India’s Festival of Colors


India’s Festival of Colors
Each spring, millions of Indians and other Hindus celebrate the festival of Holi. The annual Holi celebrations usually include full-body splashes of colored powders (called gulal) and water. This dazzling National Geographic photo gallery showcases participants in this year’s Holi festival.

Holi is a springtime festival celebrated mostly in Northern India.Photograph by Nilanjan Basu
Holi is a springtime festival celebrated mostly in Northern India.
Photograph by Nilanjan Basu

Discussion Ideas:

  • Read our “media spotlight” about Holi. It gives a brief description of the mythic origins of the festival, and how the date of the holiday is calculated.
  • Can students think of any other springtime religious holidays?
  • The theme for many springtime holidays, including Holi, is rebirth or renewal. Why do students think such diverse spiritual traditions have this in common?
    • Ancient communities most likely celebrated spring as the renewal of the agricultural or growing season. The long months of winter, when food was scarce, were ending and the springtime season of planting was about to begin.
  • Holi, Easter, and some celebrations of Nowruz all involve brightly colored objects, clothes, or people. Why do students think such diverse spiritual traditions have this in common?
    • All three festivals are celebrated in spring, when many brightly colored flowers are beginning to bud and bloom. Bright colors often signify spring.
    • What colors are associated with autumn festivals, such as Thanksgiving? Why do students think those colors are associated with autumn?

7 thoughts on “India’s Festival of Colors

  1. Indian culture is really amazing, we celebrate so many festivals in different traditions. However, rakhi is one of the most celebrated festival across India. Sister tie rakhi on her brother’s wrist and in return brother gives gifts to her. Sisters send rakhi online to their brothers who resides away from home in other city. This is an amazing article, thank you for sharing.

  2. Holi is indeed the festival of colors. Holi brings people of all classes together and fills colors in the life of every single soul. Moreover, the sweets like gujias are mouth watering.

  3. woooowww….A day full of colors,A day full of excitements,A day full of wishes ,yet it’s holi….A day to rejoice love….let the color of holi spread the message of peace and happiness …splash color and enjoy holi……happy holiiii….

  4. It’s Holi that makes keeps everyone waiting for this season to set in. It’s fun. It’s the most colorful festival I have ever heard of.

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