Holi the festival of colors and fun is celebrated across India in different forms and themes, for various reasons. To know more visit http://www.holifestival.org/holi-in-india.html
It is primarily observed in India, Nepal and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. In recent years the festival has spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colors.
Holi Painting Contest organized at Artzyme
Holi is an important festival to Hindus. It is celebrated at the end of winter, on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalgun (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in March, sometimes in late February.
The festival has many purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of Spring. In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring's abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. To many Hindus, Holi festivities mark the beginning of the New Year as well as an occasion to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and rid themselves of accumulated emotional impurities from the past.
It also has a religious purpose, symbolically signified by the legend of Holika. The night before Holi, bonfires are lit in a ceremony known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Little Holi. People gather near fires, sing and dance. The next day, Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, or Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated. Children and youth spray coloured powder solutions (gulal) at each other, laugh and celebrate, while adults smear dry coloured powder (abir) on each other's faces. Visitors to homes are first teased with colours, and then served with Holi delicacies, desserts and drinks.
In the Braj region around Mathura, in north India, the festivities may last more than a week. The rituals go beyond playing with colours, and include a day where men go around with shields and women have the right to playfully beat them on their shields with sticks.
In south India, some worship and make offerings to Kaamadeva, the love god of Indian mythology, on Holi.
After playing with colours, and cleaning up, people bathe, put on clean clothes, and visit friends and family. Holi is also a festival of forgiveness and new starts, which ritually aims to generate harmony in the society
Like Holika Dahan, Kama Dahanam is celebrated in some parts of India. The festival of colours in these parts is called Rangapanchami, and occurs on the fifth day after Poornima (full moon).
- Himjal (founder of Artzyme, marketplace for Arts - Paintings, Handicrafts and Antiques/ Artifacts).