If there is one country that I associate with colors, it is India. And if there is one celebration that represents colors, it is Holi.
This year Holi is celebrated today. Every year the exact date changes, according to the lunar calendar. When I first visited India years ago, I arrived in the middle of the night and the next day, without knowing it, it was Holi. I was in Delhi, drove around in tuk-tuk, and watched mainly young men and children throwing colored water on other people. As we entered a lunch place, we were covered in pink, yellow, green, blue… Blame it on jet lag once again, but I was wishing everyone “Happy Holidays” until my husband corrected me and said it is “Happy Holi”….. This ancient tradition, originally known as Holika, marks the arrival of spring. It was celebrated most probably already in 300 BC and a stone inscription in Ramgarh, Vindhya province, remains a proof of that. In Hampi there is a 16th-century sculpted panel showing happy Holi celebrations. There are many stories associated with the festival’s origin, but one is closely linked to Krishna, who asked his mother why his beloved friend Radha’s color is so much more fair than his, and his mother suggested, jokingly, that he spray Radha’s face and hair with colors. However, it would be insufficient to limit Holi to colors: like so many other Hindu celebrations and legends, Holi is fundamentally about the victory of good over evil.
Happy Holi to everyone, and especially to my Indian friends!
PS These websites give you a feeling of Holi: