Nepal is all set to turn colorful! Yes, you heard it right, millions of Nepalese are eagerly waiting for the arrival of their most-enthusiastic ‘Holi’, the festival of colors, arriving on March 9, 2020.
Most popularly celebrated by Hindus, Nepalis belonging to other religions also celebrate Holi.
The festival begins with the Nepali culture of installing Chir, a traditional bamboo pole decorated with strips of colorful cloths, in Basantpur a week before the festival arrives. Then the actual celebrations begin across the country and last for almost a week.
The celebrations offering traditional prayers, playing with colors and water, singing, dancing, playing music, along with exchanging joy, delicious foods, among others with family and friends. Gujiya, Thandai, Bhalla, Kanji Wada and Dahi are some of the dishes made during Holi.
While hilly regions of the country begin the celebrations with the installation of Chir, Terai region celebrates the occasion a day after celebrations in hilly areas of the country.
Holi marks the beginning of spring season and arrives at a time when the agricultural fields are on pace for a better harvest. Burning of Chir marks the conclusion of the Holi festival in Nepal.
To ensure public safety and an undisturbed festive environment, the Metropolitan Police Range of Kathmandu is deploying 1,500 police security across the Kathmandu Valley.
Besides 106 police teams, 20 mobile teams are also planned to avoid discrepancies in law and order situation during the celebrations, says SSP Bishow Raj Pokharel, Chief, MPR.
“I can’t wait to go to Gokarna Forest Resort for ‘Colors Republic’ where there will be colours, music, dance and a lot of other actives,” says Kavita Gautam of Biratnagar.
Best part of Holi can be witnessed at Durbar Square and in the streets of Thamel.
Though usually celebrated in the month of March, the actual date of the Holi festival varies every year and is indicated by the appearing of the full moon before the spring equinox.
The emergence of Holi festival dates back to the Krutayuga period during the times of demon-king Hiranyakasap.
As part of his efforts to kill his god-loving son Prahlada, Hiranyakasap places Prahlada on the lap of his demon-sister Holika and plans to put Prahlada under fire along with Holika, as Holika has the boon of fighting away fire. However, the situation happens otherwise. Due to Prahlada’s devotion to Lord Vishnu, Holika turns into ashes completely and Prahlada comes out safe.
So, the festival of Holi is celebrated marking the victory of Prahlada over Holika. A night before ‘Holi’ day, public light bonfires across the streets indicating the death of Holika.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari has extended her greetings to the Nepali citizens on the occasion of Holi or Fagu Poornima.
In a message of best wishes extended today, President Bhandari expressed that the festival of colors may encourage social harmony, national unity, tolerance, fraternity and solidarity among all the Nepalis of different cultures.
Likewise, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has also offered his best wishes of peace, prosperity, mutual trust and a higher degree of social values to all the Nepalis on this occasion.
Holi in Nepal is celebrated with great fervor across the country annually. However, 2020 Holi celebrations are slightly different from the way it’s celebrated so far.
The coronavirus outbreak has taken a toll on the 2020 Holi celebrations.
As the coronavirus has spread across the world affecting around 109 countries, the Nepali Government has banned the mass gatherings and celebrations on the occasion of Holi.
The government has suspended the Holi celebrations in Thamel, Kathmandu Durbar Square and other most visited places during the festival.
This time, it will be “Safe Holi Year 2020”.
The government’s strong response comes on the heels of the WHO’s statement that Nepal is at high risk of the new virus.
So far, Nepal has no case of coronavirus infection, and even the 4 suspected cases tested negative. But the government has been implementing stringent measures as the country lacks the minimum healthcare facilities and procedures to combat the coronavirus infection if it enters the nation.
The novel virus has infected around 110,087 people globally and killed 3,830.
Nepali Sansar wishes you ‘Safe Holi Year 2020’!