Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2007

Share Your New Year Thoughts With Kantipur:

It’s time to welcome yet another New Year: 2007. How many New Years do we Nepalis welcome in a year in Nepal, by the way? Three? Our own Bikram Sambat will have a new year in Baishak: 2064. Then there is Nepal Sambad (that renews itself every year at the time of Tihar festival). I have seen many people who have to remember their birth dates in both calendars (BS and AD). For instance, mine is date of birth is 2035.11.17 BS and 1979.03.01 AD.

We in urban areas celebrate both BS and AD new years with equal enthusiasm and joy. While doing so, we hardly give thoughts on the religious and other backgrounds of these two calendars. The world is using AD calendar while officially Nepal is practicing BS dates. Sometime I find myself doing hard math about the dates and I have to use software that converts dates form one to other.

Tomorrow is Christmas and this evening affluent part of Kathmandu is celebrating the festival by partying, drinking and discoing. These kinds of celebrations are making their presence in our lifestyles as part of just another western pop culture. For many of us, not all though, partying in Christmas Eve or in New Year Eve is just like wearing jeans, drinking colas and watching Hollywood flicks.

Anyway, how do you feel about this: Celebrating more than one New Year in a year. Kantipur daily is doing a story on this topic and seeks your views to be printed. Please drop your views (click on # right) in the next two days here (in English or in Nepali) so that the paper can quote you. Full name and address will be appreciated.– Wagle

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8 thoughts on “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2007”

  1. This is the age of globalisation and we Nepalis should take it easy when it comes to celebrating AD New Year. The whole world is using AD calender and if we are to move ahead with the rest of the world, there is no way we can do so by not accepting this calender. That doesn’t mean we should stop following our national calender. And there is talk of Nepal Sambat. Then there is Mithila sambat. So these are all part of politics may be. But everyone is free to use the calenders that are easy and the world is using.

    Kaushik Pradhan
    Kathmandu

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  2. Ma United Statesmaa basda keri, euta naya barsa matrai manaunchhu — January ek tarikmaa. Tara Nepalmaa basda, arko tinta naya barsa manaunu sukinchha: February tira mero Sherpa ra Tibetan sathiharusanga Losar, April tira sabai Nepali sathiharusanga Bikram Sambhat, ani Tihar hunda, mero Newari dai ra aru Newari sathiharusanga, Nepal Sambhat. Ek barsamaa char wata naya barsako chadharu manaunu mauka paera ramailo lagihalchha, tara pani sathiharusanga ramailo garna painchha, ani Nepalmaa bhaeko bibhinna janjatiharuko sanskriti pani aadesh garnu painchha.

    When I’m living in the States, I celebrate just one new year, on January 1st, but when I’m living in Nepal, I get to celebrate three more: Losar in January or February with my Sherpa and Tibetan friends, the new Bikram Sambhat year in April with all of my Nepali friends, and the new Nepal Sambhat year during Tihar with my Newari Dai and other Newari friends. I enjoy the chance to celebrate many new years throughout the year; it’s a chance to have fun with friends and to respect the various cultures that are represented in Nepal.

    Liz Lance
    Telluride, Colorado

    ps … Dinesh, promise you’ll correct my Nepali prior to publication? Satye?

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  3. Kaushik is right. We really need to catch up with the rest of the world and stop being some sort of back water area. Imagine Communists rebellion in the year 2006/2007! Only in the back water that is Nepal.

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  4. Here’s a piece, though written a couple of years ago, that you may like to read:

    Nepal sees seven New Year Days in 365 days!

    Keshav P Koirala
    Kathmandu, April 12:

    Nepal, thanks to her cultural diversity, observes at least seven new years a year. It may sound unbelievable but it’s true. Nepalis celebrate the new year days of the Bikram Sambat, the Gregorian Calendar, the Tola Lhosar of Tamu Sambat, the Sonam Lhosar of Tamang Era, the Gyalbo Lhosar of Sherpa or Tibetan Era, the Nhoo Daya of Nepal Sambat and Lawa Sal of Tharu era, among others. And it is the Bikram Sambat New Year Day that we will celebrate tomorrow. Historians present conflicting theories about who introduced the Bikram Sambat. There were two kings by the name Vikramaditya after whom this era could have been named. One was the king of Ujjain of India and the other was the king of Vishalnagar, Nepal.

    “Vikramaditya of Ujjain was surely not the founder of the Bikram Sambat as it is being publicised these days. This calendar was in use long before he was born,” said academician of the Royal Nepal Academy, Gyanmani Nepal. But what complicates the matter is that there is not sufficient historical evidence supporting the Vikramaditya of Nepal. Interestingly, the era got its name as Bikram Samwat only in 401 BS. Earlier, it was known as Malawa Gana Samwat. “However, some archives found in the Kathmandu valley have mentioned Bikram Sambat,” historian Nepal disclosed.

    Mandeva Sambat, the then official calendar, was replaced by Nepal Sambat after 304 years of its practice in 879 AD and later in 1903 AD, the Nepal Sambat was replaced with Bikram Sambat. Naresh Bir Shakya of Nepal Bhasha Manka Khala (NBMK) said that the Rana rulers replaced the existing official calendar of Nepal Sambat with that of Bikram Sambat because the Nepal Sambat has 354 days in a year and that there is 13 months in a year after every three years, because of which they had to pay more salary to the government officials.

    The BS New Year Day has religious and cultural importance too. People from the hills and terai worship Satya Narayan, Newars in Bhaktapur celebrate Bisketjatra and Tharus celebrate Seruwa to usher in the New Year.
    Dr Samba Raj Acharya, professor of the eastern vedic Astrology at the Mahendra Sanskrit University, said, “The BS is a fusion of the lunar and solar calculations, which makes it different from any other calenders of the world.” According to Dr Acharya, BS is scientific and pragmatic one because it is a combination of both lunar and solar calendars.

    (This newsfeature was published in The Himalayan Times on April 13, 2004)

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  5. Dear all,

    New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

    Wishing you A HAPPY, HEALTHY & WEALTHY NEW YEAR 2007. Our New Year’s Resolution is to: “BUILD NEW NEPAL WITH REPUBLICAN SET UP & NEW LEADERS”

    “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” Abraham Lincoln

    “If at first you don’t succeed, you are running about average.” M H Alderson

    With warm regards & Jaya Ganatantra Nepal,
    Somnath Ghimire
    New York, USA

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