DID YOU KNOW . . . Holi, the Hindu Celebration of Colors

Today is the celebration of Holi, a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus known as the festival of colors. It is primarily observed in India and Nepal, but is also prominently observed in Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well in countries with large Hindu populations all over the world.

Every year, thousands of Hindus participate in the festival, which has many purposes. First and foremost, it celebrates the beginning of the new season, spring. Originally, it was a festival that commemorated good harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colors and saying farewell to winter. It also has a religious purpose, commemorating events present in Hindu mythology. Although it is one of the least religiously significant of the Hindu holidays, it is probably one of the most fun and exhilarating ones and a  great many people celebrate it with great joy and excitement everywhere. 

The main celebration is observed by people smearing colored powder on each other, as well as by throwing colored and scented water and perfume at each other. Bonfires are lit on the eve of the festival, near midnight, as the moon rises, after which prayers are said and praise is offered.

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