Holi festival in Nepal: getting a colourful make-overHoli festival in Nepal: getting a colourful make-over

It has just been announced that The Color Run will be held in Amsterdam on the 26th of May this year. I’ve heard about this crazy and fun run from people in Australia and the US, but it seems that The Netherlands has also picked up on the craze that started in January 2012. This colour-festival brings back memories to the Holi festival in Nepal.

It has just been announced that The Color Run will be held in Amsterdam on the 26th of May this year. I’ve heard about this crazy and fun run from people in Australia and the US, but it seems that The Netherlands has also picked up on the craze that started in January 2012. This colour-festival brings back memories to the Holi festival in Nepal.

During the 5k run, the runners (who start all dressed in white) get doused from head to toe in different colours at each kilometer. At the finish line, they will be welcomed with a colourful party, celebrating health, happiness and community spirit.

Now, I’m not a runner at all, but the paint-element of this run seems like a lot of fun to me. It reminds me a lot of the time we celebrated Holi in the town of Pokhara, Nepal.

Celebrating Holi in Pokhara, Nepal

 

Celebrating the Holi festival in Nepal

You might know the Holi Festival as one of the biggest festivals of India, but Holi is very popular across the world wherever Indians or people of Indian origin live. The festival has various names and is celebrated with different traditions, but the spirit of it remains the same everywhere.

Apart from a break of daily life and the marking of the start of Spring, Holi brings people together, generating a feeling of brotherhood and harmony. The Holi festival in Nepal is celebrated on the full moon day in March. Right at that time, we happened to be in Nepal and decided it might be fun to take part in it.

 

Holi Preparations

We knew this festival would include a lot of paint-throwing, so we decided it would be best to get ourselves an outfit that we could leave behind the next day. So off we went, looking for a cheap set of clothes. And while we were at it, we chose something white of course.

We asked the salesman in the clothing shop what the festival meant for him and he explained that it marked a day of new beginnings. He was going to wear his best clothes. We were a bit embarrassed to use the handmade clothes from his shop to be ruined, but he seemed to be genuinely proud that we joined his village in the celebrations.

 

An Unsure Start

We were staying in Pokhara (lakeside) during the Holi festival in Nepal and were a bit nervous to start the day, to be honest. What if we were the only ones going outside? What if there was no-one there and everyone would laugh at ‘the foreigner who wants to act like a local.’

Well, let the next photo answer our question:

 

Throwing Paint at the Holi festival in Nepal

 

It literally took us minutes to get from clean, to getting our blessings with red paint on our faces, to being targeted by the entire population of Pokhara. Oh yes, everyone was happy to see us!

 

The Fun Continued

After the initial ‘attacks’, we decided to walk up and down the street a bit more. We found some street carts selling the coloured powder, got plastic water bottles to fill with coloured water and played around with the local kids.

During the day, everyone seemed to get even more into it, bringing out water pistols and even complete buckets of water (from the top of balconies). Boy, it was a mess.

 

Street Vendor In Nepal

This street vendor changed his shop from fresh fruit to coloured paint for the day

Celebrate Holi in Asia

The Holi festival in Nepal is hard work!

Holi festival in Nepal - Colourful Kids

Check out the poor dog! 

 

More About the Holi festival in Nepal and India

If you would like to know more about the history behind this Indian festival, I can recommend visiting the website holifestival.org.

On this extensive website, you can read all about the traditions in different parts of the world, the legends, Holi songs and recipes. They even provide you with an extensive Holi Safety guide! (‘keep the windows of your car shut’, ‘don’t use permanent dyes’ and ‘try to save yourself off from all possible attacks on the face’).

I’ve scheduled this post ahead a while ago, but I’ve just found this great new travel blog by Emma who happened to have just written about Holi too! Make sure you check out her love for Holi , and find out what she does when she’s not in India/Nepal to celebrate this colourful festival.

 

Holi Celebration Kids

Holi festival in Nepal With Tourists

Holi is a great party, especially for the kids – and the tourists

View Larger Map

Have you ever celebrated the Holi festival in Nepal? Tell me your experiences!

