Holi – A Colourful Insight
Holi – also known as the ‘Explosion of Colour’ – is a Hindu festival which celebrates the arrival of the Spring Season.
Holi has no fixed date as the Hindu calendar uses the lunar calendar.
However, Holi usually takes place on the last full moon of the month Phalguna of the Hindu calendar. In 2019, Holi falls between 20th March – 21st March.
Holi remembers the story of Prahlada, a prince dedicated to the worship of Hindu god Vishnu.
People cerebrate the festival by throwing colourful powder in the air known as ‘Gulal’.
Holi also includes eating traditional Indian sweets called ‘Mithai’, spraying people with water dyed with coloured powder and involves dancing to traditional folk music
An effigy is usually burned on flaming wooden pyres, to represent the destruction of the Devil.
Although India has the largest population of Hinduism in a single country, other significant Hindu communities in the United Kingdom, Australia, Indonesia, the United States South Africa and the United States also celebrate Holi.
Families across the nation shall celebrate Holi, alongside friends and neighbours, providing gifts of sweets and coloured powder so that they can join festivities.
A number if public events and student unions are also taking place to allow people to experience Holi for the first time, and allow those familiar with Holi to celebrate.
Though Holi is an immensely fun celebration to participate in, some precautions are advised.
The Times of India has advised those celebrating Holi to apply oil to any exposed skin and hair before celebrations proceed to avoid any unforeseen or unwanted irritation and discolouration from colourful powder.
Celebrations for Holi are usually light-hearted and fun, and with the spectacular array of colour, food and chance to meet people, it guarantees to be a fun event.
Though Holi marks the start of Spring in the Hindu calendar, it is not the only tradition or religious festival to follow the Lunar Calendar.
The Persian festival of Nowruz is celebrated at similar time as Holi, usually on the day of the Spring Equinox. Nowruz is cerebrated in Central and Southern Asia by approximately 300 million people and marks the first day in a new year of the Iranian Calendar.