Sunday, September 6, 2009



Newar practice both Hinduism and Buddhism. According to the 2001 Nepal Census, 84.13% of Newars were Hindus and 15.31% were Buddhists.

Out of the three main cities of Kathmandu valley which are historically Newar, Patan is mostly Buddhist containing the four stupas built by Ashoka, Bhaktapur is primarily Hindu whereas Kathmandu is mixed. Generally, both Hindu and Buddhist deities are worshiped and festivals are celebrated. However, for ritual activities, Hindu and Buddhist Newar have their own priest and cultural difference.


The Newar Music consists mainly of percussion instruments. Wind instruments such as flutes and similar instruments are also used. String instruments are very rare. There are songs pertaining to particular seasons and festivals. Paahan chare music is most probably the fastest played music whereas the Dapa the slowest. The dhimay music are the loudest ones. There are certain musical instruments such as Dhimay and Bhusya which are played as instrumental only and are not accompanied with songs.more on www.


Traditional Newar art is used in rituals and festivals. The prevalent art forms are Paubas (water based gouche paintings on cloth), sculpture (lost wax process bronzes, terracotta, wood and stone), masks (metal and paper-mache), woodcuts and murals. The Chitrakar and Vajracharyas are the traditional painters and the Shakyas are the sculptors. Along with being traditional painters, the Chitrakars are also mask makers (paper-mache), woodcut printers and mural painters. And Prajapati are traditional potters, they make different artifact including terracotta sculpture.


The Newar Dance can be broadly classified as masked dance and dance without the use of masks. The most representative of Newari dance is Lakhey dance. Almost all the settlements of Newar have Lakhey dance at least once a year. Almost all of these Lakhey dances are held in the Goonlaa month of Nepal Sambat-a newar lunar calender. So, they are called Goonlaa Lakhey. However, the most famous Lakhey dance is the Majipa Lakhey dance. It is performed by the Ranjitkars of Kathmandu. The dance takes place for a week during the week containing the full moon of Yenlaa month. The Lakhey are considered as the saviors of children.

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