Holi is one of the oldest festivals in the world. For two days every year, whole India is celebrating. In some regions it even lasts up to 10 days. But how is Holi celebrated?
We have collected some exciting facts and the most impressive pictures.
Good defeats evil
Holi is a religious festival. On the evening before the actual festival, after sunset, people gather around bonfires. Rituals and prayers are said to protect from the evil in the world: The custom originates from Hindu mythology. According to legends, the demoness Holika, after whom the festival is named, was burned on a pyre: The victory of the good over evil. Holi also marks the beginning of spring.
An old tradition in northern India is, to have a very special drink: Bhang. It consists of a paste made from cannabis flowers, which is then mixed into a milkshake. Bhang is several thousand years old and is associated with the deity Shiva.
Good food is part of every festival. A very important specialty is Gujiya. A dumpling filled with dried fruits.
The colored powder also has a religious meaning. According to the stories, Krishna – whose skin was blue – was afraid that his beloved Radha would not accept him because of his blue skin color. Krishna followed his mother’s idea and painted Radha with color, so she would look like him. Originally, only red color was used on Holi. Nowadays people use all different kinds of colors.