The Holi celebrated on the second day after Mountain Regions Holi by the people of Marwari, Chaudhary, Tharu, and other castes living in the plains of the Terai region in the south of Nepal is called Terai Holi in our folk dialect. As the Terai region of Nepal is on the border with India, the traditional customs and culture of India seem to have a great influence on the communities of this region. Among many of these influences, the Terai Holi festival celebration is one of them.
According to Indian tradition, the first day of the two-day-long Holi festival is known as ‘Jalanewali Holi’ or ‘Chhoti Holi’ or ‘Holika Dahan’. According to their places, the second day is normally called ‘Rangwali Holi’ Rangwali Holi celebration is a special day of Holi with programs like rubbing paint to each other, sprinkling colorful water, getting immersed in it, and promoting brotherhood.
Terai has its own religious beliefs about this festival of Terai Holi. In ancient times, a powerful atheist king named Hiranya Kashyap tried to kill his Bishnu devotee son Prahlad by burning him alive in the fire to punish him for his disobedience. But, Holika who had him in her laps was consumed by fire whereas Bhakta Pralhad was saved due to his devotion towards Lord Bishnu. Therefore, since then, the first day of Holi has been celebrated as the day of Holika’s death by burning a bonfire all night long. And all the terai community with a religious tradition of supporting Bhakta Pralhad, celebrate the Holi of color on the second day with joy as the victory of truth over evil and injustice.
Another belief is that – Lord Rama killed the demon Ravana and returned to Ayodhya this day thus, it is celebrated as a symbol of victory of truth, Holi of colors. On this day, all the people of Tarai living in different places, paint themselves and others with different colors, sprinkle color water to each other, dance, and sing in harmony with love and brotherhood to each other.
Terai Holi is very different from the Holi celebrated in cities and mountain regions including the capital Kathmandu. Warmest greetings to all the people and communities celebrating Terai Holi from the Nepali Patro family. To Read this article in the Nepali Language please click here.