Do you know what the Holi or Phagu Purnima festivals are in Nepal? Holi, commonly known as the “Festival of Colors” or “Festival of Love,” is one of Nepal’s most significant Hindu celebrations. In Nepal, the Holi Festival of Colors marks the victory of good over evil and the destruction of the demon Holika.
The Hindu festival started in Nepal and India, where it is celebrated largely. People celebrate the beginning of spring by marching around the streets and spraying each other with colored powders. It is held annually on the day following the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna, which falls in early March. As a result, the celebration of the Holi Festival in Nepal signifies the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Holi is widely celebrated by the majority of the nation’s ethnic groups. During this celebration, locals express Holi festival wishes and blessings by sprinkling dry powder and coloured water at one another.
Highlights of the Holi Festival
- Celebration of the victory of good over evil and the death of the demoness Holika
- People throw and smear each other with brightly coloured powders, creating a rainbow of colours in the air and on each other’s clothing.
- People celebrate by singing and dancing to traditional and modern music.
- People come together and celebrate with their friends and families, and there are often community gatherings.
- People enjoy a wide variety of foods and drinks during Holi, including sweets, fried snacks, and refreshing beverages.
History and Significance of the Holi Festival
Holi, the festival of colours, has been celebrated all over Nepal for a long time and is the most loved festival in the Nepalese community. Like many Hindu festivals, this festival has more than one cultural significance. This festival is also the agricultural festival, celebrating the arrival of the spring season.
In Nepal, the demon brothers Holika and Hiranyakashipu play a central role in tradition. When the demon king Hiranyakashipu plotted to slay his son Prahlad with the support of his sister Holika, it became a tradition. Holika had a divine blessing that helped her to resist the fire. She entered the flames while holding Prahlad on her lap. Prahlad, a sincere follower of Lord Vishnu, survived without a scar, whereas Holika was turned to ash.
Consequently, many individuals assume that the celebration was named for Holika. In short, it is the celebration of good’s victory over evil.
Significance of the Holi Festival
Holi is significant in our life in many aspects, even though it is such a colourful celebration. Even though they may not be visible, a closer look and some reflection will reveal the significance of Holi in more ways than first seem. Numerous sociocultural, religious, and biological grounds exist to celebrate the holiday joyfully.
Holi brings people together, and its addictive excitement can help people forget their divisions. People across the nation exchange sweets and gifts with their friends and families in the evening. This helps improve a society’s connections and secular fabric.
Holi is also considered a spring holiday because it is celebrated when the fields are ready for harvest, allowing the hardworking farmers to enjoy it.
Holi promotes health as well. Springtime might cause slowness or laziness, yet, walking outside with colours and music can help one feel revived. Additionally, during the festival of colours, people clean their homes to reduce dust and debris, which makes them feel positive.
Holi Festival in Nepal – The Celebration
Hindus throughout the nation celebrate the holiday by playing with colourful powders and lighting bonfires. People congregate and pray for the safety of their loved ones. In addition, they add roasted grains, popcorn, coconut, and chickpeas to the fire.
Basantapur Durbar Square has always been the heart of Holi events in Kathmandu. If you are present during the festival’s dates, you may choose to attend. The crowd is eager, and the entire atmosphere mimics a paintball game. One may observe the group rushing around with water balloons and colourful faces.
Today, people wear white to allow the vivid colours to sit nicely on the clothing. People celebrate Holi by covering each other with water and coloured powder. Kids and teenagers celebrate the colourful event using water cannons and water balloons for entertainment.
The festival also represents diversity, acceptance, and friendship. Therefore, many people perceive this day as an opportunity to overcome past disputes, bad friendships, and other problems.
Things to do at Holi Festival
There are many things that people do to celebrate Holi, including:
Throwing colour powder and water: This is one of the most iconic activities in Holi. People throw coloured powder and water at each other to express joy and celebrate the festival.
Singing and dancing: Holi is a time for people to come together and enjoy music and dancing. Traditional and modern music is played, and people of all ages participate in the celebrations.
Eating and drinking: Holi is a time for people to enjoy good food and drink. Special dishes and drinks are prepared for the occasion, and people come together to share meals and snacks.
Participating in cultural activities: Many communities hold cultural events and activities to celebrate Holi. These may include plays, concerts, and other performances.
Visiting friends and family: Holi is a time for people to come together and spend time with their loved ones. People often visit friends and family members to celebrate the festival and exchange greetings and gifts.
Donating to charity: Some people also use the occasion of Holi to give back to their communities by making charitable donations or volunteering their time.
Holi Festival 2023 Dates
Holi is a festival celebrated in March on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month. The auspicious Holi festival will occur on Wednesday, 8 March 2023. If you wish to participate in the Colour Bliss, please coordinate your travel dates with the Nepal Holiday and stay in touch. Holi is not just a unique event but also a celebration of love and compassion. It brings you closer to creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Tips for Making Holi Fun and Safe
- Please wear old clothes: Holi can get messy, so it’s a good idea to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or stained.
- Protect your skin and eyes: Some of the colours used during Holi can contain chemicals irritating the skin or eyes. To protect your skin, apply a moisturizer or oil before the celebration to create a barrier. To protect your eyes, you can wear goggles or sunglasses.
