According to https://publicholidays.asia/nepal/ there are thirty-two public holidays in Nepal. Wikipedia lists thirty-eight. But, according to http://www.worldatlas.com, Sri Lanka has the highest number of public holidays, that is, twenty-five. Clearly, there’s some discrepancy here.


Anyway, be that as may be, of the total number of public holidays in Nepal, three holidays, Hartalika Teej, Rishi Panchami, and Jitiya are only for women.  Four holidays, Ghode Jatra, Gai Jatra, Macchindranath Jatra, and Indra Jatra are only for Kathmandu Valley. Christmas is only for Christians, and Guru Nanak Jayanti is for Sikhs. One holiday, Nijamati Sewa Diwas, is only for public servants, and Basant Panchami is only for academic institutions.


Dashain and Tihar are, of course, the longest holidays, eight and three, respectively, and this year both fall in October. As does Chhath, the major holiday of the Terai people. So, October will see a total of seven public holidays (the first four days of Dashain falling in September-end). In fact, September had more public holidays, a total of nine (Edul Aajaha, Indra Jatra, Nijamati Sewa Diwas, Constitution Day, Ghatasthapna, Fulpati, Maha Astami, Maha Navami, and Vijaya Dashami).


Now, some clarity! One English daily reported on March 30, 2017 (goo.gl/kyi8fB) —‘The Ministry of Home Affairs has fixed 100 public holidays, including 52 Saturdays, for the year 2074 B.S. (April 14, 2017-April 13, 2018),’ which means a total of forty-eight public holidays! So, Nepal can easily claim to have the most number of public holidays in a year. Should we say ‘Hurrah?’


Oh yes, here’s another line from the said report: ‘The public holidays will be applicable to government offices only.’ Who says one cannot have the cake and eat it too? Our public servants not only have cushy, permanent jobs, they get the most holidays, too!


Back to Nepal’s public holidays, we have public holidays for five New Year’s—English New Year, Nepali New Year, Newar New Year (Nepal Sambat), Tamang New Year (Sonam Losar), Tibetan community’s New Year (Ghyalpo Losar), and Gurung New Year (Tamu Losar). This could also be a record! We have four public holidays related to martyrs, democracy, republicanism, and constitution, (Shahid Diwas, Prajatantra Diwas, Ganatantra Diwas, and Sambidhaan Diwas).


The major gods having a public holiday in their singular honor are Saraswati (Saraswati Puja), Shiva (Maha Shivaratri), Krishna (Krishna Astami), Buddha (Buddha Jayanti), Durga (Vijaya Dashami), Laxmi (Laxmi Puja), and Jesus (Christmas).  And, what about the god in us? Well, we have a public holiday for that, as well. It’s called Mha Puja (worship of self).


Yes, we do believe in the saying, ‘All work and no play makes Ram a dull boy!’