Best time to visit Nepal

Annapurna mountains in spring - Nepal - Best Time to Visit
Spring flowers bloom across the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal

Seasons and Weather

The weather in Nepal can be divided into four main seasons, which are autumn, winter, spring and summer, otherwise known as the monsoon season.

Summer in Nepal

June to September is considered the summertime, or monsoon season, and the daily forecast typically consists of extremely high temperatures and intermittent rainfall. Summer is a good time to explore the cities, but trekking conditions are not ideal as the rain can lead to flood trails and mud slides. By the end of the monsoon season however, the countryside can be seen lush and green, offering the perfect lead-in to trekking season.

Autumn in Nepal

From September the climate begins to change as the country welcomes autumn, which lasts from October to November. These couple months are much drier with pleasant temperatures in the day time and good visibility. This time of the year is considered the best to go trekking in the Himalayas thanks to the fresh air and clear skies.

Winter in Nepal

The winter months from December to February tend to be mild in the daytime but can become very cold at night, especially in the mountains. While winter is still okay for trekking with clear visibility, January is the coldest month of the year and sees many mountain lodges shut down due to the extremely low temperatures. The cities remain clear and chilly, though without snow it is easy to explore the city sights.

Spring in Nepal

Spring appears from March to May with pleasantly warm temperatures and occasional showers – this is also considered a good time to go trekking with longer days. Flowers begin to bloom during this time and it is also a wonderful time of year to spot wildlife. The annual temperatures peak in May just before the monsoon season begins.

Climate | Kathmandu

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp Min °C2471216192020191373
Temp Max °C181925283029292828272319
Rainfall (mm)154123581222463733451553883

Climate | Lukla

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp Min °C-3-2-203444310-1
Temp Max °C-112346774532
Rainfall (mm)000033915150603
Blessings during Teej festival - Nepal - Best Time to Visit
Local women make blessings during the Teej festival in Nepal

Festivals and Events

Sitting on the roof of the world, Nepal is the ultimate mountaineering destination and attracts adventurous hikers from all over the world hoping to make it to Everest’s Base Camp and beyond. Combine this with the strong Buddhist beliefs that are entrenched in the Nepali way of life and you get one of the most mystical and fascinating countries in the world with festivals and events to match. Here are a few of our favourites.

Saraswati Puja

Also know as Shree Panchami, Saraswati Puja celebrates the birthday of Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning. Students and scholars worship their pens and books during this event in order to gain the favour of the Goddess with the hopes that this will make them wiser and more knowledgeable. Sweets, fruits and flowers are offered to the idol of Saraswati and small children are taught to read and write as part of the celebrations.

Buddha Jayanti

One of the most auspicious days in the Buddhist calendar, Buddha Jayanti celebrates the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Gautam Buddha. The festivities that take place during this period are tranquil and gentle, in keeping with the practices of Buddhism. Vegetarian food is usually exclusively consumed and many people spend the day attending a slightly longer than usual sutra, which is a type of service.

Gai Jatra

Literally translating as Cow Festival, this event is one of the most important Nepali celebrations. The event’s main purpose is to commemorate those who passed away in the past 12 months and families that have lost a loved one are expected to lead a cow through the streets as part of the procession. If there is no cow available, the family will lead a young boy dressed as a cow. Jokes, satire and humour are a main part of this festival and there is a definite ‘anything goes’ atmosphere for its entire duration.

Teej

This unusual festival is a national holiday but only women are given the day off for the occasion. Teej is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Parvati and observes her union with Shiva. The ceremonies are separated into the women performing rituals for the purification of their body and soul, and the women fasting for the well-being of their spouse and children. On the first day of the festival, a feast is hosted by the men of the community. Women are not expected to do anything during this time.

Dashain

Dashain is a 15 day festival celebrated by the Nepalese as well as many other Hindus and Buddhists around the world. The festival celebrates the forces of good overcoming evil and while the exact story changes according to which religion you follow, the gist is that the first nine days symbolise good’s battle with evil and the tenth day is when victory was achieved. The first, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth days are the most important of the festival.

Tihar

Taking place over the course of five days, Tihar is a festival of great religious and cultural significance. Each day sees something different being worshipped starting with crows on day one, dogs on the second day and cows on the third. There is also a part during the celebrations when sisters worship their brothers and give thanks for the protection they provide. Siblings exchange gifts and tikas and strengthen their bond with one another.

2016/17 Calendar

To help plan your visit to Nepal, here's an overview of the festivals and events taking place in 2016/17. This is by no means an exhaustive list so if you are thinking of heading to Nepal outside of these dates and want to know what's on, check out this comprehensive list.

September 20th - October 4th - Tihar (Nationwide)
October 27th-31st - Tihar (Nationwide)
February 1st - Saraswati Puja (Nationwide)
May 10th - Buddha Jayanti (Lumbini)
August 11th - Gai Jatra (Kathmandu Valley)

There's also a number of national holidays in Nepal and on these dates many businesses and some tourist sites will close for the day so plan your visit accordingly.

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