Hindu Festival of Colors

February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010


This coming Sunday (Feb 28th) marks the first day after the full moon of the Hindu lunar month Phalguna (usually late Feb or early March). It is a day when both nature and humanity begin to throw off the dark gloom of winter by rejoicing in the colors and liveliness of seasonal new growth. In other words, this coming Sunday Hindus around the world will celebrate the coming of spring with a festival known as Holi (The Festival of Colors).

Holi is a time a time meant for loosening some of the normal social restrictions associated with status, gender, age, position in life, etc and replacing these constraints with merrymaking and a general celebration of life. According to an article on the website Religion Facts (see my "Recommended Websites" for more info) today the "central ritual of Holi is the throwing and applying of colored water and powders on friends and family, which gives the holiday its common name "Festival of Colors." The colors demonstrate the vibrance of spring and the water-play harkens back to the story in the Mahabharata of Krishna playfully splashing the young maids.

For more on this year's Holi celebrations give a listen to the following NPR report by Sandip Roy...

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