Holi is one of the most joyful festivals of the Hindus. It is a festival of colour, literally. People celebrate this festival by splashing coloured powders and water all over each other. There are several legends behind the celebration of this festival.
According to one legend, it is said that the demon king Hiranyakashyapa and his sister Holika tried to kill their son Prahlad by immolating him because Prahlad decided to worship Lord Vishnu instead of his father. So Holika, who had a magical shawl that would protect her from fire, took Prahlad into her lap and stepped into a bonfire. However, due to the miracle of Lord Vishnu, it was Holika who got burnt and died and Prahlad who came out unscathed. Thus the festival is celebrated as a reminder of this miraculous event. According to another legend, it is said that Lord Krishna painted his lover Radha’s face with the same colour after his mother advised him to do so. So people imitate this event by splashing colours on their loved ones during this festival.
Holi generally falls at the beginning of March. The beginning is March is generally the beginning of spring in Nepal as well. During this time, the winter just begins to dissipate and the days start to get warmer and longer with each passing day.
Things you are likely to be engaged in if you participate in this festival:
- Play Holi, i.e., join a crowd of young people and engage in frivolous spraying of colours and water on each other.
- Observe colourful crowds, houses, and roads and feel joyful
- Spend time partying and feasting with a bunch of young people
- Visit temples of Lord Vishnu
- Participate in a bonfire