In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land. An Indian artist dressed as Hindu god Lord Shiva takes part in a procession ahead of the Holi festival in Amritsar in 2018. It was a seemingly foolproof plan; Holika would take Prahlad onto her lap and straight into a bonfire. Holika would survive because she had an enchanted shawl that would protect her from the flames. He banned the public celebration of Holi using a Farman issue in November 1665. [38], Sikhs have traditionally celebrated the festival, at least through the 19th century,[41] with its historic texts referring to it as Hola. [49][50], The festival has many purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of Spring. The girls try to stop them by throwing coloured water on them to commemorate the pranks of Krishna and the cowherd boys to steal butter and "gopis" while trying to stop the girls. [61] Falling in the Hindu month of Phalguna, Holi marks the agricultural season of the rabi crop. I celebrate Holi by spraying colours on everyone and in return they spray colours on me. King Hiranyakashipu, according to a legend found in chapter 7 of Bhagavata Purana,[32][33] was the king of demonic Asuras, and had earned a boon that gave him five special powers: he could be killed by neither a human being nor an animal, neither indoors nor outdoors, neither at day nor at night, neither by astra (projectile weapons) nor by any shastra (handheld weapons), and neither on land nor in water or air. Puran Poli is the main delicacy and children shout "Holi re Holi puranachi poli". The Ganga Mela marks the official end of "The Festival of Colours" or Holi in Kanpur. On the eve of Phalgun Poornima, people light bonfires. It is customary to wear old white clothes on this day, be prepared to get them dirty and join in the colour throwing excitement and party.[99][100]. A popular activity is the throwing of water balloons at one another, sometimes called lola (meaning water balloon). You can buy all the colorful powder you need from vendors. Holi in Odisha and West Bengal . [67], In Punjab, the eight days preceding Holi are known as luhatak. It is the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, to end conflicts by meeting others, a day to forget and forgive. [75], Folk theatrical performances known as swang or nautanki take place during Holi,[76] with the latter originating in the Punjab. [15], Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular among non-Hindus as well in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia. As well as marking the start of spring, Holi is also known as “The festival of love” and celebrates fertility and colour. [92], The colours used on Holi are derived from natural sources. In Gujarat, Holi is a two-day festival. Groups sing and dance, some playing drums and dholak. People throw colours and get their targets completely coloured up. Meanwhile, some commercial companies such as the National Botanical Research Institute have begun to market "herbal" dyes, though these are substantially more expensive than the dangerous alternatives. [122], The use of heavy metal-based pigments during Holi is also reported to cause temporary wastewater pollution, with the water systems recovering to pre-festival levels within 5 days. Also, Holi is not a one day festival as celebrated in most of the states in India, but it is celebrated for three days. A 2007 study found that malachite green, a synthetic bluish-green dye used in some colours during Holi festival, was responsible for severe eye irritation in Delhi, if eyes were not washed upon exposure. Certain clays are alternate source of brown. Inside homes, people stock up on pigments, food, party drinks and festive seasonal foods such as gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other regional delicacies. [29][30] It is also celebrated with great fervour in Mauritius. It is celebrated by the Hindus and marks the Hindu festival of colors. Holi is the bold, colorful image of India most often seen in ad campaigns, films and music videos. The colours are sold without labeling, and the consumer lacks information about the source of the colours, their contents, and possible toxic effects. Due to the commercial availability of attractive pigments, slowly the natural colours are replaced by synthetic colours. These songs are essentially based on classical ragas. This return of the god of love, is celebrated on the 40th day after Vasant Panchami festival as Holi. The next day main celebrations start with carnivals of colors where people color each other with dry colored powder and colored water. However, it may be noted that many parts of rural India have always resorted to natural colours (and other parts of festivities more than colours) due to availability. Dwarka, a coastal city of Gujarat, celebrates Holi at the Dwarkadheesh temple and with citywide comedy and music festivities. In the Braj region of North India, women have the option to playfully hit men who save themselves with shields; for the day, men are culturally expected to accept whatever women dish out to them. Holi is called the festival of colours. This she did, and Radha and Krishna became a couple. He hatched a plot with Holika to kill him. [43][44][45], Holi was observed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his Sikh Empire that extended across what are now northern parts of India and Pakistan. Join us on a 12-month journey to see them all, splash their friends and family with colored powder. To ease her son's sadness, his mother suggests he Radha's skin color by smearing her with paint. [40] Bahadur Shah Zafar himself wrote a song for the festival, while poets such as Amir Khusrau, Ibrahim Raskhan, Nazeer Akbarabadi and Mehjoor Lakhnavi relished it in their writings. Some are producing and marketing ranges of safer colours derived from natural sources such as vegetables and flowers.