Holi ( /ˈhoʊliː/)

Holi ( /ˈhoʊliː/)

Holi ( /ˈhoʊliː/) is a popular ancient Hindu festival, also known as the "festival of spring", the "festival of colors", and the "festival of love". The festival signifies the triumph of good over evil. It originated and is predominantly celebrated in India, but has also spread to other regions of Asia and parts of the Western world through the diaspora from the Indian subcontinent.


Holi


Holi celebrates the arrival of spring, the end of winter, the blossoming of love, and for many it's a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. The festival also celebrates the beginning of a good spring harvest season. It lasts for a night and a day, starting on the evening of the Purnima (Full Moon day) falling in the Hindu calendar month of Phalguna, which falls around the middle of March in the Gregorian calendar. The first evening is known as Holika Dahan (burning of demon holika) or Chhoti Holi and the following day as Holi, Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi, or Phagwah.

Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular among non-Hindus as well in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia. In addition to India and Nepal, the festival is celebrated by Indian subcontinent diaspora in countries such as Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Mauritius, Fiji, Malaysia, Jamaica, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In recent years the festival has spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colors.

Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika Dahan where people gather, perform religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil is destroyed the way Holika, the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was killed in the fire. The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi – a free-for-all festival of colors, where people smear each other with colors and drench each other. Water guns and water-filled balloons are also used to play and color each other. Anyone and everyone are fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children, and elders. The frolic and fight with colors occur in the open streets, parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes come together to throw coloured powders on each other, laugh and gossip, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. Some customary drinks include bhang (made from cannabis), which is intoxicating. In the evening, after sobering up, people dress up and visit friends and family.