KATHMANDU: People in Kathmandu Valley and hilly districts will observe Holi, the festival of colours, which is also known as Fagu Purnima, by exchanging wishes today.
Revellers, young and old alike, celebrate the festival by smearing colourful powders and throwing colours and water-filled balloons at each other. The festival will be celebrated in the Tarai region on Monday.
The festival revolves around the mythology of the demon king Hiranya Kashyapu ordering his sister Holika to enter into a fire along with Pralhad, son of the demon king and a devout follower of Lord Bishnu, in her lap so that Pralhad would stop chanting the name of the Lord.
The catch was that Holika wouldn’t burn in the fire because of a boon she had received from god. But it so happened that the fire burnt Holika whereas Pralhad remained unharmed and came out of the fire still chanting the name of god.
Therefore, the festival has been linked to this legend and is celebrated by smearing colour in enjoyment.
Meanwhile, President Bidya Devi Bhandari has extended best wishes to all Nepalis at home and abroad on the occasion of the festival. In her message, she wished that the Holi festival would inspire all to work together for nation building.
Police said they have stepped up security to prevent any untoward incident during the festival.
A version of this article appears in print on March 12, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.