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 1, 2018.
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 Holi festival in Nepal.
To ensure public safety and 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 data of 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.