Coloured and happy faces all around are what you witness in Holi- the Indian Hindu festival.
Holi festival celebrates the arrival of springs. It also denotes the victory of good forces over evil. The festival of colours is best known for throwing water balloons, gulal (colours) on each other and revelling in festive spirit for two days.
India is the origin of this joyous celebration, however, it has transcended boundaries and gone global. Indian diaspora living in the United States and other parts of the world rejoice the day with full spirit. Even non-Indians enjoy it completely!
What is Holi and Why Is It Celebrated?
As stated above, Holi is the festival of colours. It is commonly a Hindu festival, however, people of all faiths and beliefs commemorate it happily.
This ancient Hindu festival is celebrated for two days. The first day is called Holika Dahan while the other is known as Rangwali Holi.
As per Hindu calendar, it falls in the month of Phalgun (End of February & Start or Mid of March). The celebration starts on the evening of full moon day (Purnima). The evening signifies Holika Dahan and the next day morning signifies the festival of colours.
There are various beliefs and stories around the celebration of Holi festival. The most famous ones are of Radha Krishna and Holika.
The Legend of Radha Krishna
Radha and Krishna are the epitome of love. The two signify the beautiful aspects of love. As per a belief when Krishna fell in love with Radha he was worried about his dark skin. He became uncomfortable with his skin tone. When his mother came to know about that, she suggested Krishna to colour her face.
Krishna playfully coloured the face of Radha. It then became a tradition. Colouring faces with different colours means there is no difference among people.
The Legend of Holika
Another legend about why Holi is celebrated is as follows. Holika, the sister of demon king Hiranyakashipu sat on a burning pyre with Prahlada with a perspective to kill him. However, Prahlada came unharmed while Holika burned despite her boon that no fire would ever harm her. This signifies the defeat of evil. As per tradition, people burn cow-dung cakes, cereals and wood in a symbolic pyre.
Holi 2018, 2019 and 2020 date and time
In 2018, Holi is going to be celebrated on 2nd March.
In 2019 it will be observed on March 21 - 22.
In 2020 it will be celebrated on March 10 - 11.
So, gear up for this festival of colours and spread smile while smearing colours on your loved ones’ faces!