Holi is an important spring festival for Hindus,a national holiday in India, a regional holiday in Nepal and other countries, also known as the ‘Festival of Colours”. It is a playful cultural event and an excuse to throw colored water at friends or stranger in jest. Holi is celebrated at the end of winter, on the last full moon of the hindu-luni-solar calendar month of phalgun.
In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agricultural, commemorated good spring havests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colours and saying farewell to winter.
To many Hindus, holi festivities mark the beginning of the new year as well as occasion to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and rid themselves of accumulated emotional impurities from the past.
It also has a religious purpose, symbolically signified by the legend of Holika. The night before holi, bonfires are lit in a ceremony known as Holika dahan or little holi. People gather neae fires, sing and dance. The next day, holi also known as Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated.
Children and youth spray coloured powder at each other, while adults smear dry coloured powder on each other’s faces. After playing with colours, and cleaning up, people bathe, put on clean clothes, and visit friends and family.
- INDIA 121 BY Kanika Gautam