A nationwide fiesta to welcome spring, Holi is one of the most vibrant festivals in India.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Holi is a dazzling spectacle, as colours are literally the main ingredient of the celebration. Also known as the ‘festival of love’ and the ‘festival of colours’, it is observed all around India as well as neighbouring countries Nepal and Bangladesh.
Here’s why you should include Holi in your travel goals:
1. You get to throw colours around – RAINBOW WARS!!!
Pink, blue, yellow, or purple – take your pick from a variety of coloured powders, load up your palms or small buckets, and get ready to spread the joy! Without a doubt, the number one reason to participate in Holi is to engage in this fun war of colours. Oh, sometimes they throw water too.
2. You get to welcome spring in a bright and splashy fashion
Different cultures have different ways of celebrating spring. While Japan and South Korea have their cherry blossom picnics and Thailand with their massive water fights a.k.a Songkran, things flow on a different tune in India. The dates for Holi vary every year, sometime between late February and March. There are two parts of Holi – Holika Dahan is about bonfires on the night of the full moon, and Rangwali Holi the next day is when the colourful action takes place.
3. You get to revel in one of the oldest, longest-running festivals in India
While the true origins of the festival is uncertain, what is known is that it has existed before the birth of Jesus Christ. Many myths and legends surround the birth and significance of festival, the most popular one being the tale of the evil King Hiranyakashipu that wanted to kill his son Pralahad, who was ordered to sit with the king’s sister Holika (presumed to be immune to fire) on the pyre. Thanks to his prayers and devotion to Hindu god Vishnu, Pralahad survived the fire while Holika burned to death.
4. You get to learn about ancient Indian myths surrounding the festival
There are also other tales associated with Holi, including one that explains the splashing of colours around. It is said that the Hindu god Krishna who was born with blue skin, found love in fair-skinned Radha but felt overwhelmed by their differences. It was Krishna’s mother Yashoda who suggested Krishna to rub colours on Radha’s face and see what it’s like. Long story short, Krishna and Radha fell eternally in love and we humans are blessed with the joy of throwing colours to celebrate this union.
5. You get to know and understand your colours
The tiny specks of dust that people throw around are known as gulal, traditionally made from flowers and herbs but is produced synthetically nowadays. All the colours have meanings – blue is said to represent peace, red for passion, green for nature, yellow for brilliance, pink for love, purple for knowledge, orange for creativity, brown for humility, and white for purity.
6. You get to see and meet people from all walks of life
In the colourful warzone, it does not matter what your social status or skin colour or the size of your wallet is, Holi is a time to be merry. Best to celebrate this with a bunch of friends or loved ones, and make some new ones along the way! A word of caution to the ladies though: make sure you’re with a group of friends to avoid unwanted attention.
7. You get to paint your life with colourful memories
Blue and orange dust may be all over your face, but you also get to pelt strangers with pink and green. Wearing bright colours is recommended for the occasion, but it’s better to wear white, signifying a blank canvas that would soon be splattered with colourful memories to last a lifetime.
GETTING THERE: AirAsia flies to Jaipur, New Delhi and other India destinations only at airasia.com.