During the 5k run, the runners (who start all dressed in white) get doused from head to toe in different colours at each kilometer. At the finish line, they will be welcomed with a colourful party, celebrating health, happiness and community spirit.

Now, I’m not a runner at all, but the paint-element of this run seems like a lot of fun to me. It reminds me a lot of the time we celebrated Holi in the town of Pokhara, Nepal.

Celebrating Holi in Pokhara, Nepal

 

Celebrating the Holi festival in Nepal

You might know the Holi Festival as one of the biggest festivals of India, but Holi is very popular across the world wherever Indians or people of Indian origin live. The festival has various names and is celebrated with different traditions, but the spirit of it remains the same everywhere.

Apart from a break of daily life and the marking of the start of Spring, Holi brings people together, generating a feeling of brotherhood and harmony. The Holi festival in Nepal is celebrated on the full moon day in March. Right at that time, we happened to be in Nepal and decided it might be fun to take part in it.

 

Holi Preparations

We knew this festival would include a lot of paint-throwing, so we decided it would be best to get ourselves an outfit that we could leave behind the next day. So off we went, looking for a cheap set of clothes. And while we were at it, we chose something white of course.

We asked the salesman in the clothing shop what the festival meant for him and he explained that it marked a day of new beginnings. He was going to wear his best clothes. We were a bit embarrassed to use the handmade clothes from his shop to be ruined, but he seemed to be genuinely proud that we joined his village in the celebrations.

 

An Unsure Start

We were staying in Pokhara (lakeside) during the Holi festival in Nepal and were a bit nervous to start the day, to be honest. What if we were the only ones going outside? What if there was no-one there and everyone would laugh at ‘the foreigner who wants to act like a local.’

Well, let the next photo answer our question:

 

Throwing Paint at the Holi festival in Nepal

 

It literally took us minutes to get from clean, to getting our blessings with red paint on our faces, to being targeted by the entire population of Pokhara. Oh yes, everyone was happy to see us!

 

The Fun Continued

After the initial ‘attacks’, we decided to walk up and down the street a bit more. We found some street carts selling the coloured powder, got plastic water bottles to fill with coloured water and played around with the local kids.

During the day, everyone seemed to get even more into it, bringing out water pistols and even complete buckets of water (from the top of balconies). Boy, it was a mess.

 

Street Vendor In Nepal

This street vendor changed his shop from fresh fruit to coloured paint for the day

Celebrate Holi in Asia

The Holi festival in Nepal is hard work!

Holi festival in Nepal - Colourful Kids

Check out the poor dog! 

 

More About the Holi festival in Nepal and India

If you would like to know more about the history behind this Indian festival, I can recommend visiting the website holifestival.org.

On this extensive website, you can read all about the traditions in different parts of the world, the legends, Holi songs and recipes. They even provide you with an extensive Holi Safety guide! (‘keep the windows of your car shut’, ‘don’t use permanent dyes’ and ‘try to save yourself off from all possible attacks on the face’).

I’ve scheduled this post ahead a while ago, but I’ve just found this great new travel blog by Emma who happened to have just written about Holi too! Make sure you check out her love for Holi , and find out what she does when she’s not in India/Nepal to celebrate this colourful festival.

 

Holi Celebration Kids

Holi festival in Nepal With Tourists

Holi is a great party, especially for the kids – and the tourists

View Larger Map

Have you ever celebrated the Holi festival in Nepal? Tell me your experiences!

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2 Comments

  • Nienke,

    Thanks for the great post. Three friends and I have been planning a trip to Nepal for quite some time, but I just found out today that we will be in the country during Holi. I’ve found conflicting reports on the day that the celebration is taking place, but we may in Pokhara for it.

    As a complete outsider, what is the best way to take part in Holi? Is the festival located in a particular area of the town? Is it an all day event?

    Thanks again!

    http://www.thetraveltester.com/holi-festival-in-nepal/

    • Hi Connor, yes in Pokhara it’s a big thing! We went out to buy all white clothing, but anything goes, as long as you’re happy to throw away your clothes at the end of the day, trust me, the paint won’t go out. Even your ears will be coloured for a while :D It’s an all-day event and everyone joins in pretty much anywhere (but most around the main street), so have fun!

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