With large bonfires, balloons, water guns and notorious colored powders—what’s not to love about Holi? Since the fourth century CE, the Holi Festival has been celebrated in India and has since gained international attention. However, few individuals outside of India actually know about the festival beyond the vibrant colors.
The Hindu Holi is celebrated on the evening of a full moon in the Hindu calendar month of Phalguna, which is around the middle of March. The festival lasts a day and a night; this year, it will begin on the evening of Sunday, March 28, and end on Monday, March 29.
The festival represents the victory of good over evil. Still, it has come to signify many other connotations, such as the festival of colors, spring festival, and the festival of love. On Holi, people gather together and repair any damaged relationships by forgetting past resentments and forgiving one another.
Holi is met with great enthusiasm and spirit by people all over India, and its ritual begins with the lighting of a bonfire, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. The next day, colored powders are thrown in a playful frenzy, leaving streets covered in all sorts of bright shades. However, the colors used are not arbitrary. Instead, each one carries a specific meaning. For example, red symbolizes love and fertility, while green symbolizes new beginnings. People also visit friends and family to chat and share Holi delicacies, such as thandai, a drink made from milk and various spices.
Today, Holi is not just celebrated by believers of the Hindu faith, but all kinds of people who want to engage in this cheerful festival from around the world.