8 Reasons To Attend Holi Festival Of Colours.

On a sunny Saturday morning, I put on a plain white t-shirt, exited my house and let my boyfriend splash my face with red Abeer/Gulal (paint). He shouted at me. Happy Holi! Little did I know back then, how much fun I was to have in the day that lay ahead of holi festival of colours…

Before I go into the main reasons, lets begin with the basics.

What is Holi?

Holi is a Hindu festival mainly celebrated in India and Nepal during springtime.

Holi Story

India today mentions that the ancient King Hiranyakashipu thought he was immortal and became arrogant. He demanded those he ruled over to treat him as a God.

Photo by Karan Bhatia on Unsplash

His son Prahlada, disagreed with the Kings decision and remained devoted to the Hindu God Lord Vishnu. Outraged, King Haranyakashipu punished his son for his choice. Holika, the kings sister fooled Prahlada to sit on a pyre (combustible material) with her. Holika protected herself with a cloak leaving the kings son exposed to the flames.

As the flames got bigger her cloak left and encased the son, protecting him from the fire. Holika burnt to death. Next, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of half lion half man killing the king.

In view of this, a bonfire occurs the night before Holi called Holika Dahan celebrating the end of all evil. Pooja (worship) takes place during this event.

Another Holi Story.

Moreover, the Hindu God Krishna was ashamed of his blue skin. He feared that his love Radha would not accept him. He consulted with his mum about his fears. His mum told him to colour Radha’s face any colour he wanted. After doing so, they became a couple.

How is Colour Involved?

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

Colours are thrown and also shot out of water guns to celebrate Krishna and Radha’s love. Each coloured paint represents something different. Red signifies their love, yellow is turmeric, green represents spring and blue is Krishna’s skin.

Since this, these colours have been incorporated and used by the rest of the world in music festivals and sporting events.

Now you have a bit of background information about Holi, let’s start with the top 8 reasons why you MUST attend.

1) The Parties

Photo by Adam Whitlock on Unsplash

How often do you get the chance to experience several parties in a single day?

At Holi, it’s common to attend multiple events. That could mean you start at one party and visit different ones throughout the day. These range from street parties or private parties. If you wish, you can get drunk or high (bhang) in the streets with randomers.

2) New Friends

This festival is filled with love and happiness.

Everyone is there to look out for each other. Offering snacks and drinks to each person as a way to celebrate. I certainly, made a few new friends across that day. Perhaps, people, I wouldn’t have normally met on my day to day basis either.

Moreover, how often do you get the chance to throw paint at random people on the street?

3) Culture

Being there, right in the centre of it all you learn the true reasons of why Holi is celebrated. As well as listening to different forms of music often Nepali or Hindi. You become involved, by dancing and socialising with the locals. I am constantly learning about culture and taboo in Nepal. Partying at this years Holi festival certainly added to my knowledge about Hindu culture.

4) Colour

When celebrating Holi it’s often best to wear old clothes and ideally white (as it shows up best). I started my day in a white t-shirt and ended looking like a rainbow. My hair also went from blonde to multicoloured.
All the buildings, cars and the streets are decortated. It’s a colourful explosion.

You let other people turn you into a vibrant art masterpiece.


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5) People

You will witness all different types of people celebrating from young to old letting loose. Which makes it truly a festival and experience for all.

6) Happiness

I will never forget the number of smiles and laughter I witnessed at Holi. No matter what problems people were experiencing, they were put to one side for that day. It was infectious, the amount of joy I experienced.

We often get caught up so much in work, minute problems and other matters, we sometimes forget to appreciate how great life is.

7) Weather

Holi signifies the start of spring. Most of the time it’s glorious sun beaming throughout the day shining on to everyone’s face. However, as a British Citizen, it felt more like a summer party (due to the overcast weather we experience in the U.K.).

8) Everyone Forgets Their Age

Likewise, I mentioned earlier, everyone from the young to the old celebrate. You will discover older generations using water guns, throwing balloons and paint. It’s as if everyone becomes a child again. No generation gap on this day.

Infact, if you want to experience this epic holi festival of colours, visit India or Nepal. This is where this Hindu festival derives from. Other countries have tried to adopt it and place it into different events. On the contrary, it’s fun but the vibe is a different level in an originating country.

Futhermore, as a person who was baptised a Christian, I can assure you I had just as much if not more fun than my Christmas celebrations. You must attend holi festival of colours!

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Extracts of Alex

Navigating Nepal and the World

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