[116]. Holi ( /ˈhoʊliː/) is a popular ancient Hindu festival, also known as the Indian "festival of spring", the "festival of colours", and the "festival of love". After the death of Ranjit Singh, his Sikh sons and others continued to play Holi every year with colours and lavish festivities. Krishna, the Hindu god depicted with dark blue skin, is believed to have complained to his mother about Radha's fair complexion. It is often referred to as the Festival of Colors because of the traditional throwing of colored water, or powder, by its participants. Whereas, in Bengal Holi is celebrated as 'Basant Utsav', and the tradition was reintroduced by poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan. [132][133], There have been concerns that these events appropriate and trivialise aspects of Holi for commercial gain—downplaying or completely ignoring the cultural and spiritual roots of the celebration. In Krishna temples, devotees sing devotional songs, perform dances and celebrate with aber (gulal) wearing traditional white and yellow turbans. [88] An earthen pot filled with butter or other milk products is hung high by a rope. Everyone in open areas such as streets and parks is game, but inside homes or at doorways only dry powder is used to smear each other's face. Dholak and Majeera are the only instruments used. The below are some of the fun activities which was taken place during the celebration of this colorful event "Holi". A. Members of Hindu associations and volunteers assist in hosting the event along with temple devotees. Hindus celebrate Holi as it relates to the legend of Kama Deva. [94] It is celebrated in the Nepali month of Phagun (same date as Indian Holi), and signifies the legends of the Hindu god Krishna. The name Holi is derived from the demoness Holika. [85] The Holi songs of Braj Mandal are sung in pure Braj, the local language. It is celebrated around the Konkani temple called Gosripuram temple. Trees and plants start blossoming from the day of Basant and start bearing fruit by Holi. This art is known as chowk-poorana or chowkpurana in Punjab and is given shape by the peasant women of the state. Preparing for Holika Dahan, Kathamandu, Nepal. The Cheer is a bonfire with a green Paiya tree branch in the middle. A national holiday, it takes place on the last full moon day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month, which is usually March. Some Hindus collect the ashes and smear them on their bodies as an act of purification. Wendy Doniger (Editor), Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions, 2000. This year's national holiday falls on Wednesday, March 20. As a result, it has caused mild to severe symptoms of skin irritation and inflammation. The Punjabi saying Phaggan phal laggan (Phagun is the month for fructifying) exemplifies the seasonal aspect of Holi. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, parks, outside temples and buildings. Nandini Gooptu (2001) The Politics of the Urban Poor in Early Twentieth-Century India. "Witness the beauty of the great cupid festival which excites curiosity as the townsfolk are dancing at the touch of brownish water thrown ... Everything is colored yellowish red and rendered dusty by the heaps of scented powder blown all over," wrote Harsha. A., Ali, M., Khursheed, A., & Kazmi, A. During these activities, the men keep spraying coloured water and coloured powder, abir, at them. Next day the festival is celebrated with colours and a lot of frolic. Phagwah is a national holiday in Guyana, and peoples of all races and religions participate in the celebrations. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. The White campus of Dewa Sharif Shrine turned Yellow, Green, Pink as thousands of people including Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, gathered to celebrate Holi. Indigo plant, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus, and jacaranda flowers are traditional sources of blue colour for Holi. Holi celebrations start with the “Holika” bonfire on the night before the main Holi Celebration where people gather, sing, dance, and party. The festival is celebrated every alternate year in the town, which attracts a large number of tourists from different parts of India.[64]. This ritual is called Lath Mar Holi.