Read on for the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How of this Hindu festival. Plus, for those who love to cook, we’re sharing some special recipes to get in the spirit!
Who celebrates Holi?
Those who follow Hinduism and its ways of life.
What is Holi?
Holi is a Hindu festival that is all about colorfully marking new beginnings. You may hear it called the “festival of spring“, the “festival of colors“, or even the “festival of love“.
Where is Holi celebrated?
Holi is celebrated in South Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Nepal and other countries worldwide with a large Hindu population.
When does Holi take place?
In 2024, Hindus celebrate Holi on March 24th-25th. It’s typically a two-day festival. The day before is called Jalane wali Holi or Holika dahan, which means “the day Holika burned”. The main day, the day of color, is called Rangwali Holi.
Why is Holi celebrated?
Holi is an ancient festival that celebrates the arrival of spring and the end of the cold season as well as the triumph of good over evil.
Holi is associated with many legends. For example, according to Culture Trip, “The powerful king Hiranyakashipu was a devil who was hated for his cruelty. He considered himself to be God and wanted everybody in his kingdom to worship him like one. However, his own son, Prahlada, was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and refused to worship his father. Angry with the disobedience of his son, Hiranyakashipu tried killing his son a number of times, but nothing worked. He then asked his evil sister, Holika, for help. Holika possessed a special power of being immune to fire. So, to kill Prahlada, she tricked him into sitting with her on a pyre. But due to her evil intentions, her power became ineffective and she was burned to ashes. On the other hand, Prahlada gained this immunity and was saved.”
How do people celebrate Holi?
On the first day, Holika dahan, people often gather in front of bonfires and pray for the destruction of their inner evil. Then on the main day, Rangwali Holi, people fill the streets and throw colored water balloons, shoot colored water guns, and throw dry color at each other creating a colorful rainbow of clothing and faces.
And the food!
To go along with this colorful festival, try these delicious recipes!