Hinduism is the major religion of Nepal. In the 2001 census, approximately 80.6 percent of the Nepalese people identified themselves as Hindus. Buddhists and Muslims comprised 10.7 and 4.2 percent, respectively. The remainder followed other religions, including Christianity. The national calendar of Nepal, Bikram Sambat (B.S.), is a solar Hindu calendar essentially the same as that widespread in North India as a religious calendar, and is based on Vedic principles of time-keeping.The geographical distribution of religious groups revealed a preponderance of Hindus, accounting for at least 87 percent of the population in every region. Among the Tibeto-Nepalese, those most influenced by Hinduism were the Magar, Sunwar, and Rai peoples.Historians and local traditions say that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the valley of Kathmandu during prehistoric times, and that the word "Nepal" means the place protected ("pala" in Sanskrit) by the sage Ne. He performed religious ceremonies at Teku, the confluence of the Bagmati and Bishnumati rivers.According to legend he selected a pious cowherd to be the first of the many kings of the Gopala Dynasty. These rulers are said to have ruled Nepal for over 500 years. He selected Bhuktaman to be the first king in the line of the Gopal (Cowherd) Dynasty. The Gopal dynasty ruled for 621 years. Yakshya Gupta was the last king of this dynasty.According to Skanda Purana, a rishi called "Ne" or "Nemuni" used to live in Himalaya. In the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a saint and a protector. He is said to have practiced penance at the Bagmati and Kesavati rivers and to have taught his doctrines there tooThe pennant is an important Hindu flag that is held atop Hindu temples.It is believed that Lord Vishnu organized for the Nepali people to be given their flag with the sun and moon as emblems on it.In a Hindu Purana, it is written that it was Lord Shiva who handed the flag to Lord Vishnu, and then Lord Vishnu to Lord Indra, for the purpose for battling demons.Nepalese royalty, including Lord Buddha have always been viewed as avatars (or incarnations) of god Vishnu.
The national flag of Nepal is the only national flag that is not rectangular
The blue border symbolizes the peace and harmony that has been prevalent in the country since the age of Gautama Buddha, who was born in Nepal. The crimson red color is Nepal's national color, and it indicates the brave spirit of the Nepalese people and is the color of the rhododendron, the country's national flower.The two triangles symbolize the Himalayan Mountains and represent the two major religions, Hinduism and Buddhism.The red triangular flag has been a Hindu symbol of victory since the time of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The depiction of celestial bodies represents permanence, the hope that Nepal will last as long as the sun and the moon. The moon symbolizes that the Nepalese are soothing and calm, while the sun symbolizes fierce resolve. The moon also symbolizes the shades and the cool weather of the Himalayas, whereas the sun symbolizes the heat and the high temperature at the lower part (Tarai) of Nepal.
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