Festival of colours: All you need to know about Holi

The festival is celebrated by the Hindu community, with people gathering in the streets and playing with colours

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Web Desk
People enjoying the festival of colours. Photo: AFP/File

As the festival of colours, which is celebrated to mark the arrival of spring, stands just a day ahead of us, here’s everything you need to know about its celebration.

Photo: AFP

The festival is celebrated by the Hindu community, with people gathering in the streets and playing with colours, distributing sweets and dancing together.

They smear "Abeer" or red vermilion powder, besides other coloured powders, and throw water-filled balloons at each other.

Why is Holi celebrated?

The word Holi derives its name from Holika, the sister of an evil king named Hiranyakashipu. Both were defeated in a battle of good versus evil and her burning is celebrated in Hinduism with the festival of Holi.

Photo: Reuters/File

It is also essentially celebrated to mark the arrival of Spring which is usually in mid-March.

Read more: Police allegedly kills Dalit man for throwing Holi colour on upper caste member in India

Earlier, it was held to commemorate good harvests of the Rabi crop, the fertile land before the Kharif crop, and the rains. It was a time to enjoy the end of winter and the beginning of spring filled with hope and joy, according to an article published in DNA.

When is it celebrated?

The Holi festival takes place on the last full moon day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month.

Photo: AFP

According to the Hindu calendar, Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in either the month of February or March.



What do the celebrations involve?

Holi is celebrated with different traditions in different parts of the world.

What is constant though, is that vibrant colours and water are thrown as people of all age groups get together to celebrate.

The festival lasts two days. On the first night, people light bonfires and throw roasting grains, popcorn, coconut and chickpeas onto them.

The next day, people belonging to all age groups hop out into the streets for fun, paint-throwing activities.