Thursday, March 16, 2006

Holi - day!

I think Nepal leads the pack of countries with the most holidays. On Tuesday, everyone (well, almost) celebrated Holi (pronounced like holy). It is considered the festival of colours to celebrate the coming of Spring. But it also is the festival to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. It has its roots in a mythical Hindu legend where a young son of a power-hungry king decided to worship the Lord Vishnu. The King wanted everyone to worship him and he was so angry that his son did not, that he ordered his daughter or sister (not sure which one) Holika to kill his son. Holika apparently could walk through fire, so she was going to burn the King's son in the fire, but somehow, she was burnt instead. So, where does the colour part come in? Well, here in Nepal, the way to celebrate Holi is to fill colorful balloons with water or colored water and throw them at friends - however, innocent folk, young gals in particular, get hit all the time by surprise! Also, friends get together and paint their faces with various colours of powder usually used for tikkas (the ceremonial painting of a dot on the forehead during Hindu worship). It is craziness! I celebrated with the kids at the rehab center. We had a blast!!!

Now the serious part, after Holi, everyone had to crack open the books again, because today is the start of a weeklong course of examinations. For many, today is their primary English exam. More to come... wish them luck!



Doug said...

I found something funny at One article told of trouble makers, they called the "Hooligans", throwing water balloons at people in Kathmandu & some getting arrested for it.
The next article was about Nepal celebrating "Holi"... where people throw water balloons at each other!
Go figure!
I go to Nepal in 3 weeks! I can't wait to see Jackie!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This weekend I saw a bunch of folks at the park where I swim laps and they were celebrating this very thing! A bunch of people running around covered in powder & paint. Crazy! I guess Holi is celebrated in L.A. too!

Hope you are well -GV