This week, Hindus around the world are celebrating the most colorful festival in the world, Holi. The vibrant party is a springtime festival celebrated on the last full moon of the lunar month.
Although Holi is traditionally is a Hindu celebrated festival that takes place in India and Nepal, many cultures around the world have adopted the exhilarating springtime celebration.
While many have seen photos and videos of the brilliant colored powder, or gulal, being thrown into the air, a majority do not know the history or meaning of the Holi Festival. Holi’s celebrations come from many different Hindu legends. One legend tells the story of how the god Vishnu saved his follower Prahlada from a pyre while Prahlada’s evil aunt Holika burned.
The night before the Holi festival, a Holika bonfire is burned to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
As the for the powder, or gulal, thrown during the festival, the purpose derives from the legend of Krishna, whose skin was dark blue. Worried he wouldn’t be accepted by his love Radha, he colored her face to make her look similar to himself. Another reason as to why gulal is thrown is because of its significance surrounding the arrival of spring and all of the vibrant colors it brings.
In today’s modern celebrations, anyone at Holi has a fair chance to be covered in the vividly beautiful powder as a celebration of Krishna and Radha’s love.
Because of its beauty, Holi is one of the most cherished and mesmerizing celebrations around the world, and for good reason.