Holi is a Hindu festival that signifies the beginning of spring. It is celebrated all over India and is now being celebrated in other countries as well.
This year, Holi took place on March 2nd. The ancient festival dates all the way back to the 4th century AD, when an important poem was written. This poem was adapted into a play that speaks of the beauty of dancing and colors of townsfolk.
The beginnings of the festival also come from the Hindu legend of a female demon, Holika. She is the sister of the demon King Hiranyakashayap. In this legend, the King wants to get rid of his son who is blessed by the Gods and is more powerful than him. He enlists his sister's help to sit with the boy in the bonfire, with Holika wearing her fire-proof garment. However, at the last minute, the cloth flies and covers the boy, while Holika is burned to death. The moral of this story is that good will always overcome evil.
Modern day celebrations include recreations of Holika’s cremation by lighting bonfires on Holika Dahan, the night before Holi. Another popular tradition that takes place is the collection of ashes from the bonfire and smearing them on the body as an act of purification.
Rangwali Holi is celebrated the next day. This is a day-long event filled with color and fun. Everyone joins in on this holiday and all differences are put aside for the day. People of all ages smear and throw colored powder on each other as well as spray water. Music plays loudly and everyone spends the day enjoying themselves. The evenings are spent with friends and family as well as enjoying good food. Doesn't Holi sound like a blast?