a public message.

For New Year party-goers, Nepal remains a dream destination where ethnic new years pop up practically throughout the year.

On Thursday midnight, Nepal celebrates the advent of 2010 with the rest of the world.

The capital’s hotels, bars, restaurants and resorts in outer towns are trying to cash in on the festive mood, offering special packages and incentives that range from free drinks to lucky draws that will enable the winner trips to Thailand or Malaysia.

For Indian singers and DJs, New Year parties in Nepal offers lucrative commercial opportunities. In the past, Bollywood starlets like Mahek Chahal and Asha Sachdev had added glamour to new year celebrations.

This year, it is former Indian Idol oomph girl Charu Semwal who will raise pulses along with exotic belly dancers from the Middle East at the five-star Soaltee Crowne Plaza hotel, which traditionally plays host to such greats as former American president and Nobel laureate Jimmy Carter.

On Jan 16, 2010, long after the new year has been ushered in with fanfare, Nepal will hold another round of celebrations as its Tamang community begins the ethnic year 2086.

Tamangs, people of Tibetan origin believed to have been sent to police the border areas between Tibet and Nepal in the eighth century by Tibetan king Trisong, celebrate their new year as Sonam Lhosar, a public holiday in Nepal.

Less than a month later, it’s New Year once more in Nepal around mid-February as the Tibetan community ushers in their new year.

Then two months later, on April 14, Nepal begins the new traditional Nepali year in accordance with the Vikram Sambat calendar started by Indian emperor Vikramaditya and also followed in parts of India.

While it will be the start of the new Nepali year 1131 in April, six months later, the republic will time-travel to the new Newari year 2067.

Newars, the first residents of Kathmandu valley and famed for their trading skills as well as mastery over the arts, follow the Nepal Sambat, a calendar founded by Sankhadhar Sakhwaa, a national hero who paid off the debts of the entire Kathmandu valley by transmuting sand from river banks into gold.

And the partying continues beyond that to December-January, when it is time for yet another ethnic new year.

This is the time the Kirat community, people living in eastern Nepal, herald the start of Yele Sambat, the Kirat new year following the Yele Sambat, the calendar named after their first king Yelamber Hang.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Health Science |