Today is Holi, or the Festival of Colors, a nationally recognized Hindu holiday in India and in other places around the globe signifying the end of winter and the welcoming of spring.
The first noted celebrations of Holi date back all the way to the fourth century C.E. in ancient India, and it is said to be based on various stories regarding morals, love, and harvest. The word Holi comes from the Hindi word 'hola', which means to offer prayer or sacrifices as thanksgiving for a good harvest.
Holi is celebrated typically as a 2-day festival - the first night is known as Chhoti Holi, which involves a small bonfire where people gather to dance and sing. This helps to overcome negativity by getting rid of bad thoughts and deeds of the past year.
The second day is the Holi Festival of Colors, where people of all ages wear white clothing and throw colored powder, known as gulal, or colored water, known as pani, at each other. In the evening, families and friends will gather to enjoy foods associated with the festivities as well as celebrate and enjoy each other's company.
Hindu temples will be decorated with bright colors and the Deities are often decorated with lavish jewelry and clothing. Most Hindu temples will also hold religious services to honor the Hindu Deities Lord Krishna, Goddess Radha, and Lord Vishnu.
The Indian Holi festival holds an overarching theme of new beginnings, love, and letting go of the past. On Holi, it is encouraged for people to forgive and forget by renewing broken relationships, making new friends, and paying off old debts. The idea is to shed the burdens of your past and start fresh and anew.
The timing of the Holi festival is actually synchronized with the moon, so the date of the celebration will vary from year to year. The holiday will typically fall on a full moon day, also known as Purnima, any time between the end of February and the middle of March, according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar.
Upcoming Holi Dates:
Are you celebrating the Indian Holi Festival of Colors this year? Whether or not, we wish you happiness, love, the loss of resentment, and new beginnings from this day forward.
If you're looking to send a monetary gift home to India to celebrate, check out our remittance comparison tool to compare rates to send money online to India today.
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