Holi, also known as Fagu in Nepal, is a colorful and joyous festival celebrated by Hindus and other communities worldwide. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Phalgun (February/March). Holi is a two-day festival in Nepal, and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal.
The Celebration of Holi:
The celebration of Holi starts on the evening of the full moon day with Holika Dahan, where people light bonfires to signify the burning of evil and the victory of good over evil. On the second day, people gather to play with colors, dance and enjoy delicious food with their loved ones.
Colors of Holi:
One of the essential aspects of Holi is the use of colors. People throw and smear colored powder, called gulal, on each other as a symbol of love, joy, and togetherness. The vibrant colors of Holi bring people of all ages, castes, and genders together, breaking down social barriers.
Significance of Holi:
Holi signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, and the end of winter. It is also a time to forgive and forget, to let go of past grudges and move forward with positivity and love.
Celebration of Spring:
Holi marks the arrival of spring and the end of winter. The festival is celebrated at a time when the fields are full of crops and the trees are in full bloom. People come together to celebrate the beauty of nature, and the festival serves as a reminder of the cyclical nature of life.
Celebration of Love:
Holi is also known as the festival of love, as it celebrates the love between Lord Krishna and Radha. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna would play pranks and smear colors on Radha and her friends. This playful act of love is commemorated during Holi, where people smear colors on each other as a symbol of love and affection.
Celebration of Triumph of Good over Evil:
Holi also signifies the triumph of good over evil. The story of Hiranyakashyap and Prahlad is associated with Holi. Hiranyakashyap, a demon king, wanted to kill his son Prahlad, who was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. He ordered his sister Holika to enter a fire with Prahlad, as she had a boon of being immune to fire. However, Holika was burnt to ashes, while Prahlad survived unharmed. This story signifies the victory of good over evil.
Celebration of Brotherhood:
Holi is also a time to forget differences and come together as a community. It is a time to forgive and forget, and start anew. The festival promotes the feeling of brotherhood and unity among people, irrespective of their caste, creed, or religion.
Celebrating Holi in Nepal:
In Nepal, Holi is celebrated with traditional music and dance, sweets, and special delicacies. People visit their friends and family, exchange greetings and sweets, and play with colors. In Kathmandu, the celebration takes place in Durbar Square, where locals and tourists alike participate in a colorful and joyous celebration.
The celebrations start with Holika Dahan, where people light bonfires in public places to signify the burning of evil and the victory of good over evil. People gather around the fire, sing traditional songs, and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
Playing with colors:
Playing with colors is the highlight of Holi celebrations in Nepal. People smear each other with colored powder, water, and flowers, and dance to the beats of traditional music. It is a time to let go of inhibitions and embrace the spirit of Holi.
Another unique tradition associated with Holi in Nepal is the Deusi-Bhailo. It is a cultural program where groups of young people go from house to house, singing traditional songs and playing musical instruments. In return, they receive money, sweets, and food from the homeowners.
Feasting on traditional food:
Holi is also a time to indulge in delicious traditional food. Sweets like gujiya, mathri, and malpua are prepared and shared with friends and family. In some parts of Nepal, a special delicacy called sel-roti, a sweet rice flour bread, is prepared during Holi.
Overall, Holi is a festival of colors, joy, and togetherness. It is a time to forget differences and come together to celebrate life. As we celebrate this beautiful festival, let us remember to play safely, respect each other's boundaries, and cherish the joy and happiness of the occasion. Happy Holi!Festival