This March, Hindus across the world will celebrate Holi to signal the arrival of spring, the conclusion of winter, and the blossoming of love. Holi is primarily celebrated in India and Nepal, but Hindus everywhere celebrate the holiday across the globe. Despite the fact that so many celebrate Holi, there are still lots of questions about the holiday. With Holi right around the corner, we wanted to take some time to address some of these common questions.
What is Holi?
Holi, sometimes referred to as the “Festival of Love,” or the “Festival of New Beginnings,” is considered one of the most revered and celebrated festivals in India. On this day, people are encouraged to unite, and forget all resentments and negative feelings towards each other. Many who celebrate also consider Holi to be a day for meeting new friends, forgetting past burdens, forgiving others, and repairing broken relationships.
Who Celebrates Holi?
Holi is predominantly celebrated by millions of Hindus across India and South Asia. Although it is now also celebrated by many non-Hindus across Asia, Africa, UK, and North America.
Where is Holi Celebrated?
Originating from the Indian subcontinent, Holi is widely celebrated in India, but is observed by others throughout areas of Asia and the Western world. The religious festival has also become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mauritius, and Fiji.
Why is Holi Celebrated?
The Holi festival has many religious and mythological roots, as it celebrates various legends associated with the holiday. Holi celebrates the legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap, the legend of Radha and Krishna, and many more.
By celebrating these various stories, Holi reassures people of the power that truth holds, since the moral of all legends is the victory of good over evil. The legend of Hiranyakshyap and Prahlad also represents the importance of extreme devotion to God. These legends help people follow a strong moral code in their everyday lives and emphasize the importance of truthfulness.
How is Holi Celebrated?
Holi celebrations begin the night before with a Holika Dahan, where people will gather, perform religious rituals by a bonfire, and pray that their internal evil be destroyed. The following morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi, a free-for-all festival of colors, where people throw powdered dye and spray water. This celebration occurs in the open streets, parks, outdoor temples and buildings. Musical groups perform from place to place as everyone sings, dances, and enjoys the Holi traditions. People also make time to see friends and family, share gossip, and pass around Holi delicacies.
This spring, as we celebrate love and new beginnings, our team at Akshaya Patra encourages you to help us provide a new beginning to a child in need. With your donation, we can continue working to eliminate classroom hunger. Click here to donate.