Holi Festival in Nepal

Updated at Mar 12, 2022 by Pratikshya Adhikari

Holi Festival in Nepal delineates the victory over the darkness as well as the defeat of the demonic Holika. This cheerful festival is referred to as the "Celebrations of Colors'' or “ love to colour” which is also named "Fagu Purnima’ in the local language. This festivity of colour is solemnized during the late winter, to welcome spring (falls in mid-March), in both Nepal and India.

Holi is primarily practised throughout India and Nepal, where Hindus are the most numerous since ancestral times. Over years, not only Hindus but other religions too have become increasingly interested in this festival.

The ambience of the colour is loved by every age group, especially the adult ones. People celebrate this Holi festival by roaming around the town and sprinkling colourful powders, coloured water and water balloons on passers-by amid dancing and singing. This is the way of conveying their warm greetings and well wishes to each other.

Holi in Nepal is celebrated every year on the day following the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna. Whenever you are in Nepal you too can indulge in the colours of this festival. For this, it’s better if you gain a proper idea about Holi Celebration in Nepal.

We recommend that you read each paragraph attentively because this article is incredibly helpful. I've gathered detailed information on Holi, such as why it's celebrated when it's celebrated in Nepal, the tale behind Holi, how to celebrate Holi, and why it's known as the "Festival of Colours". You will get enough information about the Holi festival in Nepal through this informative blog.

Why is Holi Celebrated?

Holi is assumed to have emerged as a measure to safeguard individuals from a myriad of illnesses as the seasons alter from winter to spring. In ancient times, Holi sades were customarily prepared with floral extracts and a mixture of water, neem, Mehendi, turmeric and many other herbs to make the colour.

The colour remedies were used to cure skin problems, fever, allergies, and many other treatments. Holi shades have been customarily prepared from flower extracts and botanicals such as Neem, Turmeric, Mehendi, Kumkum, and others. The natural colours are used to work as Ayurvedic medicines.

But Nowadays,  Holi's medical benefit has been lost because of the synesthetic hues. Because the chemically synthesized bright colours are ubiquitous during this colourful festival. Many people face skin irritation, allergies, pimples and many more problems. On the other hand, people cherish the Holi festival in Nepal without giving a damn on that day.

When is Holi celebrated in Nepal?

The Hindu festival, Holi, is celebrated on the final full moon day of the lunar calendar. The precise day of Holi varies from year to year. Holi Celebration in Nepal in 2022, will commence on Friday, March 17th and 18th.

According to this year's Nepali calendar, the Holi festival 2022 falls in the month of Chaitra, 3rd and 4th., 2078. Mostly, this festival of colour used to be precise on the month of Falgun or Chaitra, which falls in the month of March.

Seeing the two days celebration of Holi there might be queries rendered in your mind regarding why two days? Well, people of the hilly region and Terai region celebrate Holi on separate days. Holi in 2022 in the Hilly region is solemnized on March 17th whereas terai people celebrate it on 18th March.

Why did Holi come to be practised in the Hindu religion?

Holi is the symbol of the Color of Love and the celebration of Victory over the demon. Each of them has its Legendary story. The colour festival Holi honours the Hindu god Krishna and Radha's love story and the story of the Holika-Prahlad mythology.

Legendary tales about the Holi Festival of Lord Shree Krishna and Radha- how colours help them share their love.

In the Legendary story, Lord Krishna had dark skin colour because when Krishna was born he was poisoned by a demon. Where Radha had a fair and charming face. He used to love Radha beyond the limit and was afraid to express his love to her. As she has a beautiful face and skin, he was worried about getting rejected due to his dark bluish skin. 

Lord Krishna asked her mother Yashoda to assist him to get fair skin. Instead, she assisted him to spread some brightly coloured powder on her cheeks. Radha was utterly enamoured with him when he did that. After that, Radha and Krishna became a symbol of heavenly love. As a result, Holi is celebrated to commemorate the mythical occasion when Krishna and Radha shared their love and happiness.

