Nepal is a country with lots of cultural spectrums. The outfit differs according to the ethnicity and values in Nepal. However, the national dress of Nepal is Daura Suruwal and Gunyu Cholo. Daura Suruwal is worn by Nepalese men and Gunyu Cholo is worn by women in Nepal. Daura Suruwal is declared as the national dress for Nepalese men in 2017. Officials and general public use it in government services and other programs, also on festive occasions. ‘Gunyu Cholo’, however, is a national dress for Nepalese women, but Saari is widely used by women in Nepal.

History of Daura Suruwal, men’s national dress of Nepal

Daura Suruwal is typically known as ‘Labeda Suruwal’. It has several religious beliefs and some historical aspects. For that reason, the tradition of using ‘Daura Suruwal’ remain unchanged for centuries. ‘Daura’ is the upper wear of men whereas ‘Suruwal’ is the trouser. Daura has eight strings that tie itself, known as Astamatrika Singini. The Astamatrika Singini identifies the eight different form of goddesses- Byagini, Barahi, Kumari, Brahmayani, Maheswari, Indrayani, Byasnabi and Mahalaxmi.

Eight is also the lucky number according to Nepalese mythology. The Daura has five folds in its fabric of the garment, resembling the Pancha Buddha or Pancha Ratna (Five gems). The round closed neck in Daura resembles the snake around that of Lord Shiva’s neck. Wearing of this unique attire is popular during festive occasions and in use more frequently by older generations of people.

national dress of Nepal

Morgan Freeman in Nepal’s national dress.

The Nepalese prime minister Junga Bdr Rana wore Daura Suruwal during his visit to the UK in the 19th century. Which later became a popular outfit in Nepal. Some historians also believe that the coat over the Daura Suruwal was introduced by the then king Junga Bahadur Rana. During his visit to UK, the Queen of England gifted him a coat. The tradition continued to the present time and consequently declared as the national attire of Nepal.

The tradition of wearing Dhaka Topi along with Daura Suruwal is equally popular. It is a type of brimless cap. Nepalese men use it with Daura Suruwal in the occasions and events. It became popular during the reign of King Mahendra. King Mahendra ruled Nepal between 1955 to 1972. He made it mandatory to wear Dhaka topi for official photographs and to attend government events. The tradition of wearing Dhaka topi in Nepal became popular after his visit to Dhaka. He came back with an idea of using the cotton fabric as a cap. Which eventually emerged as a national attire along with the Daura Suruwal. Also, People wear coat and waistcoat outside of the Daura.

Gunyu Cholo of Women’s Dress

The female national dress of Nepal is Gunyu Cholo. Gunyu Cholo is a traditional Nepali attire which has a blouse like top and Skirt. Gunyu Cholo is never used as the formal dress, however, in some cultural shows and occasions, it is used. The Gunyu Cholo and jewelry are given to the girl when she enters the age of 7 or 8. It signifies that now the girl is responsible enough as a woman. It is also believed to be a transition occasion which resembles that the girl is now turned to women.

gunyo cholo of nepal's women national dress

Every ethnicity and community has their unique outfit, culture and traditions. Nepal has incredible diversity and home to the multi religions, race and tribes. The uniqueness of Nepal is the major factor, contributing to the cultural prospects of tourism in Nepal. It’s fascinating that a small country like Nepal holds over 100 ethnic groups and more than 90 spoken ethnic languages. The communal practices and traditions in Nepal are popular all over the world. Every ethnic group have their own unique outfit and dresses. But for national identification, Daura Suruwal is announced as the national dress of Nepal.