- Purna Prasad Mishra
Holi, the festival of colours, has started to be celebrated in a more decent way in recent years. Until some years back, young women would stop venturing out in the Kathmandu streets nearly a week before the festival as they were often the targets of some unruly youths hurling balloons filled with colored water.
Sometimes, water was hurled on the women walking on the street below from roof top. Some rowdy revelers even went to the extent of smearing colours on the faces of other people against their will. Reports of pedestrians being thrown dirty water, being smeared with black paint etc were also frequent.
It was unsafe for them to go out during the festival. The women who went out for some urgent work used to come home drenched. But this uncivilized trend is becoming a thing of the past, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nepal Police have said such elements would be brought to book. Police said so far they have not received any complaint of people throwing water or water-filled balloons and smearing color powder on anyone against their will.
However, groups of people especially youths, could be seen celebrating the festival amongst their friends and families in decent way. This year the festival is observed in the hilly and mountainous districts today while it will be celebrated in the Tarai-Madhes districts tomorrow.
Basantapur sees festivity since morning People have gathered at Basantapur square in Kathmandu since morning today for the traditional Holi celebrations. A ritualistic wooden pole with tufts of colourful strips of cloths known as ‘chir’ on its top end that was installed in the Basantapur Durbar Square a week back heralding the start of the Phagu (Holi) festival is pulled down tonight.
It is taken to Tundikhel amidst the playing of folk musical instruments and burnt. The ashes of the ‘chir’ are considered as talisman and people scramble for getting hold of the ashes. They put tika mark of this ash on their forehead in the belief that it drives away evil and protects from bad omen.
Many foreign tourists in Pokhara and Kathmandu were found enjoying the fun of Holi festival by smearing color to one another.
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