Holi is a major celebration in India better known today as the Festival of Colors.
Playing Holi or sharing colors (the throwing of colored powders at street revelers) is a highlight of this holiday. Gifts of sweets or Holi colors are common and Holi greeting cards are often sent.
In some parts of India, Holi is also considered a New Year's celebration. This festival arrives on day after the full moon of the Hindu lunar month of Phagan.
When is Holi on the Western calendar? This year, Holi is officially celebrated on Friday, March 2, 2018.
The holiday is observed all over India and celebrates the harvest of the winter crops as it welcomes the beginning of Spring.
The celebration has become so popular, in fact, that Holi as even been appropriated by a new generation of Americans with the traditional "throwing of colors" joyfully occurring at new age music festivals across the US. (For more, see a full schedule of 2018 events at festivalofcolorsusa.com.)
Holi - the world's most colorful festival
No matter which part of the world the festivals happen, they are guaranteed to be feasts of color and usually involve sprinkling colored waters and brightly colored powders on other revellers. Balloons filled with colored waters are also splashed on friends and anyone else who happens to be nearby!
Pichkari, plastic, metal or even bamboo tubes filled with colors are
used to share the colors of the holiday. Beautifully colored clothes are also worn in dances and other festivities.
Many areas celebrate with huge bonfires that have different meanings depending on the local legends that are the basis for the holiday. Along with traditional Holi recipes, sweets are a special part of Holi.
If you can imagine a holiday that combines Thanksgiving, Carnival and Valentine's Day with the colors of Easter but where people get colored instead of eggs you have some idea of why this holiday is so eagerly awaited.
More about Holi around the Web:
The Holi Festival - The graphics on this site include modern drawings and photos as well as ancient Jain and Rajasthani paintings and other early depictions of the celebration of Holi. They also have a nice explanation of the traditions
and sharing colors involved in the spring festival...
Taj Online - Holi - More legends and history surrounding the ancient beginnings of this festival. This site also has
a shop to send gifts, Holi Hampers or Holi Thalis to your friends, family and special friends to celebrate the sharing and the colors of the Spring...
Holi e-Cards - A good selection of cards for grown ups
and children. They also don't forget that Holi celebrates love and have cards to share your feelings as well as colors...
Interactive Holi - If you have some time to play and explore, visit this Colors of India site and enjoy the games, send them a picture and they will Holi you or you can Holi them!