As water balloons drenched the unsuspecting, the celebration of Fagu Purnima or Holi -- the festival of colors -- was in full swing in Nepal.
To make the most out of this color-filled fete, people gathered in the early morning with their friends and family and commenced the celebration by applying colors, including vermilion powder, to each other and making merry amongst themselves.
Holi is observed by Hindus around the world to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
Celebrants, especially children, pelted pedestrians with balloons and plastic bags filled with water.
The younger demographic is reported to have stepped up the celebrations this year by using enamel and other face paints and consuming hemp-based substances in a religiously enthusiastic spirit.
With a high degree of surveillance in the capital streets in the run-up to Holi, the festival of colors this year has been the most decent ever, and very few incidents of girls and women being harassed by males have been recorded, according to the police. Since the Metropolitan Police Commissioner's Office (MPCO) launched a special security campaign for the festival on Sunday, police have rounded up around 200 individuals for throwing water balloons and colors at passers-by.
As part of the drive, 2,200 police officers have been deployed to avoid untoward incidents during Holi. An additional 125 traffic police personnel were to be deployed on the main day of the festival on Wednesday to check for drunk drivers.
According to MPCO Spokesman SSP Ravi Raj Shrestha, the number of those arrested is far below when compared with previous years.
"With the new security drive in place, police had expected to make a large number of arrests this year," he said. "But we are surprised to see the number fall this time."
By bringing in the special security provisions, police aim to control road accidents and gang fights that often take place during the festival, he said.
However, the increased police presence did not prevent tragedy from marring the festive day. Media reports suggested that a girl died after falling off from the roof of a building in Kathmandu while celebrating Holi.
Different programs have been organized by various organizations inside and outside the Capital with the intent of bringing people together during this joyous occasion.
The government has declared Wednesday a public holiday for the capital and the hilly regions, while the holiday will celebrated on Thursday in the Tarai regions.
Meanwhile, security has been tightened in the Capital to preclude brawls and other possible mishaps.
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