Udhauli Parva in Nepal

Udhauli Parwa is a significant festival celebrated by the Kirant community, particularly among the Kirants of Nepal. It is one of the two aspects of the Sakela festival, the other being Ugauli. The festival holds cultural, agricultural, and religious importance, marking the transition of seasons and celebrating the interconnectedness of nature and human life.

Key Elements of Udhauli Parwa:

Seasonal Transition: Udhauli Parwa typically takes place on the full moon day of Mangsir, symbolizing the commencement of winter according to Kiranti beliefs. The festival holds cultural significance in acknowledging the change in seasons, particularly the onset of winter.

Harvest Celebration: The festival is a joyous occasion that coincides with the celebration of the harvest. Communities come together to express gratitude for the successful culmination of the agricultural season. Traditional dances, rituals, and feasts are common during Udhauli Parwa.

Migration Symbolism: The Kirant people, who reside in mountainous regions, have a tradition of migrating from higher altitudes to the flatlands as winter approaches. Udhauli Parwa marks the beginning of this migration, symbolizing the cyclical movement of communities in harmony with nature.

Sakela Dance: A central feature of Udhauli Parwa is the traditional ‘Sakela’ dance. Kirant men and women gather in public spaces, dressed in elaborate traditional attire, to perform this cultural dance. The dance is accompanied by the rhythmic beats of traditional musical instruments like drums and zyamta.

Cultural Attire: Participants in Udhauli Parwa, especially women, don special traditional clothing known as chitko gunyu. This unique attire adds to the vibrancy and cultural richness of the festival.

Tongba Tradition: The festival also involves the consumption of a special drink called tongba. This drink, known for its delightful taste, is shared among the participants, fostering a sense of community and celebration.

Religious Significance: Udhauli Parwa is rooted in Kiranti religious beliefs. The Kirants, who have a deep connection with the land, consider the festival a time for worshipping the earth. Prayers are offered for a bountiful harvest in the coming year.

Unity and Social Gathering: Udhauli Parwa brings Kirant communities together. People from various regions, dressed in their traditional attire, come to public spaces to participate in the festivities. This communal gathering fosters unity and strengthens social bonds among the Kirant people.

Overall, Udhauli Parwa is a celebration that blends cultural, agricultural, and spiritual elements, reflecting the Kirant community’s deep connection with nature and their rich cultural heritage.