The Holi Festival or the Color Festival has a tradition of over 1000 years in India (and Nepal). Holi is a happy and cheerful time, because the cold winters are gone and warm spring tones are in the air. Nature responds with new growth and color. People embrace the heat and throw colored powders at each other as if throwing their worries in the wind. There is (organic) color everywhere – red, green, yellow, blue, black and silver.
People sing and dance their way through Holi, casting colors that also represent flowers and spring growth.
A more traditional explanation in India is that the Holi festival celebrates the love of Radha and Krishna. The spray of colored powders is reminiscent of the love sport of Lord Krishna and His devotees.
In 2017, the Holi Festival in most places is March 13th. It is usually a two-day celebration. The first day is known as "Holika Dahan" or "Chhoti Holi" and the second as "Rangwali Holi", "Dhuleti", "Dhulandi" or "Dhulivandan".
Like some other Indian traditions, the Holi Festival has a cultural dimension. It's a festive day to end and get rid of past mistakes, end conflicts by meeting others, it's a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive their debts, as well as re-enter into work with those in their lives. It's like the beginning of a new year. Holi is the time to start anew.
So, what happens in tradition? Holi celebrations begin the morning after the "Holika" is lit. The Holika fire represents the victory of good over evil. For many people there is no tradition of holding puja (prayer) and it is a day for fun and pure enjoyment. Children and young people form groups armed with dry colors, colored solution in water rifles and water balloons filled with colored water and other creative agents to color their goals. In some places, there is respect for the visitors, but do not be alarmed if they join the festival, but be warned, though they are afraid to wash, it is best to wear older clothes. You will leave India with incredible memories and vivid photos.
So why not join the Indians in celebrating this incredible event. There are several places you can join, but in North India one of the best is in the state of Rajasthan where celebrations are passionate, cheerful and inclusive.