Udhauli is festival of the Kirat communities of Sunuwar, Rai, Lohorung people, Limbu and Yakkha of Nepal India and around the world by Kirati People celebrated every year marking the migration phase downwards towards the low-altitude regions when the winter season arrives.
The migration from the low-altitude areas upwards to hilly areas is called Ubhauli (upwards), which is also an annual festival of these communities. On the Udhauli festival day, the Kirat people offer thanks to mother nature for providing a good harvest.
Udhauli festival is celebrated by all Kirat people. It is believed that from this day the winter season starts. So people, birds and animal migrate from cold regions to warmer regions. The Kirat people perform a special kind of dance called Sakela in this festival playing various musical instruments like Dhol, Jhyamta, etc. The Kirat women wear chhit ko guneu (a dress made from a specially patterned cloth) on this festival. This event of the Kirat people has also been stated in the Mundhum (holy book of the Kirat people).
Likewise Ubhauli. it is also another part of ubhauli by Kirati people celebrated every year marking the migration phase upwards towards the hilly regions when the summer season arrives.
They organize feast to celebrate the festival .On the occasion Sakela dance is performed. Hence this festival is also called Sakela Udhauli. Mangsir purnima (Full Moon day of the eight month) is the particular day when Sakela Udhauli is marked. Since the Kirats are the inhabitants of hilly areas they migrate to downwards to protect themselves from severe cold during winter season. This practice of migrating downwards is called Udhauli.
Likewise, Ubhauli festival falls in the full moon day of Baisakh. The festival marks the beginning of the farming season and the arrival of summer. With the celebration of Ubhauli upwards migration begins.
Despite that the Kiratis are upholding their tradition and celebrating Udhauli and Ubhauli as their festival no matter where they have been residing. Apart from entertaining the people, fairs and festivals impart valuable messages.