Nepali Dances – 44 Most Famous Folk, Cultural & Traditional Dances of Nepal


This post is about Nepali dances with Name of folk dance of Nepal with a short description. You can also call it Nepali dances. There are many folk dances in Nepal. The traditional dances of Nepal are enlisted here with a short description.

For life, culture, and traditions, Nepali dances are very important. It is also the right entertainment source as well as an effective refresher. Dance is the movement of feet and body in a pleasant way in the rhythm of song or music. Song and music are the complements to dance.

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We can mainly classify Nepali dance into two types,’ classical and folk dances.’ In Nepal, there are many traditional dances. They respect ethnicities, traditional backgrounds, and communities of different cultures. In our country, such dances hold great value, which is also accompanied by music and songs.

We Nepali love dancing and singing very much. Throughout Nepal, there are many types of folk dances. Few of them are Tamang Selo, Juhari and Chutki. Nepal’s dance and song culture is very rich.

In this predominantly Hindu and Buddhist country, over sixty ethnic groups live together. Throughout the year, they celebrate a tremendous variety of festivals where music, song, and dance celebrate every important occasion.

Each ethnic group’s folk dances are present, often danced throughout the night by the entire community. For specific festivals, there are traditional ceremonial dances performed on the street once a year.

Shamanic dances are also available to heal the body and spirit. Charan performs a wide variety of Nepalese dance and is dedicated to preserving Nepal’s unique, rapidly forgotten dance culture.

They are a great form of entertainment. Classical dance is based on classics of antiquity, while fold dance is based on folk song and music. Below is a list of some folk and classical dance examples.

Nepali Dances – 44 Most Famous Folk, Cultural & Traditional Dances of Nepal

dancing girls
Dancing girls
1. The deuda dance :

The deuda dance is performed in a group of males and females. This Nepali dance is popular in the far western districts of Doti and Dailekha. Nowadays, the inhabitants of the far western region who have been living in Kathmandu gather at Tundikhel and perform this dance in a group. During the dance, the young boys and girls sing and dance together exchanging love among themselves. To know more about deuda dance, click here referred link.

2. Jhijhiya dance:

This Nepali folk dance Jhijhiya is devoted and dedicated to Durga Bhavani, Mother Goddess of Nepal Terai. Jhijhiya dance is performed on the auspicious occasion of Dashain or Dashhara. The main objective of this dance is to ward off evil spirits from the community. The girls of the village take part in this dance enthusiastically. All the actors of this dance are girls and young women of the community.

Yes, it is the dance performed by the young women’s group. During Dashami, this dance is performed. Women carry holes and Diyos inside lanterns. This lightens the atmosphere. The lantern had its lid covered. Women intentionally dance on their heads with these lanterns.

They dance in a pattern that can count the holes in the lantern. This dance is influenced by Tantric belief and performed primarily to protect people against evil spirits. To know more about Jhijhiya dance, click here referred link.

3. Sama Chakewa dance:

This female folk dance is also a dual dance in which the married and unmarried girls of the village take part. This dance is performed for the whole fortnight. It starts on the first fasting day on the auspicious occasion of the greatest festival of Chhatha. It ends on the full moon night of Kartik. To know more about Sama chakewa dance, click here referred link.

4. Jat-Jatin dance:

This Nepali folk dance Jat-Jatin is performed in the rainy season. It is both a dual and a group dance, in which two main dancers lead. A dialogue is also dramatized while dancing. There is also a chorus song which goes between the Jat (the male) and the Jatin (the female). The lovely ladies of the village dance around under the starry sky. To know more about Jat-Jatin dance, click here the referred link.

5. The Charya Dance:

The dance tradition of Charya is very old in Nepal. It is equally prevalent in India and Bangladesh. Kumari, Bhirav Kali, Arya Tara, Pancha Buddha and Bajrayogini dance are the famous Charya dances of Nepal. Bajrayogini is one of them which has been named after the goddess Bajrayogini. This is one of the ancient classical dances of Nepal rooted in the classical base. To know more about Charya dance, click here referred link.

