Updated: Mar 15, 2019
The Holi Festival, often called the Festival of Colors, is a traditional festival celebrated annually all over India.
It is, without a doubt, one of the most fun-filled, enthusiastic celebrations of life in India.
This beautiful festival is full of joy, fun, music, dance, and, of course, the playful throwing and smearing of bright colors on one another!
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Though there are many customs and traditions associated with the Holi Festival throughout India, the essence remains the same and can be expressed in three common themes:
reconnecting with nature in gratitude for the blooming of spring and bountiful harvests
celebrating the victory of good over evil
sharing of love and sweet relations, and fostering unity amongst the people.
The Holi Festival serves as a reminder for us to reconnect with nature – to live in harmony with our environment – and treat everything with respect. It ushers in the Spring season and comes at a time when flowers begin to bloom, nature displays its splendid colors, and seeds sprout. It is a time to remember nature's gifts with gratitude and respect, and to hope for the gift of fruitful harvests.
The Holi Festival is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. The celebration includes burning wood or making bonfires which symbolizes the burning away of all of our negative qualities and is known as Holika Dahan or the burning of Holika. This reminds us of the protection afforded to those devotees who sincerely love God and live in Dharma. The fire, which represents the burning of Holika, signifies the destruction of evil, including our own negative tendencies.
Finally, the festival of colors spreads love, unity, and truthfulness in relationships.
Everyone – children, youth, men, women, rich, poor - playfully splashes water and throws colorful powder all over one another! They may also have parties and dance under water sprinklers!
Splashing another with Holi colors showers them with love as you commit to foster a relationship of harmony, truthfulness and respect.
Holi ultimately brings out the spirit of joy and enthusiasm inherent in each and every one of us. This lighthearted festival gives relationships a fresh start and creates bonds of friendships with adversaries as we remember the inherent divinity within each and every one of us.
Holi fosters unity and is an opportunity to forget about our differences. By drenching everyone equally in colored powder, called “gulal,” all social norms and social structures dissolve and the “many” individuals become “one,” with no differences in caste, creed, gender, status, or age.
May the colors of Holi spread light and love to you and yours!