Holi, “The Festival of Colors,” is one of Nepal’s most exciting, high-energy festivals throughout the year. Young and old people across the country set out wandering the streets to peg each other with fistfuls of colored powder and water balloons. By the end of the day, no one is spared in this playful holiday. Foreigners are especially targeted by children, so don’t be shy and be prepared to throw some powder back!
Knowingly or unknowingly, you have probably seen the Holi festivities, on screen or in a magazine in your lifetime. Though it may not be the most important or spiritually significant holiday in Nepal, it is definitely the most visually recognizable. Whether it looks familiar to you or not, experiencing it for yourself is a whole different level of entertainment.
Holi is celebrated across the Indian subcontinent as well as a few other countries throughout the world with Indian populations. The holiday falls sometime between late February and the middle of March.
There are a dozen mythologies about the origins and significance of Holi, involving Krishna, Shiva, Vishnu, and other deities but the general meaning of these legends remains the same across all traditions. It’s a one-day celebration that marks the victory of good over evil, the onset of spring, and is a simple reminder to play and laugh, forgive and forget, and repair relationships.
The fun and games begin in the morning and do not end until sundown. Make sure you wear some clothes that you are willing to dispose of afterwards, and if you bring a camera be mindful of it! The kids can be ruthless. This last Holi, I was hit point-blank by a water balloon that nearly bruised my back. The kids can be ruthless, but hey, it’s the one day in the year they get to throw water balloons at strangers.
Spend a day immersed enjoying the festivities and the traditional Holi delicacies. Taste delicious local food and drinks. If you have the interest, try the customary drink bhang, which is a green paste made from cannabis and lassi along with some other spices. Where else can you get a nice ganja buzz on, while watching a wild water balloon and colored powder free-for-all?
We take festival-goers to the most happening spots in Kathmandu, including Kathmandu Durbar Square, where the most excitement happens. Whether you want to be in the center of it all, or on a rooftop watching the event from a safe distance, we arrange for that.
Ask us for details about Spring 2019’s Holi celebration. The Holi Festival date is Thursday March 20, 2019. Come celebrate with us in a full day of festivities. You will not only have an awesome time, but you will learn about and experience a unique holiday of a foreign culture. Remember, you are never too old to find your inner child and just play! Have some drinks, throw some paint, get painted, and have yourself a good time!