05 março 2010

Holi : the festival of colour and togetherness

(also called Holaka or Phagwa) 
is an annual festival 
celebrated on the day after the 
full MOON 
 in the Hindu month  
of Phalguna 
 (early March)


Celebrated all over India since ancient times, Holi's precise form and purpose display great variety. Originally, Holi was an agricultural festival celebrating the arrival of spring. This aspect still plays a significant part in the festival in the form of the colored powders: Holi is a time when man and nature alike throw off the gloom of winter and rejoice in the colors and liveliness of spring.

picture: 'Celebration of Spring by Krishna and Rama' - 18th cent. painting  (Guimet Museum, Paris)

Holi also commemorates various events in Hindu mythology, but for most Hindus it provides a temporary opportunity for Hindus to disregard social norms, indulge in merrymaking and generally "let loose."

Holi is probably the least religious of Hindu holidays. During Holi, Hindus attend a public bonfire, spray friends and family with colored powders and water, and generally go a bit wild in the streets.

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