Holi is a famous festival of Hindus. It is also called the festival of colours or Faagu Poornima. It falls in the month of Falgun according to the Nepali calendar.
Why is Holi celebrated?
Once there were two brothers named Hiranyanks & Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyanks once tried to destroy the earth which was saved by Lord Vishnu & Hiranyanks was killed. As a result, Hiranyakashipu became angry with lord Vishnu & wanted to defeat him in order to take revenge on his brother. Hiranyakashipu then did hard penance of Lord Brahma to be blessed with godsend & obtained a boon of virtual immortality with five powers:
- He could neither be killed by animals nor by humans
- He could neither be killed indoors nor outdoors
- He could neither be killed during the day nor at night
- He could neither be killed on land & water nor in air
- He could neither be killed by projectile nor by handheld weapons
This virtual immortality made him evil. He terrorized the people who worship god Vishnu & killed anyone who disobeyed him. But to his great disappointment, his own son, Prahlad, became a very intense devotee of lord Vishnu & disobeyed his father. Then, Hiranyakashipu asked his sister "Holika" to kill his own son, Prahlad. Holika had a shawl by which she could enter fire unharmed. Holika then influenced young Prahlad to sit in her lap & she herself took her seat in the dazzling fire with the shawl. In the meantime, the shawl flew from her and covered Prahlad due to the effect of wind. So Holika was burned & Prahlad was safe at the mercy of God. Then the prayer of Prahlad started to celebrate the event as a victory of good over evil. Thus Holi derives its name from Holika.
How is Holi celebrated?
Holi is celebrated with great joy and enlightenment. In Nepal, it is mostly celebrated in the Terai region but nowadays it is celebrated all over the country. People smear their faces with different colours. Children throw coloured water on one another with Pichkaris. Pichkaris in innovative and modern design to come up every year to lure children who wish to drain everybody in the town. Thus, we can say that the Holi festival helps to establish brotherhood, friendship, love & closeness in our society.