Holi is a popular and colourful Hindu festival but has become a common festival in many countries of South Asia and also in the countries where Hindu followers reside. It is a festival of colours, a festival to welcome spring, and also a festival of love and to be loved.
Moreover, Holi is a festival of colour celebrated all over Nepal and is a symbol of unity and integrity among different groups of people irrespective of caste, creed, gender, and religion. It is celebrated with different colours splashing each other.
In the context of Nepal, the Holi festival is celebrated for two days, in the hilly areas (including Kathmandu) Holi festival will be celebrated on the 6th of March 2023 and is known as Fagupurnima; and on the 7th of March 2023, it is celebrated as Terai Holi mainly in the southern part of Nepal.
Holi is celebrated among all the religious communities as a festival of love, a festival of forgiving and a festival to repair the broken relationship.
Moreover, Holi is also regarded as a festival to welcome spring and summer, where people splash colours and water on each other to show their love, friendship and respect. It is also a festival related to the victory of good over evil, the legendary Holi festival dates back to Satyayuga.
According to Hindu philosophy, Lord Vishnu was born as a devotee named Bhaktapralad to the son of an evil king named Hiranya Kasyapu who pretended to himself as a god after gaining a boon of not to be killed under the water nor on the earth nor above the sky nor by any weapons nor during a day nor at night.
He miscalculated himself to be immortal, so he declared himself a god. He started to kill all those citizens who didn’t worship him. So to stop his tyranny, Lord Vishnu as a form of Bhaktapralad to the same king Hiranya Kashyapu.
The so-born Bhaktapralad from an early age was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and had faith in Lord Vishnu. This made the king very angry and wanted to kill his son but all in vain.
So, the king asked the help of his sister Holi-ka who was very powerful with a boon from god that she won’t be burnt by fire. To her fire was painless and harmless. She holds Bhaktapralad in her lap and sat upon the burning fire to kill the little boy.
But with the blessing of Lord Vishnu, the boon turns upside down, and Bhaktapralad remained harmless with the heat of the burning fire, and Holika was burned alive.
So, to mark the victory of good over evil Holi festival is celebrated, from the name of Holi-ka thus became Holi. But with time it carries different meanings and is celebrated for different purposes and reasons.
What so ever may be the reasons, still today it is celebrated in a happy mood to welcome spring after harsh winter, to welcome good after evil, to welcome happiness after sadness.
Holi is a national festival in Nepal, during this day all the schools, colleges, offices, shops, etc remain closed making it an official government holiday. People flocks to the street with colours, singing and dancing all around the country becomes normal for a day.
This is a common celebration where peoples are welcome to participate. Thousands of people gather in the streets with beautiful paintings of colours on their faces and also water will be splashing from the rooftop of every individual house to the travellers on the street.
This will be an interesting celebration for any new travellers visiting Nepal. Keeping in mind the importance of the festival, Discover Altitude has arranged a guided Holi festival day tour to experience one of the unique ways to observe and celebrate the typical Nepali Holi festival.