Holi Festival (Phagu Purnima)

Fagu Purnima is the most popular festival in Nepal with colors friendships and love. This is a festival calling for the spring season. Laterally, Fagu Purnima is a composition of two different words; Phagu (the name of the 11th month of Nepali month Phagun) and Purnima (full moon). People describe it in other ways as well, Phagu means sacred Red color and Purnima is a full moon. There are different myths about this festival.

The ancient Hindu festival of Fagu Purnima falls on the full moon day in the month of Falgun according to the lunar calendar (late February or early March). Allegedly named after the mythical demon Holika, it is a day when the feast of colors is celebrated.

Legendary, this festival originated as a celebration of the death of the demon Holika. Holika is sister of Hiranyakasipu and Prahlad is Hiranyakasipu’s son. Hiranyakasipu was proud of his power, he believed that there was not anyone more powerful than himself. But his son Prahlad is devoted to Lord Vishnu/ Krishna. As Hiranyakasipu did not like his son’s beehive, he said to his sister (Holika) to burn him on fire. An evil woman, who had a fire, resists power; she had made several attempts to kill her nephew, Prahlad put the boy on her lap beneath the burning fire. But the boy (devote of Lord Vishnu) remained untouched by the fire instead and Holika, herself destroyed by surprise. After the victory against the evil by God, the Holi festival began to celebrate with color and water. 

The Holi starts one week before the main celebration.  As traditional rituals, a long bamboo stick (lingo) covered with pieces of different color cloths (Chir) is standing in Bashantapur Durbar square at Kathmandu.  The main day of Holi is celebrated one day prior to Lingo being taken down and burnt the Chir. It is called Chir Haran or Holika Dahan. The ashes are carried home by devotees as Parsad, it is believed that it will protect them against evil. 

People are gathering and putting colors on each other as tokens of love. They visit their relatives and friends moving the whole day singing and dancing with colors. Different parts of people celebrate different dates. People of Terai celebrate Holi the next day of the Kathmandu and Hilly region. This is a joyful festival for children; they use Pichakari (water Gun of Bamboo or plastic) with colorful water throw each other. Even they filled balloons with water (Lola) and smeared them over them. 

Nowadays, Hoil is celebrating every person without religious boundaries. Even this is a great experience for every tourist from a different world, who would like to know about unique Nepali culture.  This year Holi falls on 2080 B.S. Chaitra 11th on Sunday 24 -March 2024 A.D.  You are heartily welcome to join us for our grant festival Holi.