5 Things to Know about Holi

Known as the festival of colours, Holi is celebrated during spring across India.

By Google Arts & Culture

Holi festival (fagh) (2015) by Kalyan JoshiQueensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)

Holi, the festival of colour!

The onset of spring is celebrated as a festival of colours in different ways all across India. 


Let's discover 5 things about Holi!

A Holi festival (19th century)Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art

1. Holi is a lunar celebration

Holi falls on a full moon day in the month of phalgun, as per the lunar calendar. Phalgun generally occurs around February/March.

Palash Flowers signifying SpringBanglanatak

2. It is a spring festival

Holi is celebrated at the onset of spring season. The budding of flora is an anticipation to rich harvest for the year. 

Holi Festival at Nimdih (2020)Banglanatak

In celebration of this communities come together to dance, smear coloured powder and throw water balloons at each other.

Holi - The Legend (2017-03) by Svabhu KohliSt+art India

3. There's not just one story behind the festival

One of the core stories behind the festival is based on the legend of Hiranyakashyap, Prahlad, and Holika from Hindu mythology. Read more about about the legend of good and evil here.

A Man Displaying his Swordsmanship (2020-03)Incredible India!

However, in some regions, the focus of the celebrations shift to blessings for good harvest, commemorating ancestors, celebrating victories and more!

Natural Ingredients for HoliNational Council of Science Museums

4. The use of natural colours was influenced by ayurveda

Traditionally, Holi colours were derived from natural sources like leaves, fruits, roots etc which are key ingredients of ayurveda medicines. The colours are used either in particulate powders or liquid splashes. 

Natural Ingredients for HoliNational Council of Science Museums

All natural, it's a way to rejuvenate the skin with the plants' healing and refreshing properties. Get inspired to create your own natural colors!

Men Performing the Ghode Modni Dance (2020-03)Incredible India!

5. There are showcases of dance, music and processions

Some cities have elaborate processions lasting up to two weeks!  Traditional folk songs and dances take the centre stage. 

A Modern Holi Being Celebrated with a Concert (2020-03)Incredible India!

More popular in urban areas is to have selective Bollywood songs that resonate with the festival. Some cities even organise local rock concerts!

Holi - The Colours (2017-03) by Svabhu KohliSt+art India

Celebrate Holi virtually with stories from across India at g.co/holiathome.

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