Holi, or the festival of colors, is a religious festival celebrated on the day after the full moon in the Hindu lunar month of Phalguna (which typically happens during February or March). This year, Holi falls on March 23, so mark your calendars and start prepping! Originating in India, Holi is celebrated by many Indian communities around the world today, from those in South Africa to the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The event brings people together to honor the coming of spring and the defeat of evil spirits—something I think we can all agree is worth raising a glass of thandai to. (Thandai is a cold, refreshing mix of almonds, various seeds, rose petals, cardamom, saffron, milk, and sugar...and it is delicious.)
While the music and food of Holi is no small aspect of the celebration (you don't have to ask us to eat a bowl of gulab jamun twice!), the real fun comes in the form of buckets of dyed water and vibrant powdered hues. Ranging from scarlet to indigo to sapphire, each color of Holi has a significance, representing various forces of life such as purity and vitality.
This Is What the Colors Mean
How to take part? As soon as you're armed with everything from water guns to water balloons to fistfuls of powder, chase down your friends and turn their bodies into your own personal canvases. Never mind that the dye will be stuck in your hair, under your fingernails, and behind your ears for the next two weeks—this is one time of the year you can wear every color under the sun and not look like you've gone overboard. So go ahead and fill that balloon with bright pink water—the person next to you won't know what hit them.