A long withstanding tradition, and a nationally recognised day, Ashar 15 holds a deep significance for Nepal and its people.
On this day, Nepalis observe ‘Ropain’ (rice/paddy plantation) and eat Dahi-Cheura (Yoghurt and Beaten Rice). The day is also known as ‘Mud Festival’.
Nepal, where a major percentage of the population is still dependent upon agriculture, celebrates the day with great fervour. On Ashar 15, owing to the onset of monsoons in Nepal, the fields become muddy – making it a perfect time to plant rice saplings.
Ropain has a strong connection with the people of Nepal, and has been observed since centuries – before the advent of modern agricultural tools, men and women would gather in the field and partake in the festival. In the afternoon, they would eat Dahi-Cheura, a tradition today observed by the urban population too.
Ropain marks a celebration of nature – and festival participants observe the festival hoping for an abundant harvest. In recent years, it has also been a major tourist attraction – wherein many visitors are seen splashing in the muddy fields, and planting saplings at the same time.
K P Sharma Oli, Nepal’s Prime Minister has shared the following message pertaining to sustainability, and highlighting agriculture’s importance to Nepal: