Holi: The Festival of Spring, Colors, and Love

By Amanda Moses

Holi takes place on March 25 and is an ancient Hindu festival celebrating Radha Krishna. This joyous occasion emphasizes unity, love, forgiveness, and overall, the start of a happier, brighter spring.

Festivities begin in the evening (which is known as the Holika Dahan or Choti Holi) with usually a bonfire, this symbolizes the good in the world overcoming the bad, and the event continues into the following day. Friends, families, and communities are invited to smear or toss colorful powder onto each other in a show of reverence, love, and respect toward each other.  It is the true symbol that despite disagreements and issues we may have with one another, good will always triumph over evil, and the spirit of love will unite humanity.


There are several legends surrounding the origins of Holi. One myth follows a powerful king named Hiranyakshyap, who wanted all to worship him as if he were a god. However, his son, Prahlad began to worship Lord Vishnu, and this greatly displeased his father. So the king plotted to have his son killed by persuading his sister Holika to enter a blazing fire holding onto Prahlad on her lap with the promise that she would not get burned (using a magical item). The plan backfired and Prahlad’s devotion to his god spared him from the fire while Holika burned for her sins. This is why a bonfire is lit the night before, to showcase evil being destroyed by good.

If you would like to learn more about the various legends and facts surrounding Holi, visit: https://www.holifestival.org/

See the April 19th issue of our coverage of the annual Phagwah Parage of NY (the parade takes place in Richmond Hill on April 7th at Liberty Avenue and 133rd Street.)

Photo by Amanda Moses

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Amanda Moses