Fagu purnima, holi or the festival of color is one of the joyous festivals celebrated in Nepal. Fagu purnima is an eight day celebration. The celebration starts with the installation of a Chir. A Chir is a tall bamboo pole tapped with their umbrella like tires, each frienged with colorful strips of cloth.
This day is also celebrated as the symbol of welcoming the arrival of spring season and the end of winter season. With love, meeting and wishing friends, family, relatives and neighbors to forgive and forget, repair the broken relationships, play with color and laugh. Spring season is also the beginning of the harvest season.
As per the hindu mythology, Fagu purnima is celebted as the victory over evil. This day is also celebrated as the symbol of love between Lord Krishna and Radha.
When is Fagu Purnima celebrated?
Fagu purnima is observed on the full moon day on the eight days of the waxing moon in March.
Why is Fagu Purnima celebrated?
According to Bhagavat Puran, the festival is observed to celebrate the extermination of a demon called Holika who had tried to burn Pralad, a devout devotee of Lord Vishnu. However, Pralad lived while Holika burned.
A king named Hiranyakashipu wanted to be immortal and to fulfill his desires, he prayed intensely to lord Brahma. Although, the blessing of immortally is not granted to anyone, however, with his cunning nature he asked for 5 wishes, which was able to get the blessing from Lord Brahma. He was given five special powers. The powers were, he could not be killed by humans nor animals. He could not be killed indoors or outdoors, neither during the day nor at night, neither by any weapon known as astra or shastra, projectile weapons or handheld weapons respectively, neither on land, water or air.
Once he received this blessing his ego made him feel invincible. He became arrogant and he demanded everyone worship him. However, his son Prahlada disagreed with his father and remained devoted to Lord Vishu. Hiranyakashipu was infuriated. He tried to punish his son by many cruel punishments, however, his devotion to Lord Vishnu protected him.
One day, Holika, Praladh’s aunt, tricked him to sit on a pyre with her, while she wore a cloak that made her immune to the fire. As the fire grew, the clock flew off burning her leaving Prahlad unharmed. Lord Vishnu then appeared as an avatar to restore the beliefs and took the form of Narshmima, hlaf human and half lion, at dusk. He then took Hiranyakashyapu, at the door steps, placed him on his lap and killed him with his claws. Therefore, the holika bonfire and hole signifies the victory of good over evil.
How is Fagu Purnima celebrated?
Lord Vishnu is worshipped on this day to signify the faith in being devotee to the lord Vishnu. People throw color powder and water at each other and celebrate this day.
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If you want to learn more about other festivities here are some popular ones:
- Deepwali: Festival of Lights
- Gai Jatra: The Procession of the Cow
- Significance of Janai Purnima or Rakshya Bandhan
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Content source: Several magazines