In Nepal, Hinduism practiced by nearly 82 percent of the country's population is the main religion. In Nepal, there are most of the major Hindu pilgrimage centers: the world-famous Pashupatinath Temple. Nepal is the most religious Hindu state in the world. Lord Shiva is considered a guardian deity by the people of Nepal while the cow is regarded as the national animal in Nepal. Nepal, however, is a democratic and multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual country. In Nepal, Buddhism, Islam, Kiratism, Christianity, Sikhism, Bahá'í, and certain minority cultures have been the main religions followed.
Hinduism is the dominant religion in Nepal with around 81 percent of the population being Hindus. This is well clear from the many Hindu temples throughout the country. Legend has it that in prehistoric times the sage Ne Muni was who introduced Nepal to religion, lived, and taught the Himalayas. He also chose Bhuktaman, the first King of Nepal ever, and established the Gopala Dynasty. The country is thought to have his name. Also, Lord Vishnu is supposed to give the people the double triangular Nepali flag with sun and moon.
The Buddhist religion is rooted back in Nepal, where Lumbini is Lord Buddha's birthplace. His clan the Shakyas helped to spread Buddhism initially through the Kathmandu valley and then during Emperor Ashoka's reign the religion flourished. Following this time, the Shah dynasty gradually declined in Nepal and Buddhism, with many of its practices absorbed into Hinduism. Roughly 9% of Nepal's population today practice religion and three major schools of thought - Buddhism from Tibet, Newar, and Theravada.
Islam, with around 4.4% of the total population, is the third most practiced religion in Nepal. Most live in the south of Nepal, the Terai region. Ramadan, a month of fasting observed every year, is one of the main elements of Islam. At the end of the month, they break this fast with Eid al-Fitr, when friends and family meet for traditional delights. Many invite neighbors and friends from outside Muslim countries to share food and culture, and Mosques offer poor food and clothes. This shows that although the population is smaller, Muslims have a positive impact on Nepalese society and are an important aspect of our national identity as a whole.
Kirat is Nepal's fourth-largest religion. It is an ancient religion and the ethnic groups Limbu and Rai are Nepalese. Your ancient religious text is the Mundhum, made of adoring nature and shamanic practices. Your year is divided into half Ubhauli (summer or upwards) and half Udhauli (winter or downwards), and the main feast is Sakela which every half of the year is celebrated once a year. With lovely, traditional attires, the Sakela Ritual is performed by people of every age after a priest has prayed and worshiped it.
Although Christianity is the world's most popular religion, it is the fifth-largest in Nepal. The census of 2011 shows that 1.4% or 375.699 of the people in Nepal are religious supporters. It is said that Nepal is one of the world's fastest-growing Christian populations. The two trendiest festivals in Nepal, Christmas and the English New Year are surely two. On the eve of those festivities, the main streets of Katmandu are lit up and people go out and enjoy the vacation.
In 1516 Guru Nanak Dev began to visit the country, meditate and preach in Nepal. In later years, many more Sikhs entered and settled there fleeing the British. There are currently almost 7,000 Sikhs in Nepal adoring the country in two of the Gurdwaras. Another sacred site for the Nepalese Sikhs is the Nanak Math in Kathmandu.
At the moment in Nepal, there are about 4,000 Jains who form a society of Jain and worship in Kathmandu's Jain temple. Members of both sects are allowed to worship in Jainism - Digambar, and Svetambar. The roots of Jainism in Nepal date back to the year 300 B.C. when the last acharya of the unified Jain sangha, Bhadrabahu, went to Nepal for the purpose of penance. He remained there for 12 years preaching Lord Mahavira's teachings.
There are no native Jews in Nepal. Religion only began in 1986 when Israel's embassy in Kathmandu organized the "Paschal" for the Israelis who traveled to the country - a traditional Jewish celebration and a traditional holiday. In 2000, the first Chabad House opened in Katmandu, a center where the Jewish local community and Jewish tourists held events and services. In 2007 and 2010, two other homes of this type were opened in Pokhara and Manang.