As the winter begins to give way to spring, we’re approaching the time of year where the Hindu Holi festival of colors is just around the corner. At Chameleon Colors, our wide selection of Holi festival powder will allow you, your family and your friends to enjoy this festive occasion in the colorful and traditional manner it demands.
The Holi festival is more than just a collection of color, however – it’s a centuries-old tradition with major meaning. Let’s learn about the history, practices and traditions of the Holi festival.
The Holi festival is meant to commemorate the end of winter, a good upcoming harvest and the fertility of the land. It’s celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March, meaning it won’t be on the exact same day every year. It’s also a signal of the spring harvest, where historically, new crops would refill the stores for every household. The Holi festival is also referred to as “Vasant Mahotsava” and “Kama Mahotsava.”
During Holi times, people are encouraged to practice joy and festivity that might otherwise be considered offensive. This is where many of the Holi color powder traditions come from, and a general air of intoxication is more accepted during Holi. People are encouraged to enjoy the freedom of relaxed rules, with fewer restrictions.
Like many Hindu festivals, Holi is linked to many different mythical tales. It’s linked to three legends in particular: the Holika-Hiranyakashipu-Prahlad episode, Lord Shiva’s killing of Kamadeva and the story of the ogress Dhundhi. Each of these are far too detailed and exciting for this space.
Holi is among the oldest Hindu festivals, with references in temples dating back to the 16th century or even further. References are common in ages-old paintings.
In medieval times, the colors used for Holi were made in the home, using flowers from the “tesu” tree. These processes may have become more modern in many areas, but their origins remain. People traditionally dress in white before coloring themselves and their outfits during the joyous celebration. Exchanges of greetings are traditional, and elders traditionally distribute sweets and money to children. Everyone involved participates in joyous dancing, and various ritual practices are undertaken over each of the three days of the festival.
Want to learn more about the Holi festival, or our Holi powder? Speak to the experts at Chameleon Colors today.