As the month of March welcomes the spring, the Nepali streets get ready for Holi. Holi is one of the most anticipated festivals in Nepal. On this day, the streets are filled with people splashing water to each other and playing with bright-colored powders. Due to the vibrant atmosphere of the celebration, Holi is also known as the festival of colors. It surely is one of the best festivals to experience in Nepal!
Holi at Glance
There are various stories as to why Holi is celebrated; all tracing back to Hindu legends. Mahabharata, an Indian epic, explains the legend of King Hiranyakashyap and his son Prahlad. The king disallowed the worship of Lord Vishnu in his kingdom. However, his son Prahlad was a wholehearted devotee of Vishnu and opposed the rules of his father. To punish his son, the king orders his sister Holika, to set the prince on fire. While following the orders of the King, Holika sets Prahlad on fire. But Prahlad is protected by the blessings of Vishnu and is unscathed by the fire but Holika is burnt into ashes. When Prahlad walks out of the fire, people shower him with colorful water and celebrate the victory of good over evil. Thus, Holi is celebrated to recall this victory and spread blessings and good wishes amongst everyone.
Holi, in Nepal, lasts for a week with the main celebration being on the last day. The festival starts with the tradition of erecting a bamboo stick (Lingo) wrapped with colored cloths (Chir) in the Basantapur Durbar Square. In the eve of the main day, the Lingo is taken down and the clothes are burnt. This ceremony is known as Chir Haran or Holika Dahan. The final day is the most vibrant day of the entire festival. People gather with their family and friends and play with colors and water and enjoy with good food and dance. The people put the colored powders in each other’s faces and splash water onto one another.
The main day of Holi occurs during the full moon day of the second last Nepali month (Falgun). In 2019, Holi occurs on the 20th of March. If you are set to come to Nepal during this time, you are sure to witness one of the most exciting festivals in Nepal.
How to Celebrate Holi in Kathmandu
The final day of Holi is a public holiday, as a result, the entire nation celebrates it with great zest. In Kathmandu, the entire valley will celebrate the festival. Water and colors are the themes of Holi and you can find everyone either wet or decorated in shades of different colors. We recommend you to wear comfortable clothing, especially white in color. To protect your belongings from the water and being damaged, you can carry around a plastic ziplock or a waterproof bag. The festival of Holi brings the whole of Nepal together for the celebration. Not just Nepalese, but foreigners have also found the celebrations of Holi to be quite surreal. You can witness an