Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy 2068!

Happy 2068!  What?  Well, it's now the new year of 2068 here in Nepal where the Bikram Sambat calendar (a lunar calendar based on ancient Hindu tradition and also followed in some parts of India and a few other places) is observed!  So, Happy 2068, or Happy Navavarsha!  The new year starts in mid-April and the months fall along accordingly from mid-month to mid-month.  The lengths of the months vary from year to year and could be anywhere from 29-32 days long.

Luckily, most calendars you buy also have the Gregorian calendar included for those of us who follow that calendar!

Like in other places around the world, New Year's Day here is a national holiday.  In the days before, we saw crowded buses again as people were traveling to visit family. 

This man was getting a shave at this sidewalk barbershop.  Maybe he was on his way to see his mom!

School was out for "summer vacation" (the new school year started this week!) and everyone was in a festive mood.  There were picnics and get-togethers with lots of good food.  One popular dish is momo, a type of dumpling, pictured below.  They really are good and come with a variety of fillings.  (I usually skip the sauce, which is a little hot for me, but Ramon likes it.)

People exchange good wishes and many participate in parades and rituals for good fortune in the upcoming new year.  If there was a parade in our town, we missed it!  It was a peaceful day here and people were enjoying each other's company as they were out and about.  It was rather quiet in fact, so I presume families were visiting.

Some people were playing games

and some were visiting at the coffee shops.

Grandpa was babysitting at this shop.  (I love this!)

Not everyone, however, took the day off and it was "business as usual."

Look closely (enlarge if you want) to see some ladies working in this field.

And so, another year begins here in Banepa, Nepal.

We wish everyone a great year, whether it's 2011 or 2068!
Take care and God bless!