Sindur Jatra: Celebrating the New Year

April 15, 2018


Following the New Year celebration of the year 2075, crowds of people covered in orange powder, sindhur, marched through the streets of Thimi carrying chariots, beating drums and crashing cymbals.

Most exciting was the chariots flying past as men struggled to keep up with each other.

Throughout this, instruments thundered and the powder kept flying up in puffs. As a westerner, I was warmly invited to join the festival. I was immediately splattered in the orange colored powder. Even after I was covered head-to-toe, children would ask with a grin to wipe more on my face. Teenagers crashing cymbals asked if I wanted to give it a try.

The streets were alive with people peering out of every corner where they could get a look at the festivities. People in windows looked down on the crowd marching through the street. Others, including myself, climbed up on stupas to get a better view.

Babies and young children sat atop their parents shoulders, who lined the streets, routinely dusted by the powder.

Beer was passed around despite the morning hour, and everyone seemed to be having a great and festive time. The exciting and colorful nature of the festival had everyone clapping, dancing and smiling—the best way to ring in the New Year.

Photo and text by Taylor Sienkiewicz. Sienkiewicz is a freelance journalist currently working with Internship Nepal.