02 March 2018
Bhubaneswar: Holi, the festival of colours is here. Despite it being a Hindu festival people of all religions and cultures take part and it's now seen as a universal celebration. It marks the end of winter and the arrival of spring.
• The word Holi is derived from the word ‘Holika’, who was the demonic sister of King Hiranyakashipu and was burned to death with the help of Vishnu.
• There is an alternative version of history associated with Holi. It is said Lord Krishna as a baby was poisoned by the breast milk of Putana and developed the characteristic blue colour of his skin. Krishna was skeptical whether the fair-skinned Radha and other girls would like him. When he told his mother, Yashoda, she told him to colour Radha’s face in whatever colour he liked. Since then, Holi is commemorated as the festival of love.
• Holi marks the passing of winter and beginning of spring and is celebrated each year around the vernal equinox, the first day of the new season on the astronomical calendar. Generally, it falls between February and March.
• The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships.
• Peace and love are the best reasons to celebrate, and thanks to the Holi Festival of Colours, we can all do it in the bright hues of a rainbow.
The original Hindu festival, held annually, is a tradition which marks the start of spring. But thanks to the Holi-inspired Festival of Colour, you can get together in the middle of summer with loads of strangers - or friends you haven't met yet - and get knee-deep in colourful powder and all-round good vibes.
The date varies but is always marked on the full moon, starting with a Holika bonfire with singing and dancing. The next day, the streets explode with colour as people turn out armed with water balloons, water guns and dry coloured powder. The festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring by highlighting positives, play, laughter and forgiveness.