“Holi” is a Hindu celebration in India and Nepal. In 2013, Holi will be observed near the end of March.
Amy, an American Christian, traveled to Nepal when she was 9 years old. She went with her parents and her two brothers. Her father got a job in the capital, Kathmandu.
Read below what Amy remembers about Holi and Hinduism.
“The first year we were there, we participated in Holi,” Amy said. “For Holi, the people have paint fights and water fights. Red, green, and yellow are everywhere.
“The second year we realized that Holi was part of a Hindu festival. We didn’t feel it was right for us to participate anymore, since we are Christians.”
During part of another Hindu festival, sisters honor their brothers. “Basically, sisters worship their brothers,” Amy said. “They go to the Hindu temple and perform a ritual for and to their brothers. Christians should not be doing that. Some Christians have their own take on it and don’t do the Hindu part of it.”
Nepalese calendars are filled with Hindu festivals to honor various gods. The people both “love and dread the festivals,” said one visitor to Nepal. It is a lot of work to honor so many gods.
“They have rituals for all the gods so none of the gods will be jealous,” said Amy. “Sometimes Hindus will say they have become Christians. They think, ‘Okay, I’ll just add one more god.’ When you tell them they must stop worshiping other gods, they freak out. They’re afraid the other gods will be angry.”
But some Hindus do become Christians and worship only the one true God. “It’s hard for them,” Amy said. “They have a lot of family pressure. One of our friends became a Christian and wouldn’t go to the Hindu temples with her family. They kicked her out of the family. That kind of thing happens all the time.” Some of the new Christians find comfort among Christians in Nepalese churches.
Ask God to help Hindus not fear other gods.