About... Holi

What is Holi?

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What is Holi? When is it?

Holi is a festival in India – the festival of colors (or colours).

Holi - Children
Kids in a Holi Celebration – Photo by Vishnu Nishad on Unsplash

Holi is a popular festival celebrated in India and Nepal, which is also known as the “Festival of Colors.” The festival is typically celebrated on the full moon day in the Indian calendar month of Phalguna, which usually falls in February or March.

Why is Holi celebrated?

The festival is celebrated to welcome the spring season and to celebrate the victory of good over evil. It is also a time for forgiveness, letting go of grudges, and reconciling with others.

People celebrating Holi: Photo by A frame in motion

People of all ages come together and celebrate with great enthusiasm by throwing colored powder and water on each other, singing and dancing, and feasting on delicious food and sweets.

Holi Celebration Sweets and Milk
Holi Celebrations with Sweets and flavored milk; Photo by Prchi Palwe on Unsplash

How is Holi celebrated?

The festival is celebrated in different parts of the country in various ways, with some regions having unique customs and traditions.

Holi Festival celebration
Holi Festival celebration – Photo by bhupesh pal on Unsplash

In North India, especially in the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh, the festival is celebrated with great fervor, and people enact scenes from the life of Lord Krishna.

In some parts of the country, a bonfire is lit on the eve of Holi, and people gather around it to sing and dance.

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Holi – Religious Significance

The religious significance of Holi is associated with several Hindu myths and legends.

The most popular one is the story of Prahlada, who was saved from the demoness Holika by the grace of Lord Vishnu.

The festival also celebrates the love of Radha and Krishna, and their playful throwing of colored powders and water on each other.

Holi – Cultural significance

The cultural significance of Holi is that it brings people of all backgrounds and social status together to celebrate the fruits of hard work (usually a harvest of the early spring) and enjoy. It promotes unity, friendship, and forgiveness.

Where is Holi celebrated?

Holi is primarily a festival that is widely celebrated in India, but it is also celebrated to some extent in other countries where there is a significant Hindu population such as Nepal, and Mauritius.

In Nepal, the festival called “Phagu Purnima” or “Holi” that is celebrated with colors and water, and is similar to the Holi festival of India.

Where else is Holi celebrated?

Some neighboring countries have similar festivals that involve the throwing of colors or the celebration of the arrival of spring. For example, Similarly, in Sri Lanka, there is a festival called “Holiya” that is celebrated with colors, water, and traditional foods. In Trinidad and Tobago, there is a festival called “Phagwa” that is celebrated by the Hindu community with colors, music, and dance.

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