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Holi in Nepal

Holi in Nepal- Festival of colors

Along with the title 'Land of Temples', some people call Nepal also as the 'Land of festivals'. Nepal has festivals the almost full year in one or other communities. Among all those festivals, holi is one of the most popular & celebrated festivals in Nepal which is also known as the festival of colors. This festival is farewell of winter & welcoming of summer. Holi is also known as 'Fagu Purnima' because it is celebrated in full moon day of falgun. This festival is celebrated by millions of people from Nepal, India & other various countries. Traditionally holi is a religious Hindu festival which signifies the good over evil. In case of Nepal, Holi is an official holiday. Holi is probably one of the most colorful & lively festivals celebrated by Nepalese people. According to some legends, it is believed that holi is the day when Holika died. It is the celebration of her death. The origin of Holi Festival can be traced back to the 'Mahabharata'. Prince Praladh was a son of King Hiranyakasyapu, a demon who was so arrogant that he started thinking that he was the only Lord in this Universe. He didn't allow anyone to worship Lord Vishnu. Praladh became a passionate devotee of Lord Vishnu & clearly opposed his father. Hiranyakashyapu wanted to convince his son with various tries, but he failed as Praladh never stopped worshipping Lord Vishnu. This angered Hiranyakashipu & Since then, the king ordered his sister Holika to burn the prince on the full moon night. Under the blessing of God Vishnu, Prahlad was untouched while Holika was burned into ashes. When the prince walked out of the fire, people sprinkled him with colorful water to express the praise of goodness and hatred of evil. Holi in Nepal starts one week before the main day of Holi. Holi Festival in Nepal has a special ceremony. There is a tradition of erecting a long bamboo stick (lingo) covered with pieces of different colored clothes (Chir) in Basantapur Durbar Square, Kathmandu. On this day, Nepali women dress in beautiful Sari and then circle around the pole to pray for the blessings. On the eve of Holi, the lingo is taken down and the Chir is burnt. The event is called Chir Haran or Holika Dahan. Holi then starts. On the eighth day, the festival comes to an end with Holi bonfire. In ancient time, People used to make Pichkari (water guns) out of bamboo. And throw colored water on each other. Nowadays balloons and plastic water guns (pichkari) are used. The balloon filled with water is called Lola in Nepali. Kids start throwing lolas on each other from the week ahead of main Holiday. On the main day of Holi, People go to relatives & friends house in a group, put color at each other & celebrates Holi. As the day comes at the end, People collects wood, burn fires and play music and performs dances. Some drink bhang and go crazy. The burning of the wood log in village and town street is an important part of Holi celebration. Even though Holi is a traditional Hindu festival but on the day of Holi, you can see Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim & Christian, people from all religions throwing color at each other & celebrating Holi. So, Holi is truly a colorful festival of happiness & joy that brings the family closer. It definitely falls under some of that festival that you shouldn't miss if you're in Nepal during the time of celebration.