Also known as the festival of colors, Holi is one of the famous festivals of India, celebrated with a lot of fervor across the country. On the eve of Holi, people make huge Holika bonfires and sing and dance around it. On the day of Holi, the famous festival of Indian states, people gather in open areas and apply dry and wet colors of multiple hues to each other, with some carrying water guns and colored water-filled balloons. It tops the charts of 10 famous festivals in India as it is celebrated all across the world with happiness.
With the throwing of colored powder and water balloons, Holi has become known as India’s most vivid, joyous festival. International travel groups selling tours to the country often place photos of boisterous Holi celebrations alongside pictures of the Taj Mahal. Although the Hindu festival of colors finds its origins in South Asia, it has now gained popularity across the world, with Holi events organized across the U.S., the U.K. and elsewhere.
On the day of Holi, entire streets and towns turn red, green and yellow as people throw colored powder into the air and splash them on others. Each color carries a meaning. Red, for example, symbolizes love and fertility while green stands for new beginnings. People also splash water on each other in celebration. Water guns are used to squirt water, while balloons filled with colored water are also flung from rooftops. Later in the day, families gather together for festive meals. It is also common to distribute sweets among neighbors and friends. leker holi, siden feiringen er en imitasjon av guds lek. I noen templer, slik som det berømte Krishnatemplet i pilegrimsbyen Nathdwara, lekes holi i 40 dager, men ellers varer leken med farger vanligvis bare én dag. I mange byer i Nord-India domineres gatene av guttegjenger som leker med farger, mens andre holder seg inne første del av dagen når fargeleken pågår. Når leken er over, skifter folk til rene klær og går på besøk til familie og venner.
Despite having roots in Hinduism, Holi has been celebrated across all religious communities in India. It is not uncommon to see Hindus and Muslims open up their homes to each other for religious festivities. This year’s Holi festivities come in the wake of mounting religious tensions and some of the worst religious violence India has seen in years. A controversial citizenship law invoked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has triggered nationwide protests and deadly clashes across the country. As a festival, Holi has always been about breaking boundaries. While it is often seen as a colorful festival, Sippy, the religion professor, says it “has often involved much more violent forms of letting loose.” She points to past incidents of sexual assault and harassment during Holi celebrations. “Even though Holi can be a wonderful, celebratory spring festival, it is now just one reason for the vulnerable to feel terrified,” she adds. “We are already seeing whole new levels of horrific communal violence in India and there isn’t any space for letting loose at this moment.”
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