Happy Holi – May your lives be as colourful as the colours of Holi!
Holi is a Hindu festival that marks the arrival of spring – known as the Festival of Colour, it takes place over two days, and is a celebration of fertility, colour, and love, as well as the triumph of good versus evil.
The first day is known as Jalanewali Holi – the day when Holi bonfire is done, it’s also known as Chhoti Holi and Holika Dahan. The second day is known as Rangwali Holi – the day when people play with coloured powder, Rangwali Holi is also known as Dhulandi or Dhulendi (धुलण्डी).
Holika Dahan takes place the night before Rangwali Holi – wood and dung-cakes are burned in a symbolic pyre to signify good defeating evil (in Hindu Vedi scriptures, the God Vishnu helps burn the devil Holika to death). The next morning, people gather in public spaces and take part in Rangwali Holi, throwing handfuls of coloured powders (known as gulal) at one another, while getting drenched in water.
Holi is a relatively secular one and draws on various mythologies. First and foremost is the burning of the devil Holika, but it also draws on the legend of Radha and Krishna. Krishna loved Radha, but felt self-conscious about how different their skin-colours were. So on the advice of his mother, he went and playfully painted her face so it was the same colour as his.
Holi 2017 will begin this evening (12th) and end tomorrow evening.
~ Shanti xx