We were fortunate enough to be in the Kathmandu Valley during Holi, and were swept up in this ancient Hindu festival of spring that has spread to non-Hindus as well. It's also called the festival of colour, in part because, in all the frolicking, people smear each other's faces and clothes in brilliant colours and drop water balloons filled with coloured water off rooftops onto the streets and pedestrians below. The whole thing takes place in the happiest of spirits and, if you're out, you are fair game to be 'greeted' by the colours. No one is spared - local, traveller, rich, poor ...
Besides all of this fun, buildings are decorated too. In this photo a man is throwing paint on the stupa of Swayambhunath Temple, one of the most sacred Buddhist shrines in Nepal. The temple is also called The Monkey Temple, because the monkeys that live there are linked to a myth about the very origins of the shrine. This stunning stupa sits on a hilltop 365 steps above the Kathmandu Valley.
The combination of the joyous mood of Holi, and the beauty and significance of the site made our day unforgettable.
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