India Holi Day – The Festivals of Color

Holi 2014 ( Holli or The Festivals of Color ) is a festival of spring celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal as well as other countries with large Indian populations, such as United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Fiji, Mauritius, Suriname, Guyana, and Trinidad.

Holi Festival is also known as Dolyatra (Doul Jatra) or Basanta-Utsav (spring festival) in West Bengal and Orissa of India. Holi is celebrated with most anticipation in the Braj region, or locations connected to the god Krishna, which are Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana. Many of these become tourist destinations during the festive season, which can last up to 16 days.

Holi celebration in India

When is Holi Festival?

Holi festival date is based on Hindu lunar calendar. It is annually celebrated at end of winter, on the last full moon day of Lunar month Phalguna. Holi Day usually falls in February or March.

Date of 2014 Holi Festival
When is 2014 Holi Festival? Holi 2014 falls on Monday, 17 March 2014. Holika Dahan 2014, the eve of Holi 2014, falls on Sunday, 16 March 2014.

Date of 2013 Holi Festival
When is 2013 Holi Festival? Holi 2013 falls on Wednesday, 27 March 2013. Holika Dahan 2013, the eve of Holi 2013, falls on Tuesday, 26 March 2013.

Date of 2012 Holi Festival
When is 2012 Holi Festival? Holi 2012 falls on Sunday, 9 March 2012. Holika Dahan 2012, the eve of Holi 2012, falls on Saturday, 8 March 2012.

India Holi Festival

Origins of Holi Festival
There are many stories about the origins of Holi Festival. One is about the god of love, Kamadeva. The legend has it that Kamadeva shot his weapon at Shiva to help Parvati to marry Shiva by disrupting Shiva’s meditation. Shiva, disrupted from his meditation, opened his third eye and cause a gaze of which was so powerful that Kamadeva’s body was destroyed and reduced to ashes. For the sake of Rati, Kamadeva’s wife, Shiva restored Kamadeva as a mental image, representing the true emotional and spiritual state of love.

To observe the event, people light bonfires on the eve of Phalgun full moon.

Video: Holi The Festival of Colours

Celebrations of Holi 2014
Aptly named as the Festival of Color, the main highlight of Holi 2013 festival is joyous celebrations of going to the street in big groups, smearing each other with bright colored powders and water, without regard to social status such as caste, race, or sex. People exchange greetings, young people pay respect to the elders by sprinkling some colors on their feet, elders distribute money and sweets, and everyone join in the dance.

The day before (on Holika Dahan), bonfires are lit at night of the full moon on street corners to symbolize the destruction of the wicked Holika, and to cleanse the air of evil spirits and bad vibes.

Holi 2013 is a public holiday in India for Hindus.

Happy Holi 2014 !