Holi also known as the “festival of colors” or the “festival of love” is a Hindu spring festival in India and Nepal. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter and also celebrate as a thanksgiving for a good harvest.
Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival which become favorite with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, also in other communities outside Asia. It is primarily observe in India, Nepal, and their diaspora in other regions of the world. In recent years the festival has spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colors.
Holi is also known as Phakuwa or Phagwah, Festival of Colors, or Dola jatra in Odisha. Dol Jatra or Basanto utsav (“spring festival”) in West Bengal and Assam. The customs and celebrations vary between regions of India.
Holi is of particular significance in the Braj region, which includes locations traditionally associated with the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh, and Barsana, which become touristic during the season of Holi.
Traditional Sources of Colors
Orange and Red Colors
The flowers of palash or tesu tree, also called the flame of the forest, are typical source of bright red and deep orange colours. Powdered fragrant red sandal wood, dried hibiscus flowers, madder tree, radish and pomegranate are alternate sources and shades of red. Mixing lime with turmeric powder creates an alternate source of orange powder, as does boiling saffron (kesar) in water.
Mehendi and dried leaves of gulmohur tree offer a source of green colour. In some areas, the leaves of spring crops and herbs use as source of green pigment.
Haldi (turmeric) powder is the typical source of yellow colour. Sometimes this is mixed with chickpeas, gram or other flour to get the right shade. Bael fruit, amaltas, species of chrysanthemums, and species of marigold are alternate sources of yellow.
Indigo plant, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus and jacaranda flowers are traditional sources of blue colour for Holi.
Magenta and Purple Colors
Beetroot is the traditional source of magenta and purple colour. Often these are directly boil in water to prepare color water.
Dried tea leaves offer a source of brown coloured water. Certain clays are alternate source of brown.
Species of grapes, fruits of amla (gooseberry) and vegetable carbon (charcoal) offer gray to black colors.
Holi Celebration Date
Monday, 13 March, 2017.