- Stay hydrated: It’s important to stay hydrated during the celebration, especially if you are out in the sun for an extended time. Bring a water bottle with you and take breaks to drink water as needed.
- Respect others: Holi is a time for celebration and fun, but it’s important to respect the personal boundaries of others. Don’t throw colours on someone who has not consented, and be mindful of the physical space of others.
- Use natural colours: If you use colours during the celebration, consider using natural options instead of synthetic colours, which can be harsh on the skin. Turmeric, sandalwood, and henna are some natural options that can be used to create colourful powders.
- Keep gadgets safe: We suggest leaving your phone, camera, wallet, and other valuables in your room. If you need them at the festival, make sure they are safe.
- Keep an eye on children: If you celebrate with children, keep an eye on them at all times to ensure their safety. Keep an eye on children while playing with colours, and it’s a good idea to keep them away from any open flames or heat sources.
- Protect your hair: If you have dyed or chemically treated hair, the colours used during Holi can cause fading or damage. To protect your hair, apply a hair oil or conditioner before the celebration to create a barrier, or wear a hat or scarf to cover your hair.
- Use biodegradable colours: After the celebration, it’s important to dispose of any leftover colours in an environmentally-friendly way. Biodegradable colours are a good option, made from natural ingredients and broken down easily.
- Practice good hygiene: During the celebration, be sure to wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs. It’s also a good idea to avoid sharing food or drinks with others to reduce the risk of illness.
Food During the Holi Festival
During the festival of Holi, food plays an important role in the celebrations. Special dishes are prepared for the occasion, and people come together to share meals and snacks.
Some of the traditional foods you see during Holi include:
These are small, sweet pastries filled with a mixture of dried fruits and nuts and fried until golden brown. They are a popular treat during the festival and are often served as a snack or dessert. The filling for gujiyas can vary, but it typically includes a mixture of ingredients such as dried coconut, raisins, cashews, and almonds.
This refreshing drink is made from milk, nuts, and spices and is often served during Holi. Thandai is traditionally made with almonds, poppy seeds, and melon seeds, and it is flavored with rose water and saffron. The drink is cooling and refreshing and is a popular choice during the hot summer months.
This is a sweet flatbread made from wheat flour and filled with a mixture of lentils and jaggery (unrefined sugar). Puran Poli is a popular dish during Holi and is often served as a dessert or a sweet snack. The filling for Puran Poli is made by boiling lentils with jaggery and spices until it form a thick, sweet paste. The paste is then wrapped in a thin layer of dough and cooked until golden brown.
These are savory pastries filled with a mixture of vegetables or meat and fried until crisp. Samosas are a popular snack during Holi and are often served with chutney or other dips. The filling for samosas can vary, but it typically includes ingredients such as potatoes, peas, onions, and spices.
In addition to these traditional foods, people enjoy various other dishes and snacks during Holi, including chaat (a savory snack), pakoras (cakes made from vegetables or meat), and various sweets and desserts. The food and drink enjoyed during Holi are an important part of the festival and help bring people together in celebration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we celebrate the Holi festival in Nepal?
Holi is a March festival in Nepal and other parts of South Asia. It is a joyful moment when individuals throw coloured powder and water at each other and sing and dance. In Nepal, the Hindu god Krishna is honored on this day, also called Fagu Purnima. People get together at the festival to enjoy good food and music and celebrate the start of spring.
What to do at the Holi festival?
During Holi, people typically celebrate by throwing coloured powder and water, singing, and dancing, enjoying good food and drink, participating in cultural activities, visiting friends and family, and donating to charity.
Why is Holi called the festival of colours?
Holi is called the “festival of colors” because it is a time for people to come together and celebrate by throwing coloured powder and water at each other. The throwing of coloured powder is an iconic activity associated with the festival. It is a way for people to express joy and celebrate the arrival of spring.
Regardless of its origins, the festival of Holi is now celebrated by people of all faiths and backgrounds, and it is a time for people to come together and celebrate the joy and beauty of life.
How long does the Holi festival last?
In Nepal, the festival of Holi typically lasts for two days, with the main celebrations taking place on the first day and a more subdued celebration on the second day. The celebrations begin in the morning and continue throughout the day and evening. People participate in traditional activities such as throwing colour powder and water, singing, and dancing, and enjoying good food and drink. Many people take the day off work or school to participate in the festivities, and local communities and organizations often organize special events and activities.
What to wear to the Holi festival?
During the festival of Holi, people typically wear light, comfortable clothing that they don’t mind getting dirty or stained with coloured powder. White clothing is a popular choice, as it allows the colours to stand out more clearly. It is also a good idea to wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or dirty, such as sandals or flip-flops, and to protect your skin and hair with oil or cream. Some people also wear traditional clothing, such as saris or kurtas, to celebrate the cultural aspects of the festival.
What is the Holi festival all about?
In Nepal, Holi is also known as Fagu Purnima, and it is a time for people to celebrate. Holi is also a time for people to come together and enjoy good food, music, and other cultural activities. It is a time for families and friends to come together and celebrate the arrival of spring and the end of winter.
The festival’s origins can be traced back to ancient Hindu mythology and legends, and it is now celebrated by people of all faiths and backgrounds worldwide.