Nirali Varma | Senior Executive
First published in the M+Vs India Insight in February 2010
Holi is an annual festival celebrated on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna (early March). It celebrates spring, commemorates various events in Hindu mythology and is time of disregarding social norms and indulging in general merrymaking.
Celebrated all over India since the ancient times, Holi’s precise form and purpose display great variety. Originally, Holi was an agricultural festival celebrating the arrival of spring. This aspect still plays a significant part in the festival in the form of the colored powders: Holi is a time when man and nature alike throw off the gloom of winter and rejoice in the colors and liveliness of spring.
The central ritual of Holi is the throwing and applying of colored water and powders on friends and family, which gives Holi its common name – “Festival of Colors”. This ritual is said to be based on the story of Krishna and Radha as well as on Krishna‘s playful splashing of the maidens with water, but most of all it celebrates the coming of spring with all its beautiful colors and vibrant life.