Educating not only your children but also yourself about other country’s holidays and celebrations is a great way to learn about the world. It teaches your children to have a more open mind to other cultures and belief systems, and helps them realize that the world moves in different ways depending on where you live. Holi, a traditional Indian holiday, is a fun and vibrant holiday that deserves a spotlight.

What Is Holi?

Holi is a yearly celebration in India centered around the entrance of spring and the exit of winter. It is a time to put away each other’s grievances against others and to start afresh with the upcoming spring and new year. Holi is aligned with a full moon (or Purnima) in the Phalguna month of the Hindu calendar, which typically occurs around the end of February or mid-March. This year, Holi lands on March 25th, and the celebrations begin the day before, also known as Holika Dahan. 

The celebration is usually set off with a bonfire, consisting of tying white threads around the pyre three or seven times, then sprinkling holy water, flowers, and Kumkum onto it. This bonfire symbolizes the burning away of any ego or negativity people may be experiencing, and instead embracing the newness of the coming year and spring. It is also a protection against any evil or misfortune that may befall an individual. Another big theme of Holi is the play between good versus evil, with different Hindu stories inspiring the holiday itself. 

Festival of Colors

Holi is widely known as the Festival of Colors as on the main day of celebration, people will smear colored powder on each other to celebrate! They will use water guns or water balloons filled with colored water to help douse as many people as possible to enjoy the vibrancy of the festival. Everyone will also partake in eating of very rich foods, including a lot of traditional sweets, such as gujiya, and drinks like thandai, which is a cold drink made with almonds, fennel seeds, watermelon kernels, rose petals, poppy seeds, pepper, milk, cardamon, saffron and sugar. Everyone gathers with friends and family to make it a warm, cozy, and loving celebration. It is a festival filled with colors, vitality, energy, love, and passion.     

Katie Kyzivat