6. Chandi Dance:

The Nepali Chandi dance is also known as Sri Sri Nach. It is mainly performed by the Rai people. It is generally performed on the occasion of Baisakh Purnima (the full moon day of April)). Boys and girls dance together to the rhythmic beats of drums.

Kirati Rai performs this dance. They worship Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. Chandi dance is performed praying for peace and success in the village to Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. They adore good crops. This dance is also very special because with charming and cheerful faces it has to be performed. To know more about Chandi dance, click here referred link.

7. The Bhairav Kali dance:

The Bhairav Kali dance is one of the traditional ritual dances of Nepal. It manifests the dreadful destructive mood of Goddess Kali and how Bhairava (Shiva) saved the world from the destruction by lying down on the path of Kali. This is one of the classical dances of Nepal, popular in Kathmandu Valley where it is believed to have been originated. To know more about the Kal Bhairav dance, click here referred link.

8. Manjushree Dance:

Manjushree Dance is one of the traditional dance in Nepal. Manjushree dance is performed and dedicated to Manjushree. One of the traditional ritual dances is Manjushree dance, also known as Charya Nritya.

Manjushree is the Bodhisattvas’ oldest, and his worship gives wisdom, a retentive memory, and intelligence to the devotee. He has a special place in Nepal, for according to the Buddhist legends it was Manjushree who came with his two wives from China to pay homage to the self-existing flame in Swayambhunath.

So this Nepali dance represents Manjushree. This dance requires a special costume and jewelry as Bodhisattva after all is represented by the dancer.

9. The Pancha Buddha dance:

The Pancha Buddha dance is attributed to Lord Buddha. Pancha Buddha or five Buddhas are the five transcendental Buddhas of Tantric Buddhism. Different colorful costumes used by the dancers are symbolic to the sky, the earth, water, fire, and air.

This dance is mainly devoted to Lord Buddha. This is a ballet also known as a Charya dance. This Nepali dance has a classical base which is performed in honor of Lord Buddha who is worshipped as a super-being who transcends the earth, the sky, the sea, wind, and fire. To know more about Pancha Buddha dance, click here referred link.

So, to represent Pancha Buddha, this dance is performed. Five Buddha means Panache Buddha. Five dancers are there. Each performing dancer has its own specific posture, color, and direction. Five Buddha are Tantric Buddhism’s five transcendental Buddhas.

10. Arya Tara Dance:

The Arya Tara dance is popular in the Buddhist community. The worship of the female tradition was introduced into Buddhism in the form of Tara. She is believed to destroy fear and lead the people across the ocean of sorrow. This is a popular Charya dance of ancient times.

This dance is especially performed as a part of the rituals followed during the religious festivals and ceremonies in full regalia. To know more about Arya tara dance, click here referred link.

So, this is an ancient Nepal’s popular classical dance. In ancient mythology, this dance is dedicated to Arya Tara, better known as “The Holy Mother.” This dance’s song describes Arya Tara’s different qualities. This dance is performed in rituals that are followed during religious festivals and ceremonies that wear the full ceremonial dress.

11. The Kumari Dance:

The Kumari dance is one of the ancient classical dances of Nepal. This dance is dedicated to the well-known living goddess Kumari of Kathmandu Valley. During the famous Indra Jatra festival in Kathmandu, Goddess Kumari, decked with splendid ornaments, is taken around Kathmandu in a traditionally designed chariot and thousands of Nepalese people pay homage to her. To know more about Kumari dance, click here referred link.

So, Kumari dance is one of the Kingdom of Nepal’s oldest classical dances. The living goddess Kumari decorated with beautiful ornaments and was taken in a chariot around the old Kathmandu during the famous “Indra Jatra” festival in Kathmandu. And thousands of devotees, including the King of Nepal and royal family members, are paying homage to her.

12. The Ghatu Dance:

The ghatu dance is performed during the middle of the month of Magh and the full moon of Jestha. Married women might attend with their husbands’ permission. The actual dance should be performed only by the unmarried girls and a male chorus accompanies these dancers. This dance is especially popular among the Gurungs in the western part of Nepal.

