Nepal heartily welcomes you, the visitor. But, whether you are trekking in the mountains or touring the Kathmandu Valley, we ask that you treat the land and its people with care and respect. Below are some tips on how you can show your appreciation for their age-old culture and traditional religious beliefs.
A few cultural do's and dont's
To show appreciation and respect, use two hands rather than one when giving or receiving something, even money. Remember not to point with a single finger but use a flat extended hand especially to indicate a sacred object or place. Among Hindus, avoid touching women and holy men; the traditional palms together "Namaste" greeting is preferable.
- Don't eat with your left hand.
- Remove your shoes when entering a home, temple or monastery and wearing skimpy dress in religious settings.
- PDA's - public displays of affection are frowned upon.
Baggy pants or long shorts to the calf with a loose top is appropriate trekking and touring wear for women. Men should wear a shirt at all times. Men's knee-length hiking shorts are fine for trekking but not when visiting temples, monasteries or homes. Nudity is particularly offensive. Whether bathing in a stream or at a village tap, men should wear shorts or underwear, a women can wrap in a loongi (sarong) over their bathers.
Most Nepalese don't mind being photographed, but some do. Ask first, especially if photographing ceremonies or older people. Paying for a picture reinforces a hand-out mentality. Try instead to establish a friendly rapport with a few words or gestures.
Do not give candy, pens, trinkets or money to children but instead donate to a school, monastery or hospital. Nepalese give a few rupees to the handicapped and religious mendicants - you can do the same.
National Holidays and Festivals
- January (variable) - Vasant Panchami
- 30 January - Martyrs’ Day
- 19 February - Rashtriya Prajatantra Divas (National Democracy Day)
- March (variable) - Ghode Jatra (Festival of Horses)
- March (variable) - Holi
- March (variable) - Ram Nawami (Birthday of Lord Ram)
- March (variable) - Shivaratri (in honour of Lord Shiva)
- 8 March - Nepalese Women’s Day
- March/April (variable) - Chaite Dashain
- 14 April - Navabarsha (New Year’s Day)
- May (variable) - Buddha Jayanti (Birthday of Lord Buddha)
- August (variable) - Rakshya Bandhan (Janai Purnima)
- 20 August - Children's Day
- August/September (variable) - Krishna Janmashtami
- September (variable) - Fulpati Saptami
- September (variable) - Maha Asthami
- September (variable) - Maha Nawami
- September (variable) - Vijaya Dashami
- October (variable) - Laxhmi Puja
- October (variable) - Ghatasthapana
- October (variable) - Gobardhan Puja
- 9 November - Constitution Day