In Nepal you can take your pick of three New Year celebrations. Lhosar is the New Year of the Sherpas and Tibetans celebrated on 5 March next year, Navavarsha is observed as the official Nepali New Year, which falls on 4 April in 2011, and as Intrepid Express reader Christine Ireland discovered, 31 December is also a wonderful time to be in Nepal…
“The New Year’s Eve street festival held lakeside in Pokhara is a time I will always remember. The street is alive with coloured lights, crisscrossing amid the tangle of electricity wires. Smells of hot curry, momos and sweet spices waft and mingle through the evening air, tempting one to sit and watch and drink in the festive atmosphere.
People everywhere released from their mundane chores embrace the evening by singing, dancing and playing games with so much enjoyment and merriment that it is impossible not to join in. For a few rupees you can try your luck at a rickety table set up with lit candles that you try to blow out, or you can be blindfolded and try to hit a clay pot while the crowd shouts directions above the pulsating high pitched sounds of Hindi music, or simply throw a ball at a pyramid of cans. Prizes are unimportant and in fact do not exist, it is the fun of participating and the enjoyment of the crowd that is the essence of the night.
Colours are everywhere as women and men parade in their finest, watch the snake charmers and ride the elephants especially brought up from the Terai for the festival. Laughter, dancing and music carry on through the night rippling across the lake as the majestic mountains soar above.”
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