Holi is the Indian Festival of Colors. It is the celebration of the beginning of spring and represents rejuvenation and rebirth through all of the bright colors associated with the festival. During the festival, people smear powdered, bright colors on each other’s faces and splash colored water at one another.
Holi is a Hindu festival, typically celebrated in the North of India, and is also celebrated around the world in places like Nepal, Sri Lanka, and countries which have a large Hindu Diaspora like Suriname, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, the U.K., the U.S., Mauritius, and Fiji, among others.
The festival begins on the day after the full moon in early March and spans three days, culminating in Parva on the final day when everyone partakes in drenching each other in colored powder and water in the streets. The day before Parva, bonfires are lit, sometimes even in the middle of streets, and effigies of the evil sister, Holika, are burned. This is symbolic of the triumph of good over evil.
This festival is a favorite for children as it involves getting wet, messy and colorful using water balloons, buckets and water guns as well as colored powder. One of the main colors of the festival is a vibrant pink, but a lot of other colors are used including red, green, yellow, blue and others. Holi is a time to let loose and have fun; a lot of social taboos in India are overlooked during this celebration. Quite literally, anything goes, “bura na mano, holi hai,” as the saying goes.
Like most Indian and Hindu festivals, Holi is associated with several mythical tales. There are at least three legends linked to Holi, one of which is about Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna frequently complained to his mother that his soulmate Radha’s complexion was so much lighter than his own dark skin. His mother, to cheer him up, told him to apply color to Radha’s face to change her skin tone. Krishna, who was both playful and mischievous, liked the idea and put color all over Radha’s face. This act then grew to become part of the Holi tradition.
Have a look at this link to see some beautiful images of Holi.