In the Gandaki Zone, this dance is popular. This dance is called ‘ Bara Mase Ghatu ‘ as well. Only the unmarried girls performed this dance. To know more about Ghatu dance, click here referred link.

13. The dhime dance :

The dhime dance is popular in the Newar community of Kathmandu Valley. This has been named after the accompanying musical instrument named dhime in the Newari language. In the medieval days, this drum-like musical instrument played a vital role in the cultural life of the Newar people, especially on the festive occasions of religious ceremonies and victory-parades of Malla kings. The origin of this dance goes back to the 13th century. To know more about Dhime dance, click here referred link.

14. The dhan nach :

The dhan nach is called a paddy dance. It is the agricultural dance of the Limbus. This kind of Nepali dance is generally performed on the occasion of various agricultural activities such as paddy transplantation and harvesting. To know more about the Dhan dance, click here referred link.

So, this is Limbus ‘ dance. Young boys and girls hold each other in the beat of Chyabrung and control each other from side to side.

15. The chyabrung dance

The chyabrung dance is popular in the Limbu community of the eastern Nepal. Limbus are best remembered for their group dance. Various types of dances performed in this community are collectively known as the dances of Limbuwan. The first part of Nepali dance is called chyabrung. It is generally performed on the occasion of the marriage ceremony. To know more about Chyabrung dance, click here referred link.

16. The shebru dance

The shebru dance belongs to the ethnic community of Sherpas who are world famous for a mountain expedition. They live in the foothills of the Himalayas of Nepal. They live in a cheerful community riches in feasts, songs, and dances. They belong to a mobile race. So, they are scattered in different places in the country. They meet on several occasions and dance to celebrate their meeting. To know more about Shebru dance, click here referred link.

17. The jhyaure dance

The jhyaure dance is an appendage to Nepalese culture. This dance is based on the theme of love and romance. So, it is very popular among young boys and girls. The jhyaure song and dance are the means of entertainment in the hilly region, especially in the western part of the country.

This dance is beyond the restriction of any time and occasion. It is a very joyful dance which is ritualized by the love theme. This is one of Nepal’s most popular and popular dances.

In the Gandaki area, Jhayure dance is popular. The young boys and girls perform this dance to express the pleasure of meeting their lovers. To know more about Jhyaure dance, click here referred link.

18. The damphu dance

The damphu dance is a folk dance popular among the people from the hills of Nepal. It is performed by the carefree ethnic group of people called Tamang. They are simple, honest and hardworking people, having a great passion to enjoy life through dancing and singing. This dance is performed accompanied by the hand drum named damphu and hence the dance itself is known as the damphu dance. To know more about Nepali folk Damphu dance, click here referred link.

19. The khukuri dance

The khukuri dance of the mountain people is an original Nepali dance in which the dancers display their wonderful skills in handling the khukuri knife, a famous weapon of the Nepali people. This type of dance is patriotic in its nature. It is also really exciting. This dance is also performed at the military or army centres.

The soldiers of Gorkha perform this dance. This dance is performed in their hands holding khukuri. To represent power and pride, this dance is performed. To know more about Nepali folk Khukuri dance, click here referred link.

20. The Ratyauli Dance:

Of the dances of Nepal, the ratyoli is a dance exclusively performed by the women on the occasion of the marriage ceremony. It is especially performed in the bridegroom’s house after the male members of the family leave for the house of the bride.

On this night, the women assemble in the bridegroom’ house to sing romantic or even erotic songs. Some women impersonate men and enact love scenes while dancing. Men are forbidden to intrude into their private dancing session. To know more about this Nepali traditional dance, ratyauli dance, click here referred link.

to be continued…

Written by

Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a Writer of 12 Nepali Books, Director of Maithili films, Founder of Radio Stations, Designer of Websites and Editor of Some Nepali Blogs.

One thought on “Nepali Dances – 44 Most Famous Folk, Cultural & Traditional Dances of Nepal

  1. We -newstar drama group based at kisii culture center in kenya will like to collaborate and have exchange program at our organization and agreement.I know there is a lot we can do together and share experience.

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