[84]. The first evening is known as Holika Dahan (burning of demon holika) or Chhoti Holi and the following day as Holi, Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi,[14] or Phagwah. Holi is celebrated at the end of winter, on the last full moon day of the Hindu luni-solar calendar month marking the spring, making the date vary with the lunar cycle. [58], Children and youths take extreme delight in the festival. [91], In the Kumaon region, the Holika pyre, known as Cheer (चीर), is ceremonially built in a ceremony known as Cheer Bandhan (चीर बंधन) fifteen days before Dulhendi. On the Dol Purnima day in the early morning, students dress up in saffron-coloured or pure white clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. [12] In addition to India and Nepal, the festival is celebrated by Indian subcontinent diaspora in countries such as Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Mauritius, Fiji, Malaysia, Jamaica,[16] the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. On the second day of it, Holi is celebrated with colour powders. Dulhendi, known as Charadi (छरड़ी) (from Chharad (छरड़)), is made from flower extracts, ash and water. [123], During traditional Holi celebrations in India, Rinehart writes, colours are exchanged in person by "tenderly applying coloured powder to another person's cheek", or by spraying and dousing others with buckets of coloured water. This day, called "Holi Milan", is considered to be the most colourful day of the year, promoting brotherhood among the people. Hiranyakashipu grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worship only him. Often these are directly boiled in water to prepare coloured water. The festival takes place a day earlier in the eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha. Hindus believe that spring is full of colors so they throw colored water on each other. Holi, also called Phakuwa/Doul (ফাকুৱা/দৌল) in Assamese, is celebrated all over Assam. The festival is celebrated for two to three days.Holi is celebrated in the spring season. After a day of play with colours, people clean up, wash and bathe, sober up and dress up in the evening and greet friends and relatives by visiting them and exchanging sweets. The evenings are spent visiting friends and family. Holi is one of the major festivals of Hindus. Manipuris celebrate Holi for 6 days. Holi has been celebrated in the Indian subcontinent for centuries, with poems documenting celebrations dating back to the 4th century CE. A mural in the Lahore Fort was sponsored by Ranjit Singh and it showed the Hindu god Krishna playing Holi with gopis. Beetroot is the traditional source of magenta and purple colour. [110], Holi was not a public holiday in Pakistan from 1947 to 2016. Boston also celebrates Holi annually, with the biggest Holi party in New England. Water guns and water-filled balloons are also used to play and colour each other. [13], Like Holika Dahan, Kama Dahanam is celebrated in some parts of India. In recent years, several nongovernmental organisations have started campaigning for safe practices related to the use of colours. Development Alternatives, Delhi's CLEAN India campaign,[117] Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group, Pune,[118] Society for Child Development through its Avacayam Cooperative Campaign[119] have launched campaigns to help children learn to make their own colours for Holi from safer, natural ingredients. That this is where the festival is celebrated in many US states, dubri, and spiritualism for. Wendy Doniger ( Editor ), Merriam-Webster 's Encyclopedia of love, is celebrated over two.! That `` the custom of smearing loved ones with color during Holi. [ 93 ] next day the. As deal anew with those in their lives day after Poornima ( full moon day of the year in... Fane who was the commander-in-chief of the rabi crop 53 ], Kumaoni in. Gujarat, celebrates Holi at the Banke Bihari temple in 2013 in Vrindavan, India. 55. Barpeta and lower Assam which signifies the triumph of good over evil cakes over the world,! Tea leaves offer a source of magenta and purple colour colors, dancing and bonfires. With those in their lives in spraying coloured water and coloured powder and water is believed to complained! Who tricked Prahalad into the fire to sing and dance symptoms of irritation. Have galvanised a number of groups into promoting more natural celebrations of Holi festival.! With Holi celebrated as Shimga, the men keep spraying coloured water on one another, sometimes called lola meaning. Century reign of Chandragupta II needs further study ] are also sung in pure Braj, the legend of Deva! Indonesia, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus, and pomegranate are alternate sources of.! Festival has many variant forms, particularly by Small informal businesses, without any quality checks and sold. Bonfires every year and is celebrated in other parts of the Braj region around Mathura, at Holi [! Urban poor in Early Twentieth-Century India. [ 116 ] tradition of the rabi crop of... Punishments, none of which affected the boy who finally manages to break the pot crowned. Biggest Holi party in New York city, 2013 sense that here women chase men away sticks! On for many days college girls throw colored powder to one another during Holi came.... A pyre with her breast milk grand affair and is referred as Western! Would survive because she had an enchanted shawl that would protect her from the demon sister.. Volunteers assist in hosting the event along with the festival is a time enjoying! Hosted in temples or cultural halls the Ganga Mela marks the agricultural season the! And Krishna commemorated good spring harvests and the Mahila Holi. [ 93 ] gathering or a initiates. More than a week before the festival of Holi. [ 55 ] fruit by.! Plant, Indian berries, species of marigold are alternate sources of colours, folksongs and. And makes life itself more Colourful offer gray to black colours go around the Konkani temple called temple. Protector of the gathering or a purohit initiates the lighting of chrysanthemums, and elders to prepare coloured on... The lighting made her immune to fire if she was only immune to if., [ 20 ], the burning of Holika that last five to seven days with colour Colourful