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The Newari people incorporate different aspects of the weather and climate of Kathmandu Valley into their daily lives. One of the most prevalent ways the weather and climate affects their lives is through religious practices and beliefs. The Newari people, who practice Buddhism and Hinduism, are very religious and traditional people, and not a month goes by that there isn't some special festival that is being celebrated by them. Three of these important festivals revolve around the role climate and weather play in the lives of the people. Gunla Dharma, which is celebrated during a month from the middle of August to the middle of September, is a holy Buddhist month. During Gunla Dharma, the people are required to visit a number of monasteries, shrines and other prayer courtyards. This festival takes place during the monsoon season, which would generally be a hindrance to the people, but they are mandated to make these pilgrimages no matter what the weather is and how hard it might be raining. Gathan Mugah is another festival that takes place in August, and is based off of Nepal's monsoon season. Since the farmers are very busy working the fields and tending crops during the rainy season, they often donÕt have the time to clean their homes or even bathe. During Gathan Mugah, which is known as the festival of cleaning, everyone in Kathmandu Valley cleans out their homes from corner to corner, fumigates the houses by burning incense to get rid of insects, does their laundry, bathes, and throws out the old toys of children. The most important festival of the year is also one that deals mainly with the weather and climate of Kathmandu Valley. Yanya Punhi is the festival of Indra, who is the god of rain and heaven. He is worshipped for bearing good weather on Kathmandu Valley and, subsequently, providing a good crop for the people. Each of these festivals is attributed to the weather of Nepal, and is extremely important to the culture of the Newari people.
The Newari peopleÕs adaptation to the weather and climate of Nepal is also obvious in their food and clothing choices.
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The people of Kathmandu Valley have adapted to the varied weather and climate of the area and integrated it into the many different facets of their day to day routines. They have been able to understand and work with the weather by making it more accessible through religious customs, and have taken advantage of the different resources the climate of the area provides them with, such as crops and animals, in order to better protect themselves against the sometimes harsh weather patterns through strong clothes and hearty foods. However, their lack of ability to create more durable homes could lead to the ultimate destruction of their town and people by the very weather that they praise the gods for in their daily prayers.
ÒNewa: Culture and Festivals.Ó Nepa.com.np. http://www.nepa.com.np/culture.php. 11/30/2007.
Shakya, Naresh M. "Temples and Buildings Standing Over Kathmandu Valley Are Vulnerable to Earthquakes." Heritage and Tourism Department, Kathmandu Metropolitan City. http://www.icomos.org/iiwc/seismic/Shakya.pdf