Holi- The Festival of Colors and Joy
On the auspicious day of Falgun Purnima the festival of color and joy, Holi is celebrated in Hindu countries, Nepal and India. Holi is a spring festival celebrated according to lunar calendar which falls on the month of Falgun i.e late February or early March. Holi is gradually becoming popular among the non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as of other communities outside Asia. It is also known as Fagu Pune, Fagu meaning “scared red powder” and Pune meaning “full moon” as it falls on the full moon night in the month of Falgun.
According to legends, Holi is observed to rejoice the extermination of female demon Holika, the sister of the Demon King Hiranya kashyapu who conispered to burnt his own son Pralhad,a devout follower of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Hiranya Kashyapu ordered Holika to enter into fire along with Pralhad on her lap so that Pralhad would stop chanting the name of Lord Vishnu. Holika had received a boon from Gods that she would not burn. But it so happened that the fire burnt Holika and Pralhad remained unharmed, still chanting the Lords Vishnu’s name. That day the whole nation celebrated the cremation of the demons sister with colors and since then Holi is celebrated.
Holi celebration starts with a Holika bonefire. The bonefire is done a day before Holi as a celebration of victory of good over evil. The next morning is a carnival of colors, where people with their families and friends play with colors, squirting water, and throwing water balloons at each-others, drinking Bhang (a drink made from female cannabis) and a feast.
Earlier, People especially small children would start the celebration weeks before the auspicious day.
They would throw water balloons at people on the street and at each other, get wet with the colorful water and rejoice.
In the modern context, the implementation of government laws in Nepal, against Holi celebration before the full moon day is very strict. Thus, people and children wait for the aspicious day to come. There are many Holi parties organized by many organizations which are attended by many fun loving people. Creative people paint their faces as famous cartoon characters. People go to their friends and relatives place and play with colors, water, colored water, dance, have a feast and an forget all worries.
The youngster wander through the streets in groups on foot or vehicles with various colors smeared all over and the people in houses make merry, throwing colors and water balloons at each other and also to these people on the streets. This is one day when people forget all enmity and start a new beginning.
If you are in Nepal during this festival then you must attend it. We assure you that you will have a very fun time and a memorable time. In this festival of joy you will forget all your problems and worries for a while and fill your life with colors.