Holi in Nepal: That Was Something Cool!

Holi in Kathmandu, Nepal

Did you know, that they celebrate Holi in Nepal? Until just recently I had no idea.

And then I went to Nepal for a hiking trip – Annapurna Circuit. I wasn’t alone. There were 3 more people coming from Latvia to join me. I arrived in Kathmandu on the 7th of March, but my friends were arriving on the 13th. I had booked myself a bed in a hostel, and all in all I was ready for a peaceful week alone, resting after last month of almost non-stop traveling, reading a book & doing photography.

Boy, was I wrong! These 6 days turned out to be the same as fun and eventful like the last month. All thanks to interesting people, whom I was meeting at the hostel every day. My day started with a breakfast at the hostel, and then we were always going somewhere. Every time there were some new people.

And then one day I hear one girl saying – I came to Kathmandu only to celebrate Holi. What? Holi? When? After tomorrow? Ok – I’m in.

Last year we were planning to celebrate Holi in India. But it didn’t work out – after 2 months in India we got tired of the country and left for Malaysia. And here I had arrived to Nepal just in time for the celebration. I just couldn’t miss this opportunity.

Now it’s official – Holi festival is among 2 most fun festivals from around the world, that I have experienced. It’s the same as fun and crazy as Songkran- Thai New Year – which we were lucky enough to celebrate in Krabi, Thailand, last spring.

OK – I’ll let my photos from Holi speak for themselves.

Holi in Nepal (Kathmandu) – 2017

Can I take a photo of you? – I asked. I just really liked her shoes, so I needed to take that photo, haha. I don’t want to think, how these shoes looked afterwards. For the last 2 days it was raining a lot in Kathmandu. And now streets were all muddy.

Asian couple - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

 A girl with mouth full of colorful powder - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Some people came better prepared than others. Swimming goggles, what a good idea!

A guy with glasses - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Youngsters celebrating Holi - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

A crowd starts gathering. See these people on the left, standing higher than others? Most of them are photographers. At the same moment I’m standing on some unstable brick construction.

A crowd starts gathering - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

People enjoying themselves during Holi - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Crowd - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

A boy with blue face - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

World is small, you know!

There were thousands of people celebrating Holi in Kathmandu. I took only some 200 photos during that day. I didn’t have any protective case for my camera (Fuji X30, if you are curious), so I didn’t want to risk too much. Well, I wanted to enjoy the celebration as well. And then I posted 12 of these photos on my Instagram. A few days later I got a message from one girl, asking me if I could send an original of one of them. Why? Because she was on that photo.

Malay girls - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

A man with colorful face - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

My companions.

My friends - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

After about an hour on Durbar Square, where we arrived as one of the first ones in the morning (because we had heard, that everything starts early) we felt a tiny bit dissappointed. So that’s it? This is Holi in Nepal? Celebrated mostly by foreigners…

A little bit later we realized, how wrong were our assumptions. Because only at about the midday most of the people started to come. A LOT OF PEOPLE.

But here,… here we have stopped for a lunch. Taking photos while our meal is being prepared. We wanted to eat at some place high enough, so we could have a good view from above. A moment later after I took this photo a plastic bag full with colored water landed on my back. There is no 100% safe place during Holi, haha.

Lunch break photoshoot - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

People in the rooftop restaurant - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Crowd in Durbar square - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Ok, this is not a small crowd of mostly foreigners anymore…

Crowd is getting bigger at Durbar square - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

And this is how it looks when you walk in that crowd. On a very wide street for Kathmandu, I must admit.

After lunch we wanted to return to the same place, where we were jumping in the crowd earlier. But it was impossible now. There were too many people. So we went wandering through the streets of Kathmandu instead, at the same time looking for some lassi stall (lassi is a yogurt drink; try it, when you are in Nepal!).

People on the streets - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Guys with black faces - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Happy guys - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Stylish Indian guy - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Kids during Holi festival - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Where to get colored powder for Holi? One of the options is to buy from people like this man, who are sitting on the street and selling it. Or you can get it from the shop. But you can also have a lot of fun, without having your own package of powder. Like we did. Initially we were planning to buy it at some moment during the day, but at the end we forgot about it.

Where to buy powder for Holi - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

People - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Guy with a colorful face - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Funny guy - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Elderly man - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

A guy with painted face - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Our second lunch. Mmm, tasty!

Our second lunch - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Indian guy - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Indian guy with yellow face - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Kaspars Vincent Nerine - Kathmandu - Holi in Nepal

Happy Holi!

Have you celebrated Holi in Nepal or India? How was your experience?

Author: Kaspars Misins

Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.