Kathmandu, Dec 26: Udhauli, the second most important festival of the Kirat community, is being celebrated across the country with great fervor today.
The festival that begins from the full moon day of Nepali month of Mangshir according to the lunar calendar is observed by worshipping nature and ancestors before harvesting the crops.
It is also believed that it indicates the time when humans, animals and birds descend to lowland from highland due to cold.
The Kirat people gather to mark the festival in an organized manner and exchange good wishes on the occasion.
According to Mundhum, a religious book of the Kirat community, time is divided into two parts, Udhauli and Ubhauli, on the basis of farming.
Ubhauli is celebrated on the full moon day of Nepali month of Baisakh during plantation while Udhauli is observed at the time of harvesting of the crops.
The harvested crops are offered to the ancestors before consuming.
Apart from the Kirati community, the festival is celebrated by the Limbu, Sunuwar and Yakhya ethnic groups.
They assemble in public places and perform traditional Sakela dance in ethnic costumes.