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Holi Holi
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The festival that welcomes the spring, the celebrations associated with this occasion are playful and extremely colourful. People come in from playing Holi wet from head to foot and streaked with all the colours of the rainbow. Water balloons and pitchkaris (water guns) are used to drench people or douse them with water; colours are lovingly and mischievously smeared on clothes and faces indiscriminately.

The night before the Holi bonfire is lit and effigies of Holika are burnt. Altogether a great deal of fun is had by all.

History and Lore

The origins of this festival are shrouded in mystery with different people attributing it to different legends. Some ascribe it to the evil Holika who tried to burn her nephew in the fire but got burnt instead, some say that Krishna used to playfully smear colour onto the face of his wife Radha whilst he was courting her, others speak of the sacrifice of Kama deva, the Hindu version of cupid, who sacrificed himself to stop Shiva’s meditations that were casting the world into chaos.    Read more +

Religious Observances

The night before the full moon, people gather to light bonfires, signifying a burning away of evil in preparation to welcome a new beginning at spring time. The next day people come out (often dressed in white) to play Holi. Dry colours, water balloons, washable dyes, pitchkaris are used. Very often people wish each other ‘Happy Holi’ whilst stroking colour onto each other’s’ faces

A very fun and frolicsome festival, Holi celebrations are enjoyed by everyone privileged to witness and join in with them.