Holi is a spring religious festival celebrated by Hindus mainly in India and other countries with large Indic populations as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, South Africa or United Kingdom. This event is also known as spring festival, since it celebrates the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month which usually falls in the later part of February or March. In 2011, Holi was on March 20.
This day is celebrated by people throwing bright coloured powder and coloured water at each other. It is an occasion that brings joy, fun, music and dance. On the eve of the festival, bonfires are lit in memory of the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’.
The traditional face of Holi mantains that the spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. The playful throwing of natural coloured powders has a medicinal significance: the colours are traditionally made of herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors. Unfortunately the commercial aspect of celebration has led to an increase in the use of synthetic colours which may be toxic.
The best part of this festival is the freedom that people taste: Some practices, which at other times could be offensive, are allowed during Holi like squirting colored water, dunking friends in mud pool and reveling with companions is perfectly acceptable. Women, especially, enjoy the freedom of relaxed rules. It is a time for license and not for caste restrictions. In fact, on Holi, you can get away with almost anything by saying, ‘Don’t mind, it’s Holi!‘
Also, Holi bridges the social gap between rich and poor and all are equal, no difference, to embrace each other and to wish Happy Holi.