Once banned under the Hindu monarchy, Jesus figurines and Christmas-related items are now becoming part of Nepali culture.
the Christian holy day was made a national holiday in 2011, primarily for
economic reasons, it has not lost its religious spirit.
artisans told AsiaNews that thousands
of people are currently flocking to their shops in search of figurines and images
of the nativity, Baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary.
owns Dhukuti, a handicraft shop in Kupondole, which sells small hand-made wooden
objects, like figurines, some of which have a Christian religious theme.
Compared to past
years, this year business has increased exponentially. "We are so busy
that our craftsmen do not even have time for lunch. Wooden images of Jesus
the Virgin Mary, the Christmas star and wooden covers for Bibles are our best
So much is the
demand that many customers have agreed to pick up the purchases even after
Christmas, Sanjeev said.
The season's festive
atmosphere is also found in the capital's shopping malls and streets with stores
decked out with garlands, stars, and Christmas trees. Even private homes have
decorations inside and outside.
In the capital, most
gift shops have sold out souvenirs and decorations, mostly imports from China. Early
sales figures show an increase in business of 100 per cent compared to 2012.
is located in Khichapokhari, one of Kathmandu's most important shopping centres.
Jalan, the gallery's owner, said that people have queued for days outside his
shop to buy gifts and decorations. His
main customers are restaurants, beauty salons and boutiques.
The Archives Gallery
offers a large selection of items.
range from US$ 12 for the smallest ones (30 cm) to US$ 40 for the tallest (5 m).
is also a wide range of Santa Claus costumes with prices ranging from US$ 2.50
to US$ 135. Pictures and figurines of Jesus are among the items that have been sold
few years ago," Anil explained, "people were afraid to buy Christmas items in a
society dominated by the Hindu religion. Today however, people are freer and
sell items not only to Christians but to Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims."