A joyous festival for every Nepali finally lands upon us
Falling in mid of March this year, the ecstatic festival Holi is finally at our doorsteps. Celebrated predominantly in Nepal, India and some other areas of Asia and the West, Holi marks the beginning of summer and a farewell to winter. Along with the enthusiasm that Holi brings in every Nepalis heart, it also holds a religious belief to its name. There is a myth that depicts the defeat of the demoness Holika by the faith and innocence of Lord Prahlada. Ever since then, Holi is believed to be celebrated to rejoice the triumph of good over evil. Also known as 'Festival of Colours', Holi is a symbol of forgetting and forgiving, repairing broken heart and thanksgiving of a good harvest.
Falling towards the end of Hindu calendar month Phalgun, Holi is a two-day festival in Nepal. This festival begins after the 'Chir' – a holy bamboo pole being erected in all the three durbar squares of Kathmandu Valley. This gesture is an alarm for the beginning of the much-awaited festival. This year, Holi is being celebrated on March 20 in the Hills whereas on March 21 in Terai.
People gather spreading bright vermillion colours with family, friends, near and dears. Children and youngsters play with water guns and water-filled lolas (balloons ) to their celebration whereas adults prefer exchanging of colour powder as a decent gesture of celebration. Streets are filled with laughter and joy. Durbar Squares are filled with huge crowds relishing the occasion. Various colours can be seen being dispersed giving an aura of hope, peace and happiness. And when people take a bath after playing Holi, it is believed that their sins are also washed away along with the colours.
In the end, the erected Chir is dragged and brought to Tudhikhel and burnt. The warmth that it provides soothes every soul who is present there. This is a gesticulation that faith keeps every living being happy and in harmony with the divine God Himself.
Texts: Aashif Shrestha