Holi in Nepal - Nepal's Celebration of the Festival of Colours

The eagerly awaited festival of Holi marks the end of the winter season and beginning of the Spring or Phalguna according to the Hindu calendar. Holi, the glorious Indian celebration is rejoiced not only in different parts of India but also globally. Holi in Nepal is revelled in the Falgun month of Nepali Calendar with the colours and water balloons just like in India.

Holi in Nepal
Source

Symbolic Meaning of the Festival
Holi also means the blessings of God for the start of the harvest season and land fertility for the farmers. The much-awaited and fruitful period of harvesting begins at the arrival of the Holi festival, praying to God for a productive year ahead.

Festive Legends
The story of Holi goes back to the period of Mahabharata, where a King named Hiranyakashipu existed. Believed to be the one full of pride, he had a son Prahlad, a worshipper of Lord Narayana and a daughter Holika was blessed to be unharmed by the fire. The King never liked the idea of his son worshipping Narayana and instead should worship his father. One day to punish Pralhad father decides to send both Pralhad and Holika inside a burning fire. Assuming that Holika will come out unscathed unknowing that the boon only works when she is alone in the fire; Pralhad walked out of the flames untouched as he chants the name of Lord Narayana. Thus the festival got the name Holi after the Holika meaning the good always win over the evil.

When is Holi in Nepal Celebrated?

Dates for 2019 - March 20 and March 21
Dates for 2020 - March 9 and March 10

Holi in Nepal Festivities - Rituals and Traditions

Slightly different from the way it’s celebrated in India, Holi in Nepal starts with a traditional ceremony. This involves raising a bamboo stick bound with Chir (shading materials) in the Bashantapur Durbar Square and many other parts of Nepal one week before Holi. On the evening of Holi, the Chir is brought down by burning it as this marks the beginning of the Holi festival. This is called as Chir Haran or Holika Dahan, and later Holi is welcomed by the locals with colours, music and gorging on delicacies. Chir Haran occurs on the eighth day with women in their traditional attires performing pooja around the fire. Along with carrying sacred things, ladies wish for a prosperous year ahead.

Holi in Nepal
Source
Festival of Colours the Modern Way
Holi is one of the most prominent and enjoyed moments in Kathmandu between February and March. The whole of Nepal has fun by splashing colours and throwing water balloons in a friendly way, though with friends and family. A carnival takes place on the day of Holi on the Basantapur Durbar area as it’s a popular spot for Holi celebration in Kathmandu. Not everyone comes to have fun here, and the rest rejoice in closed communities or with the family. Many tourists prefer visiting Nepal during this time to witness the grandness of the event on the streets. Even the Terai region has Holi events in smaller sizes as the locals of the hilly areas also love this festival.

It is a national celebration in Nepal on the day of Holi as the area of Durban square and surrounding areas become a lively spot. Pichkaris or water gun is the best way to indulge in water Holi with the Nepalis, especially if you are a tourist. Colours splashes can be enjoyed with natural colours made from sandalwood or turmeric, but that’s again rare in today’s times. Synthetic colours are used as they are available cheaply anywhere in Kathmandu during the festival. Gulal or the red colour is the primary colour of the festival, and without it, the celebration will be not so lively.

What to Eat During Holi in Nepal?

Besides dabbing hues of various colours on each other, one thing that is mostly part of Holi is the desserts. Some of the most commonly relished sweets at this festival of colours are:

1. Gujiya

Gujiya, Holi in Nepal
Source

True to its origin Gujiya is one sweet that finds its forever place in the Holi festival. Made of Maida or flour with a yummy filling of dry fruits in it is a complete dessert altogether. This sweet is mostly savoured in the Northern part of India as that’s where it all started.

2. Bhang Lassi

Bhang, Holi in Nepal
Source

Your Holi is almost incomplete without this drink as everyone at least has one or more depending upon their drinking capacity. Thandai as it is also called as includes a cocktail made up of Indian spices, milk and cannabis or bhang powder. Over the years though the drink has gained a bad reputation by some people, it is still a delectable and healthy drink for this festival.

3. Malai Peda

Malai Peda, Holi in Nepal
Source

These softballs made up of milk cream or malai and garnished with dry fruits like pistachios, almonds or cashews are a favourite for any festival. With many flavours like, for example, Saffron or Kesa, Pedha is loved by people of all age groups.

4. Bhang Laddoos 

Just like the normal bhang, the laddoos can also be prepared with bhang added to the usual ingredients. It is also believed to be a great way to release your anxiety by consuming bhaang as per the Ayurveda. So the next time you pop a Bhaang laddoo while enjoying your Holi you don’t have to worry about the consequences!
Lassi
Another drink in case you are not a big fan of Thandai is the classic Lassi. Some prefer to enjoy this festival in sober, and that’s when Lassi can be gulped down without killing the festive vibe.

Apart from the different ways, Holi is celebrated in different parts of the world what matters the most is the union. We all take time out of our hectic lives to come and celebrate this beautiful festival of colours. Regardless of religion, people all over the world enjoy this carnival every year.

This post was published by Snehal Jadhav

Share this post on social media
Google +

Related Articles

Fairs & Festivals

Gai Jatra - The Festival of Turning Grief into Joy

Fairs & Festivals

Shivratri in Nepal - An Incredible Gathering of Thousands of Pilgrims

Fairs & Festivals

Tihar 2019 - Diwali in Nepal

Fairs & Festivals

Dashain 2019: Be A Part Of Nepal's Biggest Festival!