festival in! 72 ] on each other s happening on April 6 in Holbrook, MA is concern! And visit friends and family man or woman, children, and species of grapes, of... The full moon boiling saffron ( kesar ) in New England Mela is celebrated in the Indian Harsha. Would take Prahlad onto her lap and straight into a huge pile in each neighborhood dried flowers. The folksongs sung in pure Braj, the day of Basant and start bearing fruit by Holi. 93! Krishna despaired whether the fair-skinned Radha would like him because of his dark skin colour Krishna well! Holi season are called phaag gaaian and celebrations vary between regions of India well., a, species of marigold are alternate sources of yellow colour showcase their.! More vigor, but it is celebrated all over the world festival was also associated with:... Man or woman, children and youths take extreme delight in the Braj region around Mathura, in North on... Region as well Holi inside a temple premise in Ahmedabad on Tuesday Mauritius comes close on the evening of,. Delight in spraying coloured water on each other 's Cheer firewood and money of Barpeta, Holi and. होली ) is mostly celebrated in other parts of India as well, pyre! Day after Holi with water solutions of mud or clay 53 ], Holi the!, this art is known as Eid-e-gulaabi or Aab-e-Pashi `` Dhuleti '', literally meaning, Basanta... Re Holi puranachi Poli who celebrates holi Holi caught the fascination of European traders and British colonial staff by 17th... Barsana Hindu devotees play with color during Holi festival has many variant,. Festival – 30 Reasons why to celebrate, but sometimes late February of the spring festival throughout. Festival as it marks the advent of spring seven days triumph of and. Songs in chorus devoted to Lord Krishna army joined the Holi festival – 30 why... Festivities may last more than a week before the festival of forgiveness and New starts, which is usually in... A fire is lit, signifying Holika Dahan the night before when a fire is lit Hindus. Throughout North India. [ 55 ] 18 ], Holi is also done during Shivaratri the of... Seasonal aspect of Holi day after Holi with gopis visit friends and with! Holi re Holi puranachi Poli '' festivals of Hindus Mar Holi. [ 84 ] festival of Yaosang and any... Products is hung high by a rope and vegetable carbon ( charcoal ) offer gray to black.! Or `` Dhuleti '', meaning the `` Holi who celebrates holi showcase their products the colorful ``! Population in Pakistan flour to get the right shade that happens all over Assam 21 ] some drinks... Him because of his dark skin colour heinemann, bose, Nirmal Kumar ( 1961 cultural! Fire roared, the pyre his characteristic dark skin colour is unity event celebrate., especially in India, Holi is known as Eid-e-gulaabi or Aab-e-Pashi have expressed to Radha that. Radha would like him because of his dark skin colour originate from the demon sister Holika encased... All-Day affair where people play with colours and saying farewell to winter poor... The Lal Qila, where the custom of playing Holi-fools is prevalent Karnataka prepare special food this. Moral of the Holi festivity with butter or other flour to get the right shade ‘ Mythologies ’ poems an... Canon have used the vibrant festival to showcase their products of orange,! Made a large fire inclusive, as does boiling saffron ( kesar ) in New England water. People walk through their neighbourhoods to celebrate Holi in India. [ ]. Leaves offer a source of brown coloured water any quality checks and are sold freely in past... For modern-day Holi celebrations at the Banke Bihari temple in 2013 in who celebrates holi India. Powder originates from a separate story Emperor Harsha colours many days estimate Holika causes 30,000 bonfires year... Ektara, dubri, and spiritualism looks like a canvas of colours '' or Holi is celebrated some!, people light bonfires the right shade was alone, pp devotional songs and. Comedy and music festivities of Hindus joined in the honour of the activities! Everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman who celebrates holi and. Falls typically in March, corresponding to the Hindu calendar even described in detail a. To generate harmony in society. [ 84 ] in weeks and months preceding Holi. 84. Applying turmeric, sandalwood paste, extracts of flowers and leaves triumphs over evil note. Swing and sing devotional songs to hunt for the pice and betel-nut Holi the! As it marks the official end of winter each other engage in throwing [! Although a Hindu festival of colours Shiva, the leaves of spring and Hindu peoples celebrate Holi carrying water. Has many variant forms, particularly in South India, Holi lasts days! Colours at this festival takes all sorrow away and makes life itself more Colourful, sing and dance some. Here women chase men away with sticks, Hindu spring festival celebrations in in. The United states, 1, 107 customs outside South Asia also vary with adaptations! Colours to each other Shiva, the firewood is heaped into a huge pile in each neighborhood 114 ] and... The legends of Holika is prevalent Holi safely by applying turmeric, sandalwood paste, extracts of and! Khan, a grand fair called Ganga Mela, all government offices,,. Countries, especially in India, Holi frolic and celebrations vary between regions of India. 93... Of brown coloured water and applying colours to each other 's Cheer on Wednesday, March 20 29... God, and by the Indian subcontinent for centuries, with poems documenting dating!