Skanda Gautam’s Fascinating Street Captures of Nepal Festivals

All photos by Skanda Gautam. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Kathmandu-based photojournalist Skanda Gautam is one of our go-to photographers whenever we get curious about life in Nepal. It’s easy to see why with some of his work we’ve previously featured. We’re adding one more to our pile of favorites of his: the beautiful Culture Series in Nepal, which showcases some fascinating scenes during festivals in Nepal in February. If the country is still on your to-visit list, we’re sure these photos will inspire you to keep an eye out for the next festivals!

The scenes Gautam captured show devotees on the last day of the month-long celebrations of the Madhav Narayan and Swasthani Brata Katha Festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal. He captured various activities taken by devotees throughout the month-long fast devoted to Goddess Shree Swasthani and God Madhav Narayan. These include reciting the Holy Scripture and praying for the well-being of their spouses, taking ritual dips and prayers on the Hanumante River, and participating in prayer processions.

Prior to the festival, he also photographed a couple of scenes during the Gyalpo Lhosar, or the Tibetan New Year celebrations marking the Year of the Pig, at the Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu.

Nepalese devotees offer ritual prayers in the Hanumante River on the last day of the month-long Madhav Narayan and Swasthani Brata Katha festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. Devotees recite Holy Scripture and pray for well-being of their spouses throughout the month-long fast devoted to Goddess Shree Swasthani and God Madhav Narayan.

Nepalese devotees take a holy dip on the last day of the month-long Madhav Narayan and Swasthani Brata Katha festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. Devotees recite Holy Scripture and pray for well-being of their spouses throughout the month-long fast devoted to Goddess Shree Swasthani and God Madhav Narayan.

Nepalese devotees roll on the ground as traditional prayers on the last day of the month-long Madhav Narayan and Swasthani Brata Katha festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. Devotees recite Holy Scripture and pray for well-being of their spouses throughout the month-long fast devoted to Goddess Shree Swasthani and God Madhav Narayan.

Nepalese devotees keep themselves warm near a fire on the last day of the month-long Madhav Narayan and Swasthani Brata Katha festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. Devotees recite Holy Scripture and pray for well-being of their spouses throughout the month-long fast devoted to Goddess Shree Swasthani and God Madhav Narayan.

Nepalese devotees keep themselves warm near a fire on the last day of the month-long Madhav Narayan and Swasthani Brata Katha festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. Devotees recite Holy Scripture and pray for well-being of their spouses throughout the month-long fast devoted to Goddess Shree Swasthani and God Madhav Narayan.

A child writes with chalk on a wall during Shree Panchami festival at Goddess Saraswati temple in Kathmandu, Nepal on Sunday, February 10, 2019. Saraswati is considered the goddess of knowledge, wisdom, and learning and on this day people especially children go to the temple for their first writing and reading lessons in belief that it will help them excel in education.

A boy writes with chalk on a wall during Shree Panchami festival at Goddess Saraswati temple in Kathmandu, Nepal on Sunday, February 10, 2019. Saraswati is considered the goddess of knowledge, wisdom, and learning and on this day people especially children go to the temple for their first writing and reading lessons in belief that it will help them excel in education.

Nepalese women dressed in traditional attires carry offerings while taking part in a ritual prayer procession to worship Lord Bhimsen at various temples and shrines in Lalitpur, Nepal on Saturday, February 16, 2019.

A masked dancer performs a traditional dance during Gyalpo Lhosar, marking the Year of the Pig at the Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal on Thursday, February 7, 2019. The pig, one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, is believed to be a symbol of optimism, enthusiasm and hard work.

A person concealed inside an animal performs during Gyalpo Lhosar, marking the Year of the Pig at the Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal on Thursday, February 7, 2019. The pig, one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, is believed to be a symbol of optimism, enthusiasm and hard work.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, Nepal is not short on colorful and vibrant festivals. So if you’re planning to visit soon, make sure to research any festivity or cultural event happening during your time there. While we’re at it, you might want to bookmark Guatam’s Behance portfolio to get an idea on the celebrations to look out for! When he’s not photographing festivities and cultural celebrations, Gautam also documents some of his country’s most pressing issues, as well as social stories that show a glimpse of daily life on his side of the world.

You may also want to follow Skanda Gautam on Instagram to stay updated on his work.