Fairs & Festivals

New Year in Nepal - 12 Fun Things to Do in Nepal To Welcome 2020

Shopping

A Complete Manual to Shopping in Nepal

Wildlife & Nature

Top 10 National Parks You Need to Visit in Nepal

Art & Culture

Religion In Nepal - The Repository Of Ethnic Mosaic

Art & Culture

Discover The Dazzling Culture Of Nepal

Art & Culture

Traveller's Guide To The Languages of Nepal - Go Local & Feel Welcomed!

Experiences

Top 20 Beautiful Places In Nepal That Will Leave You Wonderstruck

Art & Culture

A Brief History Of Nepal - The Multi-Lingual & Multi-Religious Land

Adventure

A Quintessential Guide To 10 Best Adventure Activities In Nepal

Nightlife

An Exhaustive Guide To Nepal's Stellar Nightlife

Adventure

Top 10 Treks In Nepal To Have The Adventure Of Your Life!

Adventure

Complete Guide To Camping In Nepal - The 10 Best Camping Sites!

Experiences

Honeymoon in Nepal - Everything You Need to Know for a Dreamy Honeymoon

Adventure

Backpacking In Nepal - The Definitive Traveller's Guide

Top Places

12 Most Beautiful Visa-free Countries For Indians

Experiences

Sunrise in Nagarkot- Nature's Magical Canvas

Religious

Best Monasteries In Kathmandu - Rediscover Yourself In Peaceful Serenity

Sightseeing

Top 6 Viewpoints In Pokhara To Get A Dazzling View Of Annapurna Ranges

Nightlife

Nightlife In Pokhara - The Best Bars, Pubs & Nightclubs!

Travel Tips

Know The Essentials Of Currency Exchange In Kathmandu

Religious

8 Primeval Temples In Kathmandu - Encounter The Intangible Past!

Experiences

Top 10 Spas In Kathmandu For A Detoxifying Visit!

Sightseeing

Popular Lakes In Pokhara Worthy Of Being On Your Social Media

Adventure

The A To Z Of Paragliding In Pokhara

12 Best Countries To Visit In May - How To Spend Your MayCation

Sightseeing

8 Museums To Visit In Kathmandu

Adventure

Top 10 Short Day Hiking Trails In Kathmandu That You Must Try Out!

Food & Drink

Top 15 Cafes in Kathmandu for Your Dose of Liquid Hug

Shopping

Kathmandu Shopping Guide - What To Buy & Where To Buy

Transport

Transportation in Kathmandu - Know About Navigating the City of Temples

Adventure

Everest Base Camp Trek - The North Camp!

Adventure

Everest Base Camp Trek - The South Camp!

Experiences

9 Most Mystical Places in Asia For A Truly Enchanting Spiritual Experience

Food & Drink

Food of Nepal - 17 Iconic Nepalese Food Items You MUST Try

Fairs & Festivals

Gai Jatra - The Festival of Turning Grief into Joy

Travel Tips

Renting a Car in Nepal

Fairs & Festivals

New Year in Nepal - 12 Fun Things to Do in Nepal To Welcome 2020

Art & Culture

Music of Nepal: The Variety Of Music One Can Find In Nepal

Food & Drink

Beer in Nepal: Quench Your Thirst with Nepal's Exclusive Brews

Fairs & Festivals

Tihar - The Nepali Festival of Lights

Art & Culture

Handicrafts of Nepal - Best Handmade Crafts from the ‘Roof of the World’

Historical Places in Nepal

Art & Culture

Dresses of Nepal - 7 Beautiful Traditional Nepalese Dresses

Hill Stations

Hill Stations in Nepal

Religious

Temples in Nepal

Experiences

Complete Guide to the Perfect Wedding in Nepal

Festivals in Nepal - A Vibrant Spread of Nepali Culture

Adventure

9 Landscapes of Nepal Which Will Take Your Breath Away

Travel Tips

Safety in Nepal - Safety Tips When Travelling in Nepal

Fairs & Festivals

Shivratri in Nepal - A Night to Remember!

Fairs & Festivals

Dashain: Everything About Nepal’s Biggest Festival

Religious

Diwali in Nepal - Celebration of the Gods, Mother Nature and Oneself

Adventure

Makalu Base Camp Trek - Best Time, Permits, Operators & Prices

Wildlife In Nepal - Where and what To See On The Wild Lands Of Nepal

Art & Culture

11 Stunning Architecture of Nepal and its 3 Architectural Styles

Art & Culture

6 Bridges in Nepal That Display the City's Engineering Advancement

Art & Culture

37 Facts About Nepal - A Guide to Staying Culturally Conscious

Adventure

6 Rivers of Nepal That Have Breathtaking Views!

Travel Tips

Online Visa for Nepal - Your Guide To The Visa Application Process

Top Places

Cities in Nepal

Adventure

Bungee Jumping in Nepal - Take that Leap of Adrenaline!

Adventure

Most Dangerous Airports of The World

Monasteries in Nepal

Transport

List of Airports in Nepal

World Heritage Sites in Nepal

Comments on this post