Over a year ago now I stumbled upon some pictures of people absolutely covered in colour and their faces drenched in smiles. After some general research, I soon found out, that was none other than a Hindu festival called Holi. As soon as I found out about it, and came to realize that a major participant in the world was India, I HAD to go! Here we are, just a year and a bit later and I finally went (and came back) and was sooo excited I was able to participate in what I really think is the best day of the year!
Holi Festival is primarily celebrated throughout India and Nepal (although now becoming popular in other parts as well). It is the beginning of Spring- the festival of colour and happiness- but as it originated, the festival over good conquering evil.
Going back to some of the Hindu mythology I had learned about, Holi comes from the word Holika (a Hindu demoness). She is part of an important story of Vishnu in relation to his fourth incarnation- half-man/half-lion. To avoid butchering this story and offending the Hindu faith in my poor interpretation, Holika was conquered by the good of Vishnu and his devout believers- to put it simply. I strongly suggest finding a great representation of this story as it really very interesting. Here is a spoiler for you though- The evil Holika was conquered by the good Vishnu, hence the good conquering evil theme of Holi Festival.
It is the time when you are supposed to rid yourself of negativity, start fresh, let in a new season and do so with bright colours, starting a new season with happiness and light. With that Holi becomes what I think must be one of the best festival times in India. The whole country participates and no one is spared. I really think this should be a New Years tradition, but for now, I will settle for a belated awesome way to have a fresh start.
It is just so much fun to be able to throw colour at one another, have a few drinks, laugh and at the end of it all, look like a Lisa Frank cartoon (90’s kids will get it- or just google it). The more fun part is seeing how long it takes for all of it to come off!
I went to India at this specific time of year for this festival, and it was awesome! Although the date changes every year, it is definitely worth the visit, and in my case, it was another thing I got to check off my LIST! Be aware though, it is not ok to just be a viewer, if you’re not participating you really won’t be given an option, so just enjoy it!
I will go back for it for sure, but next time make sure I am around for the full week of festivities!