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Celebrating Holi: Nepal’s Festival of Colors

It’s time to celebrate Holi, Nepal’s colorful and cheerful “Festival of Colors”! Put away your most vibrant clothes and get ready for a rainbow of colors! The full moon day of Falgun, the Hindu month that falls in late February or early March, should be marked on your calendars. Regardless of their religious views, people from all walks of life come together to celebrate life, the arrival of spring, and the win of good over evil during the two-day Holi festival.

Holi is more than a celebration it’s an explosion of colours.  See colorful powder (gulal) and water balloons (Lola) that burst with colored water and are tossed back and forth among individuals in vibrantly colored streets.  A festive and joyous atmosphere is created by the laughter and music filling the air.

Holi has a long and colorful history that spans several centuries.  Legend has it that it is related to the story of Prahlad, a follower of Lord Vishnu, and his malicious aunt Holika.  On the eve of Holi, people celebrate Holika Dahan, also known as Holika Eve, which symbolizes the win of good over evil and the burning of Holika.  The throwing of colored powder became a habit to symbolize the renewal of life and the bright colors of spring.

Beyond just being entertaining, Holi’s colors have deeper significance:

  • Red (Gulal): Represents love and passion.
  • Blue (Nil): Symbolizes the vastness of the sky and the universe.
  • Green (Haryali): Signifies new beginnings and the freshness of spring.
  • Yellow (Pila): Represents prosperity and happiness.

Holi in Nepal is an essential cultural event that will stay with you forever. If you are looking to enjoy Holi in Nepal these are some points to consider :

  • Accept the Colors: Dress in loose-fitting, light colors that you don’t mind getting dirty. Get ready to be showered with colorful powders and water!
  • Respect the Traditions: While it’s encouraged to participate, don’t throw colors at people who appear unsure. Holi is not about unwelcome hostility but about joyful play.
  • Take in the Spirit: Give yourself over to the joyful mood. Share the excitement of Holi with the people by dancing to the music and joining in on the song in local places or any places hosting events.

Here are a few more pointers for an amazing Holi celebration:

  • Protect your eyes: To protect your eyes from colored powder, wear sunglasses or clear plastic glasses.
  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water over the day, particularly if you’re participating in the water balloon wars.
  • Preserve Hygiene: Take extra care with open containers and street food in particular.

Social and religious boundaries are free on Holi.  Families and communities should get together, let go of limitations, and celebrate life’s spirit during this time.  So prepare to embrace the beautiful colors, throw off your white clothing, and experience the beauty of Holi in Nepal!

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