For all the posts in this Holidays & Observances series, go here.
Prologue: I have been meaning to write a series about Holidays and Observances that we (my family and friends) follow in both India (my birth country) and USA (my adopted country). This series is dedicated to those. On a side note, perhaps I might witness some of the celebrations from other countries as well that may get their way into this series. 🙂
Holi is the Indian festival of colors followed by Hindus all over; a festival that also signifies the arrival of spring. There are several aspects to the festival. It is a celebration of divine love between Lord Krishna and his chief consort Radha. It falls on the full moon day of the Hindu calendar month of Phalguna (usually it is middle March). It was on March 7 this year (2023).
The festival is also a celebration of triumph of good over evil. The day before Holi, an effigy of Holika is burnt to mark the victory of Prahlada, devotee of Lord Vishnu who was saved from his evil aunt Holika. The festival is also linked to Lord Shiva as it also marks the day when the Lord opened his third eye and burned Kamadeva down as Kamadeva had angered Shiva while he was meditating.
Followers worship one of the three Gods that are significant to this festival, and play with colors – both dry and wet colors – celebrating it. The festival comes in Winter where I live in America, so it is rarely that I get to celebrate it here. In the past 23 years that I have been here, I might have celebrated this festival maybe 3 or 4 times so far including this year that I was in California visiting family. It was fun to play with my brother and his family.