On St Patrick’s Day everyone wears green. Red is the colour of St Valentine’s Day, while black and orange are the most prominent colours during Hallowe’en. But can you imagine a festival where every single colour is celebrated in its vibrancy?
Holi is a traditional Hindu festival that celebrates the beginning of spring. Every year, for two days in March, hundreds of millions of people in India, Pakistan and Nepal come out onto the street to light bonfires and throw coloured powder at each other. The powder is called ‘gulal’ in Hindi and signifies the coming of spring and all the new colours this brings to nature.
Each person buys a selection of coloured powders, so by the end of the festivities everyone is covered in a rainbow of colours. That’s why Holi is commonly called the ‘festival of colours’. People also throw water balloons at each other and squirt strangers with water pistols so that the powder sticks to them!
While it began as a religious festival, millions of people around the world now mark Holi for fun. It’s a great excuse to put on some old clothes, meet up with your friends and make a colourful mess!
DID YOU KNOW?
There are around 90,000 Indian-born people living in Ireland. This year Holi fell on the March 20 and 21, and there were Holi festivals organised for our Indian community in all of Ireland’s big cities. Indian students in universities across the country also joined in the fun. And we don’t blame them. Their festival brought a lot of colour to our dreary March weather!