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    Holi Festival: The Festival of Colors

    Balaram Thapa
    Balaram ThapaUpdated: Mar 18th 2024  |  Festival

    Holi, also known as the “Festival of Colors”, is one of Nepal’s most auspicious Hindu festivals. It manifests the winning of good over evil. The two-day festival is celebrated during the full moon day in the Hindu calendar of Falgun/Chaitra (March). Hence, this festival signifies the end of winter and the onset of summer.

    This auspicious festival is celebrated with colors and water by the majority of ethnicities in the nation. During this festival, the locals greet and bless by putting on vivid colors and water at each other. Holi has also spread across the world as well, where Nepalese living abroad celebrate it.

    History and Rituals of the Holi Festival

    Festival Holi

    History and rituals of the festival

    Holi, popularly known as “Fagu Purnima” has become the liveliest festival in the Nepalese Community. Like any other Hindu festival, Holi has its cultural significance.

    The most popular story is, the story of demonic siblings Holika and Hiranyakashipu. It is said that when devil king Hiranyakashipu tried to kill his son Pralhad with the help of his sister, Holika. Holika had received a boon of being resistant to fire. She entered a burning pyre with Pralhad on her lap. But Pralhad, a true devotee of Lord Bishnu, was not harmed but Holika was burned to ashes.

    Hence, many people believe that the festival was named after Holika. In short, it’s the celebration of victory of good over evil.

    Another significance is the divine love between Radha and Krishna. According to legend, Krishna had a dark skin complexion due to a demon poisoning him as a child. So, during his youth, Krishna worried about whether the fair-skinned Radha would like him due to his appearance. Seeing his desperation, Krishna’s mother Yashoda asked him to approach Radha and told her to color Krishna’s face with bright colors. After that, Radha-Krishna became a symbol of love. For the most part, Holi is celebrated to commemorate the divine love between Krishna and Radha.

    The festival also signifies the onset of the spring season. This festival represents the victory of life over cold and dark winters. The vibrant colors used during Holi signify the colorful and blossoming nature that comes with the arrival of spring.

    How Do You Celebrate Holi in Nepal?


    Holi in Nepal is a celebration of colors. People around the country celebrate it by playing with bright-colored powder and lighting bonfires.

    Holi is celebrated with loved ones, family members, friends, or community members. People wish each other by splashing colorful water balloons and colored powder on each other.

    In Kathmandu, Basantapur Durbar Square is the hub for Holi celebrations. If you’re here around that time, you can celebrate this festival with the local communities. The celebration usually starts a week before the main day. This celebration is very vibrant and loud as Holi parties are being organized everywhere. You can notice the crowd roaming around with colors on their face and with colored water balloons.

    Today, people usually wear plain dresses to let the vibrant colors sit perfectly on the clothes. The festival is also about mending differences and friendships. Many individuals see this as an opportunity to resolve old arguments, cold relations, and any barriers between them.

    Concerns Regarding the Holi Festival

    Best Part of the Holi

    Holi generally ensures a great time for everyone celebrating, however, there are shortcomings as well. Since the streets are crowded during this time, there is a high chance of pickpockets. You should always stay close to your friends or trusted people in these events.

    As much as the festival is about friendship, love, and celebrations, this always has its safety concerns. A lot of synthetic colors are on the market these days that are not chemical-free. Besides causing skin allergies and other damage, it can cause various health complications.

    But even among this chaos, some individuals are concerned about the ecosystem and the environment. A lot of people are playing Holi in a more environmentally friendly manner. They use mostly organic colors and less water as chemical-induced colors are harmful to humans as well as the environment.

    Every festival has its pros and cons associated with it. But if you want to celebrate this festival be prepared to get soaked in colors and water as you immerse yourself in this festival.

    Holi Festival 2024 Dates

    In 2024, this auspicious festival will fall on the 24th and 25th of March. On the 24th of March, the people of Kathmandu and other hilly regions celebrate whereas on the 25th of March, the people of Terai region celebrate Holi.

    Tips to Make Your Holi Fun and Safe

    • Find people who you can trust to play Holi with. Although you can find tons of people celebrating Holi in the streets, avoid playing with strangers. Instead, you can celebrate it with your friends or contact your travel company to find you a decent event.
    • While the celebrations tend to go wild and crazy at Basantapur and Patan Durbar Square, we recommend you avoid such places. Holi events are being organized in different places. Such events are a better way to enjoy this festival in a trusted manner.
    • If you’re heading towards a crowded place, make sure you stick to your friends as it's easy to lose track in these places.
    • Make sure you wear old and cheap clothes as it will rain colors. If you’re not willing to ruin your clothes, you can buy Holi t-shirts and temporary clothes around Thamel for cheap.
    • Since people are more likely to throw powder color on you, make sure you protect your eyes and mouth. So wear large sunglasses and a mask to be safe.
    • We recommend you leave your valuable possessions in your room. If you think you might need your phone or your cameras with you, make sure it is wrapped tightly in a waterproof bag.
    • Along with your eyes and mouth, you must protect your skin and hair as well. You can put some natural hair oil to prevent color from sticking to your hair. You can also use caps, hats, and bandanas to cover up your hair. Likewise, we recommend you apply lotion or body oil on your skin before heading out to celebrate.

    If you’re eager to witness this festival and be a part of it you can match your travel dates. You can also keep in touch with The Nepal Hiking Team to help you celebrate this vibrant and one-of-a-kind festival.

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