Holi, India, 1st March

Here Comes Holi: The Festival of Colors
During Holi, Holika Dahan, or the festival of color, Hindus celebrate good harvests and the Earth's fertility by taking to the streets and smearing everyone with colored powders and water. It is lots of fun, but watch out - no-one is exempt!
Huge bonfires are made on the eve of the festival (to drive out Dhunda, a female demon, from participating villages), while the actual day is marked by loud processions, singing, dancing and traditional songs.
The celebrations pay tribute to Hindu god Krishna, and are associated with his love for Radha. The young Krishna would moan to his mother about how Radha was so fair and he was so dark. His mother advised him to apply color on Radha's face and see how her complexion changed. The celebrations still explore this idea.
If you're a visitor to the Holi celebrations, wear some old clothes! It's likely you'll get covered with colorful powders (gulal) and colored water - an interesting development on the theme of smearing gulal on friends' foreheads. While the aim of Holi is apparently to develop an increased appreciation of beauty and cultivate good taste, people get away with almost anything on this day - including squirting coloured water on passers-by!

Further Information: http://www.holifestival.org/

Maria Andreou
Co Publisher