Sindoor Jatra Festival

Thimi, Nepal, hosts a colourful event called Sindoor Jatra, which is an incredible sensory extravaganza. Held on the first and second days of Baisakh, the Nepali New Year, it's a colourful and exuberant mayhem. The "khats," which are palanquin-like chariots pulling idols of the gods, are the focal point of the celebration. Carrying these khats, male delegates from neighbouring villages cover the masses and themselves in bright crimson "sindoor" powder.

Imagine upbeat music filling the room, with drums and clashing cymbals providing a rhythmic pulse that compels everyone to dance. The celebration goers and the whole area are covered in a joyful tint due to the heavy layer of orange dust in the air. As the day goes on, anticipation builds until the arrival of the Ganesh khat. The audience goes crazy, jokingly pushing and shoving as they attempt—or seem to attempt—to halt its advancement. There is a palpable sense of community, and tradition is being celebrated.

sindoor jatra festival bhaktapur thimi

By midday, the crowds start to disperse, and the khats start their tour around Thimi, Bhaktapur. On the other hand, some people travel to the nearby town of Bode to participate in the tongue-piercing ceremony, another fascinating rite. Sindoor Jatra offers an all-encompassing experience, an opportunity to immerse oneself in the exuberant noise and integrate into a lively cultural mosaic.

Sindoor Jatra Festival Dates

  • April 13 and 14, 2024
  • April 14 and 15, 2025