Every year, farmers and their families across Nepal come together to celebrate National Paddy Day, also known as “Dhan Diwas”, an annual festival that marks the beginning of the rice planting season with some fun muddy activities.
The festival is celebrated every year on the 15th of Ashadh, Nepal’s Lunar calendar.
Last year, the festival was held on June 29th.
The festival is an important day to celebrate Nepali agricultural traditions, especially for people living in rural areas.
Rice is a staple food in Nepal, and farmers seek blessing before planting rice at the festival.
The day is also meant to encourage the next generations to take up farming as a profession.
Although it’s not a public holiday, many people take the day off to celebrate with their families and communities.
Women usually take the lead in planting the seedlings, while men assist in preparing the fields and guarding against birds and other animals that might eat the rice.
During the day, there are various cultural programs including traditional dances and music, which people enjoy in traditional attire.
One of the most interesting activities includes people playing in the mud, which stems from a long-held belief that one should touch mud at least once during the day.
They drink rice wine, sing and dance in the mud where they plant the seedlings.
National Paddy Day also helps to raise awareness of the impact that climate change has on agriculture in Nepal.