In Nepal, Martyrs’ Day is a day designed to honour all who fought and died to make Nepal a better place throughout its long, long history. But more specifically, it honours the four official martyrs who were shot to death in 1941 when they opposed the tyrannical Rana regime.
The names of the four martyrs were: Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Gangalal Shrestha, Dashrath Chand, and Shukraraj Shastri.
The date of Martyrs’ Day, or “Shaheed Diwas”, varies on the Gregorian Calendar, but it comes on 16 Magh on the Nepali Calendar. And it is the culmination of Martyrs’ Week, which begins on 10 Magh.
Many streets, stadiums, and organisations in Nepal are named after the four famous martyrs. And on Martyrs’ Day, high-up government officials will visit the Martyrs’ Gate monument in Kathmandu, which they must also visit immediately after taking their oath of office.
Celebration of Martyrs’ Day in Nepal has become more popular in recent years, in the aftermath of the 10-year struggle against Maoists rebels in which 13,000 Nepalis lost their lives.