Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Holi!

Yes, I know, Holi is a Hindu festival that started yesterday, but yesterday I was busy writing about the Tibetan Butter Lamp Festival. Luckily the Holi festival also continues through today, March 9th, 2012, so it's all good. In my opinion, the colorful scenes of people celebrating with reckless abandon during Holi are too fantastic to miss, so I just had to write about it. :)  

The festival of Holi celebrates faith in Lord Vishnu so strong it led to the burning and defeat of the demoness Holika. Holi also signifies the end of winter and prepares merrymakers for the abundance of the spring harvest. The reason for the orgy of colors from the colored powders thrown about is said to have originated from the fondness Lord Krishna (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) had for playing tricks on village maidens by dowsing them with water and colors. These days the colorful celebration also represents a melting away of social norms and restrictions, so that everyone, rich, poor, men, women, young, old, can shed their inhibitions and celebrate the festival together as Hindus.    

Please enjoy this great photo gallery I found showing just a glimpse of the vibrant Holi festivities across India. You can find out more about the who, what, where, when, and why of Holi (as well as safety information) in this article from About.com India Travel. There is also an extensive article about Holi on Wikipedia, which cautions about the chemicals contained in the synthetically dyed powders used during the festival, and suggests some natural and traditional alternatives.  

Have you experienced the excitement of a Holi festival in India (or elsewhere)? Please tell us about it in the comments!

May all beings be happy!

6 comments:

  1. Very beautiful, thank you for sharing!

    Have a magnificent day!

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  2. I am glad you enjoyed this post. I hope that you also have a great day, and a wonderful weekend ahead!

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  3. Hello Renata,
    Wow! Orgy of colors is right. Thanks. I googled Holi to see when it is celebrated locally. I live in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. At the website of the Hindu Temple of Minnesota (Maple Grove, MN), to which we live nearby, there are photos of previous Holi Festivals:

    http://hindumandirmn.org.dnnmax.com/Gallery/HoliCelebrationPhotos.aspx

    As can be seen, it is much more sedate. In one photo (first row) through the window, these is snow on the ground. Also, this festival seems much more sedate than the photos you displayed. But, hey, this is Minnesota, where everybody is a little more sedate and stoic, even at the festival of colors! Thank you for posting.

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  4. Wow, Dan, this is great! I am glad that people disregard the weather and still celebrate this great festival in the snowy state of Minnesota.

    But for sure, compared to the celebration in places like Vrindavan (Krishna's birthplace) this event does look way more 'stoic'. Can you imagine if people in Minnesota went as crazy at the people in the above link from Atlantic.com? The snow would be a kaleidoscope of colors!

    Thank you for sharing this link. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  5. The photos were so amazing. Thank you for sharing them. It brought a smile to my face.

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  6. Hello DJ, Thank you very much- I am glad you liked the photos, and even more glad that they made you smile!

    It is so amazing the number of festivals that exist, together making up the great tapestry of human experience.

    Have a great week!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! If you enjoyed this post, please share with others. -With Metta, Renata

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