Kathmandu, Mar. 7: They say Spring is the king of seasons. If that is so, then Fagu or Holi is the crown that it wears. This festival, associated with King Bali, Lord Krishna, Prahlad and Holika and love and lust, was celebrated in the hilly and mountainous regions of the country on the full moon day of the Nepali month of Falgun on Monday.
In the Terai region, it will be celebrated a day later on Tuesday. However, since Tuesday is a fasting day for many, communities across the plains will be celebrating the festival of colours and joy on Wednesday.
Terai celebrates its Holi a day later because on the full moon day, the people of Mithila observe the conclusion of the grand Mithila Madhyamiki Parikrama that goes around 15 sacred sites in Nepal and India over 15 days and also partake in the Antargriha Parikrama around Janakpurdham.
In Kathmandu, Basantapur came to life with a sea of humanity dyed in every colour imaginable pouring in from all corners. The tinted crowd, which covered the entire five-acre area of the Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square and even spilled on to the streets of New Road, played music, sang songs and cheered for Fagu. A concert by the band Kutumba added to the merry.
Tourists were also taken by the festive mood. Magnus Schultz from Denmark shared that he was having a blast while Grille Pian from Canada said that the atmosphere was fun and full of energy. Both were celebrating their first Holi in Nepal.
Daisy from the United Kingdom had previously experienced Holi in India and told The Rising Nepal that the festival was calmer and more civil in Nepal. This year was her second Holi in Nepal, with her first being in 2018.
Revellers were seen splashing colours and water on each other for Holi in the streets and the palace complex of Patan too.
In Bhaktapur, Holi is also taken as an occasion depicting the union of male and female energies. For a week prior to the festival, a wooden post depicting the phallus of Bhimsen and a cloth depicting the reproductive organ of Draupadi is hung at the Bhimsen Phalcha near Dattatreya Temple.
People from all over the valley come to worship the display and symbolise intercourse between the two fabled characters of the epic Mahabharat. Doing so is believed to bring success in business and help couples bear children.
Meanwhile, Janakpur is set to host the famous Mahamurkha Conference on Tuesday. The conference, which has been organised in the capital of Madhes Province nearly every year since 2004 by the Mithila Natyakala Parishad (MINAP), is known for crowning a personality Mahamurkha (Greatest Fool) on the occasion of Terai Holi.
Past recipients of the title include the comedy duo Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bansha Acharya, former Chief Minister of Madhes Lal Babu Raut, political analyst CK Lal, author Ram Bharos Kapadi, Vice Chairman of Madhes’s Policy and Planning Commission Dr. Bhogendra Jha and former Mayor of Janakpurdham Sub-Metropolitan City Lal Kishor Sah.
This year, sitting Chief Minister of Madhes Saroj Kumar Yadav, Nepali Congress Leader Bimalendra Nidhi and present Mayor of Janakpurdham Manoj Kumar Sah are aspiring for the title, MINAP’s President Parmeshwor Jha informed.
MINAP awards the title of Mahamurkha to those who have made great contributions to the development and upliftment of the sectors of language, culture, art, society and politics.
(With input from our Dhalkebar correspondent Vijay Kumar Sah)