The rain and the plantation period that it brings along with it is deemed important in almost every part of the world. We Nepalese also celebrate the monsoon season as a festival in the most beautiful way, Ropain in Ashad 15. A day that symbolizes the end of the rice planting period, a day when all farmers enjoy the completion of the plantation and wishes for good production. A party is thrown at the end of the completion of the plantation and like any normal event, it is incomplete without guest, food, drinks and music; Asadh 15 event is no different, only the dress code should be as informal as you can make it. The reason for such dress code is you got to show your moves and grooves in the muddy dance floor.
The Nepal Government announced this day as National Paddy Day, to encourage farmers and celebrate the crop planting festival.
Traditionally, ladies are involved in planting the rice plant and men plowing the field. Farmers celebrate this with joy as they invite their neighbors to play in the mud, throw mud at each other and sing and dance to the traditional folk songs. There is a practice of eating yogurt and beaten rice and drink a special kind of local drink called ‘Chyang’, which basically is made up of fermented rice. This weird, muddy and fun festival has been able to attract many tourists down the year and due to the increasing number of tourist wanting to participate in this festival, various events are held every year. This event is all about playing and planting the rice in the mud and not to forget the part of dancing in ‘Asare geet’, a traditional folk song that delineate the joy and pain of the farmer.
Every year at least two or three Ropain events come in the news, but many happen silently, only inviting their close, near and dear ones. The event that are pushed in the media is generally held around the periphery of Kathmandu and Pokhara and this year, one of an event that we were able to track was Ropain – The rice plantation festival.
You will find local people celebrating this muddy festival in many places. If you are interested in planting rice, make sure you visit the outskirts of Kathmandu; Bungamati, Chapagaun, Dhapakhel, Thimi, Machhegaun and many other small villages for the Ropain festival and ask for the permission to get your hands, feet and basically your whole body dirty in their field. We are sure, the people won’t deny you on the day of Ashad 15. They might even offer you some ‘Dahi Chiura’ and ‘chyang’ later after the completion of the event.