Holi is a festival of colors, fun and floric, mainly celebrated in Nepal and India on a full moon in March. It is one the most important and interesting ancient festival of Hindus which has become popular with non Hindus in many parts of the south Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia. It is celebrated with vibrant colors and these colors are actually colors of joy, colors of love and colors that fill our life with happiness to the core of our hearts and continue our unity. Holi usually falls on the beginning of the spring and summer season and the beauty of nature makes this festival more colorful.
It is interesting to know how Holi started. There are many legends given as the reason for celebrating Holi. Here is one popular story – long ago, there was a king named Hiranyakashyapu, he had a son, Prahlad – a holy spirit and highly devoted to God. But Prahlad’s devotion enlarged Hiranyakashyapu and planned to kill his own son. He asked his sister Holika, who was immune to fire, to sit in the fire taking Prahlad in her lap. Fortunately Prahlad who was blessed by lord, was saved and Holika was burnt to ashes. As is believed, no one can harm the person who has god as his savior. Thus Prahlad came out of the burning fire safely and Holika was burnt to death. The other day is celebrated with joyful colors to mark victory of virtue and goodness over evil. This gave birth to the festival of Holi. It is also said that Holi is celebrated to remember the love of Radha and Krishna.
Holi in Nepal starts one week before the main day of the Holi. There is a tradition of erecting a long bamboo stick (lingo) covered with the pieces of different color cloths (chir) in Basantapur Darbar Square, Kathmandu. In the eve of the Holi, the lingo is taken down and the chir is burnt. The event is called Chir Haran or Holika Dahan. Holi then starts.
Holi is celebrated with colours, water, sweets and music. People put color on each other as a token of love. People go houses of relatives and friends in group, put color on each other, eat sweets and move around all the day. People also throw water balloons on each other and on passer-by too. People dance and play music. Some Holi programs are organized in the streets and in some special place. All persons young and old, boys and girls and men and women look forward to this day with great joy. All hearts are lighted with glory and people everywhere enjoy with different colors with their dear and near ones. People in Terai Region celebrate Holi ,the very next day from that of Kathmandu valley and other hilly region of the Nepal i.e Holi is celerebated in Tarai and Hill on different day.
During previous night of Holi, people collect wood, burn fires, play music and perform dances. Some drinks bhang and go crazy and then makes jokes. The burning of wood log in village and town avenues are very important part of Holi celebration. This event is also called Holika Dahan, end of the Holika.
Holi is not only festival of colors but also festival of love, unity and friendship. It gives us the massage of friendship and goodwill. All barriers like caste, creed, position and language are forgotten and men and women join the fun. Having lots of fun makes this festival a good one day to forget bad past memories and start new life. So joining in this festival is like making your life more special and meaningful.
We must realize that this is the festival of joy and triumph over evil so we mustn’t use this time badly.