The Hindu festival Holi, also known as the festival of colours, marks the beginning of the spring season in the Indian subcontinent.
Holi is the day to express love with colors. It is a time to show affection.
All the colors that are on you are of love.
Holi is celebrated in Phagun, the 12th month of the Hindu calendar, which corresponds to February or March in the Gregorian calendar. With a significant fall in COVID cases after two years of battling the coronavirus in India, millions of people are getting ready to celebrate after last year’s muted festivities.
The celebration of Holi usually lasts for two days, with Holika Dahan and a day of throwing colours on each other being its highlights. On this day, people of all ages take to the streets to smear each other with colour, revelling in song and dance.
The main Holi ritual centers around a bonfire ceremoniously kindled at the time of the rising moon. Both men and women circumambulate the fire, into which they often throw coconuts or on which they roast new barley. Divinations of the coming harvest are cast by interpreting the direction of the flames (when the fire is burning) or by the state of the seeds in the buried pot (when the fire has gone out). People sometimes take embers from the fire to their homes in order to rekindle their own domestic fires; they also collect the ashes from the Holi fire for use as protection against disease. Holi is more than just the religion it comes from. It is about love and celebrating the colours of life at the onset of spring.
The Holi celebration is marked by the selection of the King of Holi, the hearty enjoyment of lewd singing and shouting, the drinking of bhang, a drink of hashish mixed with milk and yogurt, and the fondling of phallus-shaped effigies. “It’s my favourite festival. It binds people, cultures and even strangers together. Now that I am away from home I miss that feeling of coming together,” said Garg, who is currently a university student in Qatar.
The Holi celebration is marked by the selection of the King of Holi, the hearty enjoyment of lewd singing and shouting, the drinking of bhang, a drink of hashish mixed with milk and yogurt, and the fondling of phallus-shaped effigies. According to Hindus of northern and central India, the frenzy and licentiousness of the festival is merely a reenactment of the leelas of Krishna, the amorous and frolicsome “plays” that the god enjoys with cowherd boys and girls. Indeed, Holi is the “feast of love”, and its excesses are clothed in the emotional feelings and motives of Krishna bhakti movements.
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