A celebration of Spring is happening in Hindu communities in India, Nepal and around the world, March 1 – 8, called Holi the Festival of Colors. It’s a pre-Spring cultural event with splashes of color, music and play.
During the Festival of Colors people of all ages celebrate by throwing buckets of tinted water or in spray guns and colored powder at each other.
It starts with a bonfire held on the night of a full-moon. Then the next day revelers load up the squirt gun or bucket with colored water and relax, laugh and have fun.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this festival was more popular in the U.S.? I’m sure it appeals to college students, kids and paint-ball players. With Holi, you won’t have bruises like you would from being pelted with oranges at the Carnevale di Ivrea in Ivrea, Italy. You don’t have to worry about being gored to death or trambled like you would if you were running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Holi is an easy-going, spirited holiday.
There are lots of myths and stories associated with Holi—it’s an ancient festival. I like the Kathmandu story about the chir, a bamboo pole fringed with strips of sari that represent good luck charms, and the Hindu god Krishna. Krishna was a smooth-talking, good-looking god who liked to play jokes on people.