Holi festival / Fagu Poormina - festivals in Nepal
VALLEY MARKS A VIBRANT, COLOURFUL HOLI
Colours. That’s what Holi is all about. And
Kathmanduites went all out today to celebrate it.
Family, friends, neighbours and even strangers smeared one another with abir.
Many were seen drenching people with buckets of water of hitting others with
lolas (water-filled balloons).
Holi celebrates the slaying of a demon marking the triumph of good over evil.
According to a Hindu myth, demon king Hiranayakashyapu ordered his sister Holika
to kill her son Prahlad. She tried to do so by stepping into a fire with Prahlad
in her arms. But she was burnt to ashes and the boy came out unsigned.
Though Holi falls during the dry season when it is difficult even to get enough
drinking water, Kathmanduites do not let this bother them. They store buckets
and buckets of water just for Holi.
“It’s an once-a-year festival. So I did not mind collecting water from our tap
at 3.30 in the morning,” said Krishna Maharjan, a Sanepa resident.
Though the government issues notices every year saying that any person found
forcefully throwing water or abir at someone unwilling, will be punished, no one
takes notice of the government notices.
As Maharjan said: “No one minds if we throw water on them because it is Holi.”
But many, especially girls, are victimized by many under cover of celebrating
Holi. Women were hardly seen in the streets today.
The festival ends with the local residents taking the colourful pole called
cheer, erected a week prior to Holi at Hanuman Dhoka, to a river and setting it
In the night, Itumbahal locals prepare a huge dinner for the demon Gurmapa at
Tundikhel. A buffalo is slaughtered to feed it. Legends has it that the demon
used to eat children and a young man named Keshchandra promised to feed him once
a year to stop him eating the children.
Source The Himalayan Times 25/03/2005
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