Udhauli and Ubhauli festival

Udhauli and Ubhauli festival is celebrated by all Kirat people (Rai, Limbu, Yakkha Peoples). It is believed that from this day the winter season starts. So people, birds, and animal migrate from cold regions to warmer regions. The Kirat people perform a special kind of dance called Sakela in this festival playing various musical instruments like Dhol, Jhyamta, etc. The Kirat women wear chhit ko guneu (a dress made from a specially patterned cloth) on this festival. This event of the Kirat people has also been stated in the Mundhum (holy book of the Kirat people).

Udhauli means “descent”, which explains its connection to the down-slope movement of wildlife.  The date of Udhauli Parva is set on the full moon of the month of Mangsir on Nepal’s calendar. It generally lands in December on the Gregorian Calendar.

During the festival, there is a worshiping of “Mother Earth” called “Bhumi Puja”, where the people thank the land for the most recent harvest.

Another key feature of the celebrations is the Sakela dance, wherein everyone dons special, traditional attire and dances round in a big circle to music played on instruments like the Maadal and the dhol.

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