What is the Holi festival of colours?

Holi festival of colors banner

Holi  is called the festival of colours or the festival of love and it is celebrated at the approach of the spring equinox as a spring celebration of colours, love,  laughter, joy and frolic.

It has it’s origins as a Hindu festival from India and Nepal but is now celebrated across the globe.

The festival also celebrates the triumph of good over evil as spring arrives and winter comes to an end.

It is essentially a time for people to:

  • Play
  • Laugh
  • Eat and drink
  • Give thanks
  • Celebrate a good harvest
  • Forgive and forget
  • Mend broken friendships and relationships.

The colours that are commonly used in the festival include: Red, Orange, Green, Blue, Magenta, Purple, Yellow, Brown.

The festival is celebrated over two days.

The first day is known as Holika Dahan and the celebrations commonly start at night with a Holika bonfire where people gather and pray for evil resident internally to get destroyed by the fire before the bonfire starts.

The second  day is known as Rangwali Holi which is the main festival of colours with a big fanfare, entertainment, frolic, playful fights and various carnivals full of colour which take place in the streets, parks, outside temples, buildings, houses, homes etc.

Some groups of people carry musical instruments including drums, bands, trumpets, and they go about singing, dancing, parading, jumping and moving from place to place to spread love, cheer and laughter.

Other people playfully chase one another across streets and homesteads to throw powdered colour or powder mixed in water. While other folks carry balloons filled with coloured water and water guns which they use to playfully fight and colour themselves.

In all the fun, play, carnival, festival and celebrations, there is no discrimination based on colour, race, religion, economic status, age, sex, etc and therefore anyone can join in the fun, games, laughter, frolic and get coloured.

In the evening especially, after all the fanfare and carnival celebrations, people will visit family, friends, foes they have reconciled with etc to laugh, share conversations, stories, cheer, love while enjoying food, delicacies, cuisines, drinks and merriment.

This year, we pray you enjoy Holi and spread love, cheer and Joy as you go along.

Also check out 12 things we can learn from the Holi festival on fruitful living.

Hannah Khumalo


Also published on Medium.