HOLI, THE FESTIVAL OF COLORS
Holi, the festival of colors
Holi is the festival of colors, celebrated in spring, in memory of the victory of virtues against vices. Holi is a eulogy to happiness, which we share with friends and neighbors. Laughing and partying, forgetting the pain and anxiety, forgiving and strengthening the relationship, these are the values ??shared during this day which symbolically marks the victory of Good over Evil.
This festival, also called "Phagu Purnima" in Nepali, is undoubtedly one of the favorite festivals of Hindus around the world. Especially famous in India and Nepal, countries with the highest concentration of Hinhou population, this festival is even becoming more and more popular and appreciated by the non-Hindu population. Indeed, to the religious and mythical side of this celebration is added the slightly more fun and festive side because during this special day, people go down the streets and play with powders of all colors, traditionally made from plants with healing properties.
But we know that behind each celebration hides a myth…
There are several legends explaining the reason why Hindus started to celebrate this festival.
The most popular story dates back to ancient times and is linked to Prahlad, devotee of Lord Vishnu, the highest Hindu god. This man, whose soul was pure, had the arrogant father the king Hiranya Kashyap, who did not appreciate seeing his son worshiping Lord Vishnu in such a way. This absolute devotion to this god, whose king himself had prohibited the use of the word "god", has put Hiranya Kashyap in a black anger.Then, the king began to conspire against his own son and made a plan to end his life by fire. The king therefore asked his sister, Holika, blessed with mystical powers, to destroy Prahlad using her firepower.
Thus, following the king's instructions and with the firm intention of destroying Prahlad, the king's sister, Holika convinced Prahlad to enter a pyre, promising that she will protect him from fire. Holika, who was invulnerable to fire, entered the pyre with Prahlad to burn him to death. But, by the grace of Lord Vishnu, Prahlad who had not received any fire protection at birth, escaped unharmed from the pyre while Holika was burnt to death by the flames.
The day after the event, citizens coated their heads and bodies with ashes to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
Over the years, the ashes have changed in appearance and turned into powders of all colors.
Now let's talk about how Holi is celebrated in Kathmandu, Pokhara and the main cities of Nepal. Holi has become a big celebration full of colors, inspiring joy, happiness and good humor. By gathering in parks and public places, passers-by throw each other colored powders and dance together to the rhythm of local music. Bonfires are also lit during the Holi Festival.
Unlike in previous years, the Holi festival has become much more civilized. Individuals only throw colors and colored waters to those who are ready for the celebration.
The festival marks the beginning of spring and as spring brings new life to nature, Holie is also an opportunity to make a fresh start in life.
So if you are in Nepal on March 9, stop for a day in Kathmandu, have fun with Nepalese people and keep an unforgettable (and colorful) memory of your visit to Nepal.
Will you be there?
Written by Thaïs, Base Camp Trek