Wednesday Oct 4, 2023
Wednesday Oct 4, 2023

Chepang community celebrates Nuwagi festival across nation

2021 Sep 07, 17:00, kathmandu
This photo shows the home of Chepang in Makawanpur district taken on 1 April 2012. Photo courtesy: Krish Dulal

The Chepang community is observing the Nuwagi (Chhonam) festival today. Chhonam is considered one of the biggest cultural festivals of the Chhepang community and it is observed before the new harvest.

The cultural and religious belief behind the festival is that one will suffer from diseases if a new harvest is eaten without offering to the departed souls symbolically. New harvests are offered to the ancestors with established rituals which also include puja, according to Nepal Chepang Association central general secretary Aaitsingh Chepang.

The Chepangs who represent the indigenous ethnic group are considered lovers and worshippers of nature and the festival reflects the same spirit, it is said.

The Chepang shamans who are called Pande play the Dhyangro (a traditional drum) the whole night with the belief that it will make their ancestors happy.

On the day of the festival, the daughters offer delicacies to the family members and it is followed by the performance of cultural dances and songs. The Chepang youths participate in singing duet songs the whole night which provides them time to know each other and if any couple falls for each other, they decide elopement.

On the initiation of the Association, the festival is being celebrated collectively since 2063 BS. Prior to this the Chepang people would gather in a small group and celebrate the festival.

The Association selects one area, any of the Chepang settlements, to observe the festival each year on a rotational basis.

This time, Chainpur of Raksirang Rural Municipality-5 in Makwnapur was chosen. Those unable to visit Chainpur celebrate the festival in a close group within the community. The Chepang people reside in 26 districts of Nepal and as per the 2011 latest census, their population stands at 68,399.


Makawanpur Chepang Chepang Community Chonam Cultural Festivals Nepal Chepang Association Ethnic Groups Census
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