Holi is one of Nepal’s most auspicious Hindu festivals, often known as the “Festival of Colors” or “Festival of Love.” It symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and honors Radha and Krishna’s holy love. According to Nepali language, Holi is celebrated on a full moon in the month of ‘Fagu.’ This month roughly corresponds to the months of February and March on the English calendar. This Festival of Colours takes place after the Dashain and Tihar Festivals, and the three festivals together can last up to a week. Holi is a Hindu festival that commemorates the triumph of virtue over evil and begins in the spring season.
The Holi Festival: Its History and Rituals
Holi, also known as “Phagu Purnima,” has become one of Nepalese culture’s most popular celebrations. Holi, like many Hindu festivals, has multiple cultural meanings. The demonic siblings Holika and Hiranyakashipu are significant to the Indian legend. When the wicked king Hiranyakashipu plotted to assassinate his own son Prahlad with the help of his sister Holika, it became a festival. Holika was granted a holy gift that allowed her to withstand the flames. She walked into the blazing fire, Prahlad in her lap. Holika was burned to ashes whereas Prahlad, a sincere follower of Lord Vishnu, was saved from the disaster. As a result, many people assume Holika was the inspiration for the festival’s name.
The Holi celebration in Nepal is primarily marked by a ceremony in which participants hold a bamboo stick or a wooden pole upright. This stick is decorated with a variety of brightly colored materials. This event begins a week before the actual Holi day. To celebrate, the majority of Nepali women dress up in colorful outfits. They hold auspicious items and pray for blessings around the mounted pole. Chir Haran, also known as Holika Dahan, is observed on the eve of Holi. This is when the stick is brought down, and the colored decorations are seared. This also marks the official start of the Holi festival.
Nepal Paint Festival Celebrations
Holi, one of the most prominent Hindu festivals in Nepal, is mostly observed in India, Nepal, and other Hindu-majority countries around the world. However, if you’re looking for the greatest spot to celebrate Holi, Kathmandu will not disappoint! In Kathmandu, 90% of shops and stores are closed on that day. The celebration spirit pervades the entire Kathmandu valley. People will be showered with Holi powder and colored water whether they know each other or not. Some will be gently touched, while others will be sprayed with water and chased by colored water balloons. In any event, don’t be enraged. This is a form of festive blessing. Nepalese and visitors completely immerse themselves in the square, chanting, dancing, and sprinkling various powders and fluids. Everyone’s face is beaming with happiness. Even the air becomes vibrant. Cameras, cellphones, and self-sticks will all become necessary instruments for documenting your joyful Holi experience.
The best place to celebrate Holi in Nepal
The best Holi celebrations can be witnessed in Kathmandu’s streets. If you walk right through the small alleyways of Kathmandu between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., you’ll get a first-hand taste of the Holi festival in Kathmandu. However, keep an eye out for unexpected color attacks. Even in Kathmandu, the best Holi celebrations take place in the Thamel Streets and on the Durbar Square. Despite the fact that this area is quite congested, the celebration here will make it all worthwhile. The Lakeside Road in Pokhara is another excellent location for experiencing the Holi Festival in Nepal. Apart from that, in certain distant places of Nepal, you may observe small children enjoying the celebration. The event is enjoyed throughout the country.
Nepali Cuisine During the Holi Festival
Drinks and sweets are used to make the celebrations even more enjoyable. During the Holi festival, there are some traditional foods and drinks that must be enjoyed. The traditional drink is a green-colored liquid known as ‘bhang.’ It’s made out of milk, ghee, and butter. The traditional sweet is referred to as ‘Guthiya.’ It’s a traditional treat made from dried milk powder and crushed nuts. Along with the colors, sweet beverages and desserts always make this holiday in Nepal noteworthy. Apart from traditional Nepalese cuisine, there are a number of other distinctive Nepalese meals that can be found in the country, one of which being Momo.
Recommended Tips for Celebrating Holi in Nepal
- White T-shirts, inexpensive jeans, and slippers are typically advised. You can either toss them away or save them as Holi souvenirs after the festival.
- Locate people to join you in celebrating the occasion. Although there will most certainly be a large number of people celebrating Holi on the streets, you should avoid playing with strangers. Instead, have a get-together with your friends or request your travel agency to locate a suitable event for you.
- If you’re carrying a camera, it’s generally a good idea to cover it with plastic or some other waterproof material to keep it safe from damage.
- Make sure to stick with your buddies if you’re going to a crowded area. It is fairly usual to become disoriented under such situations.
- If you have sensitive skin, you must pay close attention to the colors to avoid any unwanted reactions on your skin.
- Don’t bring anything valuable with you, such as your passport or wallet.
- You should also protect your hair and skin, in addition to your eyes and lips. To keep the powder from clinging to your hair, apply some natural oil to your hair. You can also cover your hair with a hat, bandana, or scarf. Similarly, before going out to enjoy the festival, we urge that you moisturize your skin.