Holi is a popular Indian festival known by different names in various parts of the country and is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm. Holi is also known as the “Festival of Love”, the “Festival of Colors” and the “Festival of Spring”.
Holi celebrates the eternal and divine love of Radha Krishna. It also signifies the triumph of good over evil. The festival also marks the arrival of spring and end of winter. On this festive day people meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships.
Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika Dahan where people gather, perform religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil be destroyed the way Holika, the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was killed in the fire. The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi (Dhuleti) – a free-for-all festival of colours, where people smear each other with colors and drench each other. Water guns and water-filled balloons are also used to play and color with each other. The frolic and fight with colors occurs in the open streets, parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes come together to throw colored powders on each other, laugh and gossip, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks.