Embracing the spirit of Holi Festival

As many gather to celebrate the ancient Hindu Spring festival, let’s look at its heritage.

By Clare Cavanagh, Reuters Community | Mar 20, 2019

As we enter a new season, people in India and around the world are preparing to celebrate Holi 2019. This majestic event based on Hindu mythology, also known as the ‘Festival of Colors’, takes place on March 21st.

It has become a key event in the international calendar as everyone of any age, gender or race have been encouraged to participate in the merriment and it continues to create excitement and joy in diverse communities internationally.

This ancient Hindu religious festival ushers in the start of spring and thousands gather to adorn one another in a colored powder.

The first evening called Holika Dahan starts in ‘Phalgun’, the Hindu month between the end of February and the middle of March each year. That evening, people build bonfires to perform religious rituals and celebrate the triumph of ‘good over evil’.

The following morning is called Holi (or Rangwali Holi) and the frolic and fun really begins. Colored ‘gulal’ (powder) is thrown over one another to celebrate the Hindu legend Krishna.

The streets of cities and towns, particularly in North India, are packed with food carts of Holi treats, water balloons, music and bands amongst the colourful dancing participants.

Each of the gulal colours represent a significant part of Holi and each of them are symbolic in Hinduism. Red signifies fertility and love, green signifies happiness and life, blue represents determination and yellow signifies knowledge.

It’s a magnificent event that engages audiences across the world in harmony and peace. Powerful lessons can be learned from understanding the reasons why this event has become so popular.

Celebrating the triumph of ‘good over evil’ reminds us of the significance of integrity. The togetherness of this event signifies how a strong, supportive team can rejuvenate and inspire new ideas. The annual focus of the event prompts leaders to recognize the mistakes they have made in the last year and gives them a chance to begin again with a fresh perspective.