Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Holi Festival-Tips for Having a Great Time in Nepal


What an incredible festival! It's a combination of paintball, and tag. It's a lot like a water balloon fight, but everyone is playing-even people who don't know it. As far as my research tells, March 22 is the best day to celebrate Holi, but be sure to check to see what else is going on on other days.

A few years ago I my Holi companion saw a couple of older tourists just walking along minding their own business. As she took off to pitch a water balloon at them I laughed so hard I couldn't tell her not to do it. They just had no clue what was happening or why. So, be advised that if you go outside you will play Holi. So, just be ready and get your old sour puss in check. This is the day to let your inner child out to play.

I want to add a couple of new tips this year. We are pre-monsoon and it's pretty dry in the Kathmandu Valley. That means some of the water that's tossed from rooftops, buckets, water balloons and squirt guns will be contaminated. I'd suggest getting some saline solution from any pharmacy just in case you get something in your eyes. There are only two kinds of water in Nepal, rain run-off and trucked-in river water. Both are untreated.


In the check list mentioned in my former blog post this isn't mentioned, but be sure to open any packages you leave in your room. Anything in an unopened package is extra tempting for guest house personnel and local Nepali who may wander into your room, if it isn't locked.

Everyone is so friendly in Nepal and on Holi you'll find it even more so. You may be invited to have a 'milkshake,' 'bhanja,' made from marijuana, or the little balls called 'golee.' It's best not to partake because this is very strong and some people even loose their hearing for a day or so. Sometimes you cannot use the word 'just' in front of marijuana. The police turn a blind eye for marijuana on this day, but on the day before they will be on the lookout. Tourists are unlikely to be harassed, but they never tell me when policy changes, so be careful regarding this. Another reason to avoid this is the impending stomach issues that will likely come along with the experience.

Be sure to read this more complete check list from a few years ago:
 The Frugal Travels way to celebrate Holi

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