It’s a HoliDay!
Holi, known as the festival of colours is celebrated by Hindus all over the world on Monday 17th March. It celebrates the end of the Winter and beginning of Spring. Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire where people gather, sing and dance and where everyone plays, chases and colours each other with dry powder and coloured water, with some carrying water guns and coloured water-filled balloons for a water fight.
The rules are…. There are none!
Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, man or woman, old or young. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets and groups carry musical instruments and go from place to place, sing and dance. People move and visit family and friends, play with colours on each other, laugh and chit-chat, then share Holi food delicacies. In India, celebrants also drink bhang, a beverage whose cannabis contents can relieve anxiety and heighten enjoyment of the festival, though people are warned not to consume it to excess.
According to Hindu mythology, Holi is based on the story of Lord Krishna and his lover, Radha. Krishna was naughty and mischievous and went to Radha’s town to tease her and her friends. Infuriated by his teasing, Radha and her friends used sticks to chase him away. In certain regions in India on this day, men from one village will go to a nearby village to verbally tease the women, who will in return chase them away with sticks.
The best part of it all is that what started out as a tradition by Hindus in Northern India is now a reason for fun and enjoyment all over the world, including in London where they now have “Holi Festival of Colours” where thousands of people of all races and cultures come together to celebrate.
The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forgive and forget.