Often referred to as the “Festival of Colors,” Holi is celebrated around the world and is recognized as a national holiday in India.
What is Holi?
Holi is a Hindu spring festival, which originated in the subcontinent of India and is celebrated across the world. Often called the “Festival of Colors,” there are several legends about the origin of why Holi is celebrated. Even though some Hindu communities prefer one story over another, the messages of love, goodness, and renewal are the same.
When is Holi?
The timing of Holi, like other Hindu festivals, is synchronized with the moon, which means that the actual dates vary from year to year. Holi typically falls on the full moon day (Purnima) between the end of February and the middle of March (month of Phalgun), according to the Hindu lunar calendar.
This year, Holi celebrations start on March 7, 2023.
How is Holi celebrated?
Holi can be a two-day festival or an afternoon celebration. The first evening is known as Chhoti Holi (small Holi) and usually involves a symbolic bonfire as people gather around to sing and dance in hopes of overcoming negativity by getting rid of bad thoughts and deeds from the previous year. On the next day, people of all ages wear white to throw colored powder (gulal) or colored water (pani) at one another. In the evening, everyone gets together with their family and friends to enjoy festive foods, sweets, and companionship. Hindu temples are decorated with bright colors and the Deities are decorated with glittering jewels and clothing.