5 things you need to know about Hindu festival of Holi

You might have noticed Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas celebrating Hindu festival of Holi on Instagram and thought it looked cool. But what is it actually about? Here are 5 things you need to know about Holi, festival of colours!

1. The origin

Holi is an ancient 2 days long Hindu festival, also known as festival of love, colours and spring. As it implies Holi celebrates the arrival of spring, the blossoming of love and the victory of good over evil. It’s a day to meet with others, play, laugh but also forgive and repair broken relationships. Although it originated in India, it is also celebrated in other Asian and Western countries.

2. The date

Since the date follows a Lunar calendar, it varies every year. It starts in the evening of the day of full moon in the month Phalguna which is usually in the March. This year it was 28 to 29th March.

3. The legends

There are many legends that are believed to contribute to the meaning of the festival, two of them are, however, particularly popular. The first one is about Hindi god Krishna and his eternal love Radha. This part seems to be the reason why we celebrate Holi as the festival of love. The other one is about Holika and Prahlad in which Holika is one of the demon siblings who ends up being defeated. That symbolises the victory of good over evil. 

4. The traditions

Like any other festival also Holi has its own traditions. The night starts with a bonfire which originates in the legend of Holika and Prahlad. Holika was killed by fire and so people perform religious rituals in belief it will destroy the evil. They also use the fire to roast different kinds of food. The next day they go to the streets and park and throw coloured powder and water balloons on each other, they dance and sing. At the end of the day they change to the formal clothes and go visit their family.

5. The coloured powder

Throwing coloured powder is probably the most significant activity of the Holi festival celebration. Although it’s one of the reasons why it became so popular, a lot of people might not know the history behind it. The legend says that Krishna used to play coloured water games which often included pouring water on other people. Throwing the coloured powder is believed tobe a reference to that.

Written by Michaela Piontková