The Holi festival is the spring arrival consecration and celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is also the festival of colors, a moment of fun and farce. At the beginning of the day, the Kathmandu streets are filled with families, friends and festival-goers, all suffering from children exploding with joy. The jets of colors and water balloons on the bystanders are admitted for this occasion. Only my owner’s dog, Tuschi, seems indifferent to these joyful moments.
Over the last five years, I lived between Paris and Patan, a former royal city, once capital city, city of art and City of Beauty, located six kilometers south of the Kathmandu Center. From my window, there is an external world transcending reality and its artifices, where poetry could praise the daily lives and genuine goodness of the Nepalese. Also opens up a more inner world helping "to feel that I am and what I am".
Among the 83 festivals granted to Hindus and other communities, Christmas is the only official Christian holiday reintroduced recently in the Nepalese calendar. It was fortunate for me to be invited by my dear friend Ram Dai, a tailor of great talent and a wise man. After a few pictures of his community members to immortalize this day, the evening ended around a fire on the threshold of my home with the children of my own community.
The day is placed under the sign of the number 7. Prophetic, symbolic or mystical values can be considered but it is also the age of a dear Nepalese friend’s grandmother with her 77 years, 7 months and 7 days! For the occasion, the couple is adorned like newlyweds and take seven steps before climbing a chariot supported by sons and grandsons. The procession, followed by the family and the couple's parents, marches in the city from temple to temple imploring divine protection. After this Janku ceremony, the person is called Thakali, meaning the elder or the senior.
The children of my community share my daily life in Nepal. When they meet me, they can not repress the desire to ask me conscientiously ritual questions in which complicity and curiosity mingle: "Where are you going?", "Where do you come from?". After a few unforgettable Christmas and New Year celebrations together, we recently organized a portrait photo session, each one lending itself seriously and derisively.
The Tihar festival, called Deepawali or Festival of Lights lasts five days during which is celebrated the victory of the light on the darkness. It is a glittering feast of life and prosperity. Candles are lined up inside and outside of all the houses and lit to show the way to Laxmi, the goddess of wealth.
The inhabitants draw mandalas on the ground in front of their doors based on rice, sand and dry flour that they color or dispose with application flower petals. The artistic outline of a welcoming, protective and sacred area is thus traced.