The legendary story about the Holi Festival of Holika-Prahlad- Holi is seen as a celebration of virtue overcoming darkness.

Hiranyakashipu was a wicked King. He possessed unique abilities that rendered him practically unbeatable. He became so strong that he began to behave as a deity and was banned to worship other goddesses in his kingdom. So, he desired to have all people in his realm adore him and punish or kill everyone who defied him. However, people including his own son opted to worship Vishnu instead of him.

One day because of his son’s disobedience, he infuriated the devil ruler. Hiranyakashipu requested his fire-impervious sister Holika to accompany Prahlad in the burning flame. She accepted and entered into the burning flame with Prahlad.

Prahlad was sitting in Holika’s lap. After some minutes of staying inside the flame, something unexpected happened. Holika was brutally killed and Prahlad survived as a devotee of Lord Vishu. Thereafter, Lord Vishu destroyed the evil ruler. Since then Holi is celebrated as the victory over evil.

How to celebrate Holi Festival in Nepal?

Holi is one of the national festivals of Nepal but not popular as Dashami and a public holiday is given on this day. All the enthusiasts get involved in this festival. On this festival of colour, schools, stores, business hubs, government offices, and small offices, all remain closed.

People of different ages congregate on the roadsides for a day spreading colour on each other's cheeks and spraying coloured water. Everyone in the community is excited to take part in this event and get their faces and bodies painted with vivid colours. People enjoy this exciting festival by applying colour, throwing coloured water balloons, smashing colours, and throwing water at each other.

On Holi, anyone can apply paint to anybody which is perfectly acceptable. However, Keep in mind some of them don’t really enjoy playing Holi or they might have some personal problems. So, avoid them applying Holi. Instead, you can apply to those who are cheering for paint splashing, singing, dancing, and get together partying.

The majority of them will visit friends and relatives to exchange good wishes, sweets, groceries, and beverages with each other. Traditional drinks, laddu, and candies laced with bhang are incredibly popular on this day.

Best places to celebrate the Holi festival in Nepal

The finest Holi events can be seen in Kathmandu's valleys. You can visit the Thamel Bazaar as well as the Durbar Square. You can get to experience the first-look taste of the Holi celebration in Nepal from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. If you wander through the small alleyways of Kathmandu you can see people's faces get painted with vivid colour.

Though the area of the Thamel is congested, the celebration reaches the next level which is worth it. Durbar square is open and many concerts happen there where people enjoy dancing, singing and applying colour to each other. However, keep an eye out for unexpected colour attacks on humans.

Another best place to celebrate the Holi festival in Nepal is The Lakeside Road in Pokhara. In the festival of colour, you can get to witness the people joyfully applying colour to each other. Besides that, in certain distant places of Nepal, you may observe small children embracing the celebration.

The event is enjoyed all over the nation, but as a visitor, Kathmandu is the finest spot to see it. After seeing the Holi celebration in Kathmandu, no other location would appear as beautiful.

Tips for Nepal Holi Festival celebration

  • Cheap white t-shirts, quarter pants and slippers are highly recommended to wear. (You can easily find printed t-shirts in the market). After playing Holi, either you can throw away the clothes or keep them safely and separately as a memory.
  • Wearing pricey and pretty clothes on this day makes no sense. So, better buy cheap and simple wear to celebrate colour.
  • Apply skin protective creams and sunglasses to protect your eyes from colour.
  • Snap every moment on your camera. However, don’t forget to cover your camera to protect it because this is the festival of water and colour.
  • We recommend you avoid wearing expensive accessories.
  • Don’t consume cuisines offered by strangers.
  • Take care of your important things by yourself because people might pickpocket your items.
  • Never, walk alone better enjoy this joyful festival with family, and friends or stay around your guide in public.
  • It will be best for you if you have colour allergies and irritation.
  • Follow the traffic rules of Nepal.
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Avoid Overspeed and wear a helmet while riding a bike.
  • Don’t travel more than 2 on one bike.
  • Don’t shout offensive words in public.
  • Don’t force or apply colour to someone who is clean and sitting aside from coloured people.
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