Holi: What is the Festival of Colours & Where is it celebrated?
Holi festival is a spectacularly beautiful and colourful event. It's a two-day Hindu festival that originates in India. On the first day, people will gather around a bonfire and celebrate good triumphing over evil. But it's the second day that most people will recognise - that's when perfumed powder called gulal is thrown in the streets. Read on to learn about some the key features of Holi, and see our beautifully colourful Rosary necklaces which would be the perfect Holi accessory.
There are lots of Hindu legends that are believed to contribute to the meaning of the festival, but there is one in particular that is thought to be the most popular. The Hindu god Krishna was quite mischievous. He complained to his mother Yashoda that he didn't like his dark blue skin and wanted to be fairer, like the love of his life Radha. Yashoda, who adored her son, suggested he paint Radha's face any colour he wanted, to make him feel better. Some people believe this is why, during Holi, everyone is covered with the perfumed gulal powder. It could also be why one of the names of Holi is the 'festival of love', as it is in part celebrating the love of Krishna and Radha.
Prahlad and Holika
The story of Prahlad symbolises good overcoming evil and is why bonfires are traditionally lit at Holi. Prahlad was a prince and his father wanted everyone in the kingdom to worship him, the King, not God. Prahla refused and worshipped God in the form of Lord Vishnu instead. The King's sister Princess Holika believed her evil magic made her immune to fire. She tricked Prahlad into sitting on her lap in a bonfire, in order to destroy him for defying the King. Lord Vishnu rewarded Prahlad's devotion by saving him, and he emerged from the fire unharmed while Holika was burned.
Gulal powder comes in many colours and some are thought to signify specific things:
- Red = Love
- Blue = Krishna
- Yellow = Tumeric
- Green = Nature
And together, they create a glorious rainbow, in parks and public spaces across the globe.