This Monday, after the month’s full moon, areas throughout India and Nepal will burst into vibrant color as the Holi Festival begins. Known as the festival of color, the ancient Hindu festival has become popular with non-Hindu people throughout South Asia as well.
The festival commemorates the victory of good over evil. The night before Holi, festivities begin with a bonfire that pays homage to the legend of demoness Holika, who tricked her devout nephew Prahlada into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika’s protective cloak flew up to cover Prahlada and saved him, burning the demoness instead. Revelers gather around the Holika bonfire to sing and dance in celebration.
Also a celebration of springtime, Holi is about saying goodbye to winter and welcoming a good harvest. Once Holi kicks off in earnest, the brightness of spring is represented in colors that fly in the form of rainbow powders, balloons and water guns full of vibrant waters. That night, celebrants clean up and dress smartly to visit friends and relatives. Sweets are often exchanged as a symbol of forgiveness and new beginnings.
Have you celebrated the Holi Festival in South Asia? Tell us in the comments!