Holi being marked across the country

KATHMANDU: Fagu Poornima or the festival of color is being celebrated in the hilly districts and Kathmandu valley today by smearing red vermilion powder and throwing colours and water-filled balloons at each other.

One of the widely observed festivals of the country, Holi begins on the eighth day of the new moon and ends with the burning of the “Chir’, which was installed earlier, on the full moon day later today.

The festival is celebrated in the hilly areas including Kathmandu valley today and in the Tarai region tomorrow. The festival revolves around the mythology of the demon king Hiranya Kashyapu ordering his sister Holika to enter into a fire along with Pralhad, son of the demon king and a devout follower of Lord Bishnu, in her lap so that Pralhad would stop chanting the name of the Lord.

The catch was that Holika wouldn’t burn in the fire because of a boon she had received from god. But it so happened that the fire burnt Holika whereas Pralhad remained unharmed and came out of the fire still chanting the name of god.

There is also a saying that Lord Bishnu had told Holika that the boon she had received would be meaningless if it was misused.