People buy color powders from a roadside vendor at Asan, Kathmandu, on Wednesday. Photo: Dinesh Gole/Republica
KATHMANDU, March 1: Arrival of Holi, festival of colors, has increased business activities in traditional city centers of Kathmandu. Basantapur, which is popular among people celebrating Holi, is seeing a fair transactions of goods related to the celebration.
Shops keeping commodities like color powders, water guns, T-shirts, and water balloons are seen in most parts of the Kathmandu Valley.
Numerous street vendors are selling Holi-related commodities in the Basantapur area for the last few days. Especially on the day of Holi, which falls on Thursday in Kathmandu and other hilly areas of the country, Basantapur receives an overwhelming flow of visitors. Vendors and other traders said that they expect to make good money this year.
Traders expect that this year, their transactions are going to hit a level higher than in the previous years.
“Nepal did not face much calamity this year. We can see that this has increased the number of tourists, foreign as well as domestic,” said Gagan Das, a vendor selling colors at Makhan. “I have had a nice sale today. I expect the sales to be excellent tomorrow since more people will be coming to the Basantapur area this year.” Das was selling a pouch of color for Rs 30. He said that he expected a transaction worth more than Rs 200,000 this year.
The Holi trend has also changed the business trends. The sale of T-shirts and water guns has increased more than in the past, say traders.
“The water guns have become popular these days,” said Sushmita Neupane, a Holi-items trader at Basantapur. “Sale of water guns have been more than the sale of colors from my shop.” A number of traders in the area that Republica talked to had views similar to Das and Neupane.
Cloth vendors selling T-shirts in pairs are also seen in various places of Kathmandu. Varieties of thin T-shirts, with the writing ‘Happy Holi’ are on sale.
Ramesh Dangol, who was selling T-shirts in the footpaths of New Road, said that he has been selling the T-shirts in Holi for past few years.”
“I am selling a pair of T-shirts for Rs 300, and a single piece for Rs 200. People prefer these T-shirts because of the designs, and also because their regular clothes might get ruined because of the colors,” added Dangol.
While traders have been saying that they are earning good profits, some traders have also reported difficulties in their businesses.
“I have brought water guns from India to sell them here, but the municipality officials are troubling,” said Bipin Kumar, a resident of Mujaffarpur, India. “They are not allowing me keep my stall in this area. I was recently chased.”
Holi is a popular Hindu festival celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships.