Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Tourists’ Guide to Celebrating Holi in Nepal

There is one Hindu festival I look forward to more than any other here in Nepal, Holi, or the Festival of Colors. Its history is interesting, but the experience is amazing. Although the Hindu epic that began this tradition was about the death of a demon and good triumphing over evil, like Easter’s original roots, it may be more about celebrating the birth of spring. I have to admit that it is much more fun than an Easter Egg hunt.
Are you are the kind of person who will borrow a couple of children when the circus comes to town, county fairs, festivals and other ‘kid friendly’ activities? If so, plan your next visit to Nepal in late February or early March so you can celebrate Holi with us. 

Here is a list of things you will need to have or do:
1. An umbrella-to keep you from getting splashed from rooftops.
2. Old clothing or dark colored clothing to wear. The colors do come out, but not if it’s something light colored and delicate.
3. Old or cheap camera-There will be random, uncontrolled wetness so bring something to protect it or be careful with it.
4. Squirt guns-Sold everywhere prior to this festival
5. Balloons for filling with water-also sold all over
6. Powder paint-It is sold everywhere prior to this festival or near temples throughout the year.
7. If you are a bleached blonde you may want to bring special shampoo for blondes or expect it to take a couple of shampooing attempts to get the last of it out.
8. Leave anything of value at your guest house because boys are the same all over the world. They do get mischievous during Holi. Think Halloween.
9. Know that if you go outside on this day you should be prepared to get wet and painted from head to toe. The powder seems to go everywhere. 

You will see people up on just about every roof-Watch out!
This is Kalpana, my Nepali daughter, her son (on the far left) and our borrowed kids.

If you forget that it’s Holi and go outside you might as well just go with it. Have fun!

This four year old boy can already spell just about any English word he knows

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