Holi - The Festival of Colors
Holi is named as "The Festival of Colors" and "The Festival of Love" and it marks the beginning of Spring season in the Indian subcontinent.
Holi, the festival of color, is celebrated on the full moon day ('Purnima') and the following day of the month Falgun as per Solar calendar. So, people named this festival as "Fagu Purnima" in Nepali. It usually falls in the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar.
Hindu people from all over Nepal and from some parts of India celebrate the Holi festival. On this day, they gather together and play with colors and water.
Holi Celebration in Hilly Region
In the hilly region of Nepal, the festival falls on the full moon day. People dress in white and go out with their friends to play with colored powders and water balloons. As this is a festival, different places are filled with a crowd, with live music as well.
Especially in Kathmandu Durbar Square, people organize a Holi event and enjoy it massively.
Holi Celebration in Terai Region
Terai region observes “Mithila Madhyamik Parikrama'' which is a 15 days pilgrimage journey on foot; 135 km from Nepal to India. The belief is that this walk cleanses one from their committed sins. It also shows the symbol of friendship between Nepal and India. On the last day of the 15 days long event, people celebrate the Holi festival.
Here too people celebrate the festival the same way as in the hilly region. In addition to it, they sing and recite songs of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita.
Reasons behind celebration of Holi Festival
There are two main reasons behind the celebrations of this festival. One reason revolves around the folklore of Holika and Hiranyakashipu, the demonic siblings. Another reason is to commemorate the love between Lord Krishna and Radha.
Celebration of love between Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha
Lord Krishna’s mother asked him to approach Goddess Radha and color her face with some bright color. People remember the duo as a great symbol of love. So, they also named this festival as “The Festival of Love”.
As well as the Hindu mythology sees the fun of Holi as the resemblance of Lord Krishna playing with the gopis.
Victory of Good over Evil
There is a well known Hindu myth behind the celebration of Holi Festival. People believe that King Hiranyakashipu, the demon king took his demon sister Holika’s help to kill his son Prahlada. Prahlada was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and the demon king found it unacceptable. Holika tricked Prahlada to sit on her lap while she sat on a bonfire. Even though she wore a cloak to protect herself from the fire, the cloak flew away and covered Prahlada.
Holika died and then later when it was neither day nor night, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Narasimha - half human and half lion and killed Hiranyakashipu.