Why and when Nepali people celebrate holi?

By Menuka Simkhada

                         Why and when Nepali people celebrate holi?

Holi, derives its name from Holika. Holi is celebrated as a festival of victory of God over evil.

A demon king called Hiranyakashyap earlier captured the earthly kingdom. He was so self-centered that he commanded all of the people he controlled to worship him only. To his extreme surprise, however, his son Prahlad stopped honoring his father and transformed himself became a devoted follower of Lord Narayan (Lord Vishnu) and refused to worship his father.

Hiranyakashyap made several attempts to murder his son Prahlad, but Lord Vishnu always appeared to save him. Finally, he requested Holika, his sister, to place Prahlad in her lap and go into the fire. Because Holika had a blessing that allowed her to enter the fire unharmed, Hiranyakashyap was aware of this.

Holika, acting treacherously, convinced Prahlad to sit on her lap while she dropped herself right in front of the burning fire. According to legend, Holika's existence was the price she had to pay for her evil desire. Unfortunately to Holika, the boon only appeared effective when she walked into the fire by herself.

Prahlad, who kept chanting the name of Lord Naarayana all this while, came out unharmed, as the lord blessed him for his extreme devotion.

The name Holi means "The Festival of Colors." The main traditions include covering loved ones with colored powders and water. People celebrate love and pleasure by engaging in color battles.

During the celebration, various colors are utilized to express happiness, affection, and other feelings as well as best wishes. Red, yellow, blue, green, pink, orange or saffron and purple are the most commonly used colors during Holi. All of them have significant meanings.

                        Holi color meanings

1. Red: The color of passion and love.

The most common color during Holi, red is the symbol of passion and love. The color red represents love.  During Holi, people apply powder, or red paste on the faces of loved ones.

2. Yellow: The Color of Joy and Peace
Hindus worship the color yellow. It is a symbol of happiness and sunshine. Holi is a happy occasion that celebrates the victory of good over evil. Yellow is also considered to be a color with healing power

3. Blue: The Color of Courage and Calm

The color blue represents bravery, love, peace, and harmony.

4. Green: Symbolic of New Life and Spring

In Hindu culture, green symbolizes energy, fresh starts, harvest, and hope. This vibrant color is closely linked with the vibrant beginning of spring, which also happens to be associated with the cheerful Holi celebration.

5. Pink: The Color of Playfulness and Youth

Pink is considered the most attractive and vibrant color, and it is a favorite among girls and women. The color pink represents the fun and festive vibe of Holi.

6. Orange or Saffron: The colors orange or saffron stand for bravery and sacrifice.

The sacral chakra, the energy center related to sexuality and self-awareness, is represented by the color orange in Hinduism.

7. Purple : Color of Supreme Peace and Wisdom

Purple has traditionally been associated with power, wealth, and monarchy.

                                  Colors Not to Use for Holi

White and Black

The celebration colors of Holi are not associated with white or black.

In Nepal, the color black is linked to dark objectives, evil, negativity, and weakness, and is frequently associated with sorrow and bad luck. It is therefore inappropriate for the festive mood of Holi. Widows are required to wear white at funerals and other family-marking rites, as it is their color.

Holi celebrated during the full moon of Falgun month according to Nepali calendar. It is in the full moon of March (24th March this year in 2024). Come and enjoy the festival with Trek Ways Nepal team in Nepal. 

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