Holi, the festival of colours, marks the beginning of the spring season and the passing of winter. It is also known as “Phagu Purnima” in Nepali, which was named after the mythical demoness Holika, and is one of the most anticipated annual celebrations in Nepal. Holi is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. The festival of colour and joy, Holi revelled in the Falgun month of Nepali Calendar. It is observed on the full moon day, which falls either late February or early March.
Holi is one of the most prominent and glorious celebrations which is rejoiced not only in Nepal but also globally. It is a national celebration in Nepal, as the ambience of Durbar Square and surrounding areas become livelier. A carnival takes place on the Durbar Square area as it’s a popular spot for Holi celebration in Kathmandu and lights up with a sea of people that dance along with the music and waters.
The festival is celebrated by Nepalese across the country and is a great equalizer. Just like our diverse topography, culture, and traditions the celebrations do differ from each region in Nepal. Holi is the time when Nepalese socialize with colours and massive gatherings. Holi is much more than joyous celebration, it is a festival of reconciliation and breathes an atmosphere of social merriment. It is the bond that people share and proudly exhibit.
People come together from all walks of life to celebrate the festival by smearing colourful powders and throwing water-filled balloons at each other. Colour hides all class lines, the caste system disappears, and foreigners join the locals. Children and elders set out wandering the streets to peg each other with fistfuls of coloured powder and water balloons. Children can douse elders with water, and the rules of caste and creed are briefly forgotten with everyone taking part. Underneath the dancing and colourful chaos lies a unique culture and deeply rooted tradition. This traditional holiday originates from folk stories, passed down through generations. Numerous legends and stories associated with Holi celebration makes the festival more exuberant and vivid.
However, the outbreak of novel coronavirus may dampen the spirit of imminent Holi celebrations in Nepal. The havoc of Corona has increased so much today that people are getting worried about the celebration of Holi.
While still to cause disruption in Nepal, COVID-19 has already proved itself to be deadly. The outbreak of this novel Wuhan coronavirus has disrupted life across the globe. With the background of COVID-19 lurking all around, its imperative that simple precautions are taken care of. So its good to follow National and local authorities advise.
As Coronavirus is spreading, the Nepal government has taken some precautionary techniques to combat this pandemic disease. Recently, the government of Nepal has made restrictions on mass gathering celebrations to reduce the possibility of cross-infection. Let’s celebrate the festival with pre-caution and safety and never compromise our health because Health is Wealth.
- Swikriti Khadka