Holi is an ancient Indian,” festival of colors“. Holi is an important spring festival for Hindus, a national holiday in India. Holi is celebrated at the end of winter.
It celebrates the beginning of Spring. In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land.
It is a time of enjoying spring’s colors, Children and youth spray colored powder solutions such as gulal at each other, laugh and celebrate, while adults smear dry colored powder called abir on each other’s faces.
Friends and families are first to play with colors, then served with Holi delicacies are puranpoli, dahi-bada and gujia, desserts and drinks.
After playing with colors, and cleaning up, people bathe, put on clean clothes, and visit other friends and family.
Traditional sources of colors–
Green— Mehndi or mehndi is a form of body art from Ancient India.
Yellow— Haldi (turmeric) powder is the typical source of yellow color.
Blue— Indigo plant, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus
Magenta and purple— Beetroot is the traditional source of magenta and purple color.
Brown–Dried tea leaves offer a source of brown colored water.
Natural colors were used in the past to celebrate Holi. People used safe colors turmeric, sandalwood paste, extracts of flowers and leaves.
The spring blossoming trees that once supplied the colors used to celebrate Holi have become rarer, chemically produced industrial dyes have been used to take their place in almost all of over India.
Due to the commercial availability of attractive pigments, slowly the natural colors are replaced by synthetic colors.
The main ritual of Holi involves colors and lots of it! Friends and families smear each other with colored powders as they celebrate the festival with their family and friends.
In bigger cities, there are Holi parties where attendees can play with colors, indulge in water fights, dance, eat and drink until sundown.