Holi is a Hindu festival that goes by many names such as the ‘Festival of Colours’ and the ‘Festival of Love’. It symbolises success and celebration. It usually takes place in India and Nepal so you’d better book your plane ticket soon!
What traditions are performed on Holi?
Holi is a time for the unconventional where there are gender competitions and bonfires in the streets to destroy ’evil spirits’. However, the main tradition is everyone gathering in the whitest of clothes to pour vibrant perfumed powders on each other to the beat of the loud music - Who could resist that?
When does Holi take place?
It starts on the day of the full moon of the 12th month in the Hindu calendar, Phagun, which we would know as late February to early March. In 2018, this will be the 1st of March, which is fitting as Holi marks the beginning of Spring.
What’s the story behind it?
Holi originates from the legend of Prahalad and the sister (Holika) of his father (Hiranyakashyap, the demon king). Prahalad loved the god Vishnu, which angered his father. Hiranyakashyap asked Holika to murder his own son. Due to Holika being fire resistant, she decided to sit with him in a fireplace so he would burn, but she would survive. However, the gods could not allow this so took away Holika's fire powers: she burned to death herself. What a cheerful reason to celebrate!
What other places can I go to celebrate it?
Although the holiday is publicised mostly in the Indian region, if you’re not there, don’t worry: tons of countries make time for Holi, such as England, USA, Canada, and even South Africa. Wherever you are, I guarantee you the holiest of experiences!