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Holi being celebrated in Kathmandu Valley and hilly region today

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — People in Kathmandu Valley and other parts of the hilly region are celebrating Holi, the Hindu spring festival of colours, which is also known as Fagu Purnima, by exchanging colors and wishes Sunday.

The Fagu celebration begins with a Holika dahan or making a bonfire commemorating the death of Holika on the eve of Holi, the symbol of triumph of good over evil.

People, then next day, enjoy smearing colorful powders and throwing colors including ‘Abir’, a red vermilion powder.

Among various cultural festivals celebrated in Nepal, the Fagu Poornima carries its own specialty and significance. People from old to young age enjoy the festival with enthusiasm.

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.

According to a Hindu myth, demon king Hiranyakashyapu who was unhappy with his son Prahlad for his wholehearted devotion to the God Bishnu ordered his sister Holika to kill Prahalad.

Holika, following her brother’s instruction,  who had a boon from the god that fire would not harm her, sat on a fire by taking Prahlad on her lap, but was burnt to death while Prahalad remained unhurt due to the blessing of God Bishnu.

From then onward, the festival has been linked to this legend and is celebrated by smearing colour in enjoyment.

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

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People believe that any premonitions can be avoided if ‘Tika’ made from the ashes of the ‘Chir’ is put on one’s forehead or kept in the house.

Meanwhile, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has extended best wishes to all Nepalis at home and abroad on the occasion of the festival. In her message, she wished that the Holi festival would inspire all to work together for nation building.

Police said they have stepped up security to prevent any untoward incident during the festival.

The festival will be celebrated in the Tarai region on Monday.

The government has announced public holiday on this day.

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RJPN splits in its anniversary, disgruntled leaders form new party

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — A dissatisfied leaders of Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJPN) including Vice Chairman Ashok Kumar Yadav announced on Friday that they have quit the party to form a new party under his leadership.

Organising a press conference at the Reporters’ Club in the Capital on Friday, Yadav and 32 other members left the party and announced a new party named Rastriya Janta Party (Loktantrik). According to which Ashok Kumar Yadav is appointed as a coordinator, Ritesh Kumar Singh, deputy coordinator and Jeevan Shah as general secretary.

Subash Chandari Biraji and Jeevan Sah have been appointed as General Secretaries in the 11-member ad hoc committee while Sadhana Yadav and Lakki Sharma as Secretaries, Madhu Maya Yadav as Treasurer and Dipendra Yadav as spokesperson.

Likewise, Dharma Raj Gupta, Bipana Acharya and Sambhu Pandit are the members of central ad hoc committee.

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Coordinator Yadav accused the party leadership of remaining indifferent in piling pressure on the government to amend the constitution.

Saying that Madhes is still lagging behind in terms of development, Yadav said the Rastriya Janata Party (Democratic) will focus its activities on development.

LAst year on the same day on April 20, 2017,six Madhes-based parties — Mahantha Thakur-led Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party, Rajendra Mahato-led Sadbhawana Party, Mahendra Yadav-led Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party, Sharat Singh Bhandari-led Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party and Rajkishor Yadav-led Madhesi Janadhikar Forum- Ganatantrik and Anil Jha-led Nepal Sadbhawana Party– had announced their unification to form Rastirya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN).

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