Festivals of India: Holi


Tomorrow is Holi, when all of India, especially to the north of the Vindhyas, will be awash in colours. Holi is a spring festival and like the other spring festivals across the world, herald the end of winter and the blossoming of new life, aka Spring!

The festival is mainly celebrated in North India and Nepal, but these days are being celebrated across the country as people move around for work and education. The day before Holi is the Holika-dhan – where a bonfire symbolising the story of Prahalad and the Naramisha avatar of Lord Vishnu – is burnt.

On the day of Holi, people colour each other and throw water balloons on each other. People usually wear light coloured clothes that day and at the end of the play, look like they were dipped in multi-coloured dye, making everyone look colourful.

However, in recent years, the festival has gone out of hand. Some people use the festival to indulge in unwanted activities and try to molest women in the name of tradition! Also synthetic colours cause harm to the skin and there are many times, you see people with dyed hands and legs even weeks after Holi.

Bollywood also loves Holi with many songs portraying the festival. Here is one of my favourites to get you into the mood of the festival…

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