Holi - The Festival of Colour | Heaven Nepal Adventure Holi - The Festival of Colour | Heaven Nepal Adventure

Holi – The Festival of Colors

Posted On:Saturday, May 21, 2022
Holi: The Festival of Colors

Known as the “festival of colours”, “the colour festival”, “festival of spring” and “Holi Festival”, Holi is one of the popular festivals celebrated in Nepal.

Holi is also popularly known as Fagu Purnima in which Fagu means “red colour” and Purnima means the “full moon”. Following the festivals of Dashain and Tihar, The Festival of Colors signifies the arrival of spring filled with love and joy.

Holi celebration is a joyous event for people to share, love, forgive and forget all their resentments towards each other. Each year the festival of colours brings people together on a special day after the full moon in March; when they smear each other with colours and memories. The colourful festival Holi resembles vibrance and joy in people’s lives. Holi is a Hindu festival but it is also celebrated by other people too in Nepal as well as India.

In the streets of Kathmandu, you will see people using water balloons, water guns and colours to play with each other. Families and relatives gather together, gossip, splash water and throw colours as a Holi celebration.

The Holi Story: History and Legends of Holi festival

The legends and myths behind the Holi celebration go way back in history. The Holi story is that it is believed to be celebrated for the victory of good over evil. During ancient times, Hiranyakashipu was proud and arrogant of the boons he earned. He was the demonic king of Asuras and used to demand his people worship him. But, his own son Prahlad disagreed with his statement as Prahlad was a true devotee to Lord Visnu.

However, his father didn’t like it and asked his sister Holika to get rid of Prahlad. The name “Holi” comes from Holika. There are religious followers of Holika in Nepal and India. Holika then tricked Prahlad into sitting on the pyre with her and she had a cloak that would be immune to fire. After they went into the blazing fire, Prahlad was the only one who came back alive unharmed.

The myth says he was saved by the grace of Lord Vishnu and signifies that one can not harm a true devotee however strong or powerful he may be. Prahlad was sprinkled with colours when he came back alive by the civilians. So, it can be said that the colour festival is celebrated for the victory of good over evil.

Holi Celebration in Nepal

The way of celebration is similar throughout the country. Holi has different aspects to it in different parts of Nepal although the reason behind its celebration is the same. The people around the Terai (Southern Nepal) and most remote places have their own ways of celebration and they view it rather as a religious and cultural festival of Nepal with regards to religion and God. In the case of places like Kathmandu, people celebrate it as an enjoyable festival with their family and friends. Holi in Terai is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest as crops like rice are harvested before the festival.

The whole city of Kathmandu gets engulfed in the joy and celebration of the Holi festival. Most of the shops are closed during the festival. The weather during Holi is sunny and perfect for some enjoyable moments with your loved ones. One of the famous places for the celebration of colour is Basantapur Durbar Square which is near Thamel street. People from all over the capital city gather in one place, dance over the music, jump around and smear colour powders on each other.

If you have a day off from your trek or tour, then being a part of such an event can be memorable. But, if you are not much fond of colours, and getting hit by water balloons, then it is better to stay at your hotel. However, if you love having fun outdoors and want to enjoy Holi to the fullest then head out onto the streets, and get together with the crowd. You will be fascinated and amazed by the atmosphere around the city.

Things required to celebrate the Colour Festival

  • You are advised to wear old t-shirts and pants.
  • A waterproof bag for the safety of your mobile phones or cameras.
  • Some sunblock creams and moisturizers
  • Water guns and some fistful of colours
  • A huge smile

What to expect at Holi Festival?

Holi 2020 will begin on Monday, March 9 which is the 26th Falgun, 2076 according to Nepali calendar in Kathmandu. For Terai, it starts the day after. Holi is celebrated all over Nepal but the colour festival is celebrated in Kathmandu a few days earlier than outside of Kathmandu Valley.

Holi in Nepal is widely celebrated. There are different ways of celebrating including traditional celebrations to concerts and live music in pubs and restaurants. If you want to witness Holi celebrations then Basantapur Durbar Square is one of the main spots.

Holi is an enjoyable festival and you can get involved if you do not mind getting wet, colourful, dirty and are okay with crowds. It is advised to put some oils or other substances to prevent colours from being absorbed into the skin.

On the streets, you can expect people to rub colours on you and play with you even if you may not be interested. Holi is a kind of carefree festival and you should not rule out misbehaviour as people can be drunk or intoxicated. People in groups can be aggressive and unwanted accidents can happen during Holi.

If you are staying in a hotel, chances are they have arranged a celebration at your hotel. There are events at many places like pool dance parties which offer you to enjoy the festival of colours with more safety and security. You can check out local newspapers or the internet for such privately hosted events.

Visiting Nepal during Holi

The colour festival lies in the spring season which is the best time to visit Nepal. It is also a good time to trek around Nepal. The weather during Holi is mostly sunny with slight rainfall. The spring season in Nepal starts in March and ends in May. Holi in Nepal is celebrated in the second week of March. So, if you are planning to visit Nepal, then organizing your dates of the visit around the festival of colours time would be a great idea.

Recommended Trips during Holi

  • Annapurna Mardi Himal Trek
  • Holy Lake Gosaikunda Trek
  • Annapurna Poonhill Trek
  • Nepal Historical and Cultural Tour
  • One Day Tours: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur