Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happy New Year...again and again

Although 2014 is just a few months young, people in Nepal are getting ready to celebrate another New Year - the Nepali one. 2070 is about to end to make way for 2071…to guarantee a little bit of "Back To The Future” feeling for everyone.
Time is relative and so are calendars. Asking different people in Nepal for the current year you would probably hear 1134 as well as 2014, 2070, 2141 and 2848. And none of these answers is wrong. Nepal is a country with a huge diversity of cultures and ethnic groups, with many of them having their own calendars. Of course the importance of those calendars has decreased drastically in the past years - peoples are mixing and respecting each calendar would simply lead to a lot of confusion. Nowadays most Nepalese only use the English calendar and the Nepali one, called Bikram Sambat and according to which 2071 starts from Monday, 14th April 2014 (or Baisakh 1st according to Nepali calendar). But other New Years are still celebrated as national holidays, which makes Nepal probably the only country with 6 different New Years. New Years to be celebrated in the coming months are:
2014-04-14 Bikram Sambat 2071 (Nepali New Year)
2014-10-24 Nepal Sambat 1135 (Old Nepali New Year, now mostly celebrated by Newars)
2014-12-30 Tamu Losar (Gurung New Year)
2015-01-21 Sonam Losar 2849 (Tamang New Year)
2015-02-19 Gyalpo Losar 2142 (Tibetan New Year)

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