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By ResidenceLifeAssistant 27 Feb 2024

Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is one of the most vibrant and joyous festivals celebrated by Hindus around the world. This ancient festival marks the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil. With its exuberant colors, playful atmosphere, and sense of unity, Holi is a time for people to come together, forget their differences, and revel in the spirit of love and happiness.

History of Holi 

Holi originated in ancient India as a festival of fertility, love, and the entrance of spring. One of the most well-known Holi stories is that of Prahlada and Hiranyakashipu. According to Hindu legend, Hiranyakashipu was a despotic monarch who desired to be worshipped as a deity. However, his son Prahlada was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu, enraged by his son's devotion, attempted to kill him several times, but Prahlada was always saved by supernatural intervention. Hiranyakashipu eventually tried to burn Prahlada alive with the help of his fire-resistant sister Holika. However, Holika's immunity failed her, and she was burned to ashes, while Prahlada escaped unharmed.  

Another tale related with Holi is Lord Krishna's playful antics, which are thought to have popularised the practice of applying colours during the festival. Krishna, known for his mischievous temperament, would playfully immerse his beloved Radha and other gopis (cowherd females) in coloured water and powder, creating a joyful atmosphere of love and harmony.

Traditions and Rituals

Holi is celebrated with great fervour and excitement in India and other parts of the world where the Indian diaspora lives. The festivities usually begin on the evening of the full moon day in the Hindu month of Phalguna, with the lighting of bonfires known as Holika Dahan. People assemble around a campfire to sing, dance, and perform rituals to fend off evil spirits.

The next day, known as Rangwali Holi or Dhulandi, is when the main party starts. Revellers come to the streets, parks, and open spaces, equipped with coloured powders (gulal) and water pistols (pichkaris), smearing one other with brilliant colours and offering heartfelt greetings of "Happy Holi!" The air is filled with laughing, music, and enthusiastic chants of "Holi Hai!"

Traditional Holi sweets and delicacies include gujiya (sweet dumplings), thandai (a spicy milk drink), and puran poli (sweet flatbread), which are cooked and enjoyed with family and friends. It is a time for feasting and merrymaking, when social barriers are momentarily forgotten and people gather to celebrate the spirit of unity and fraternity.


Aside from its religious roots, Holi has great cultural and social importance. It marks the beginning of spring, a season of regeneration, growth, and rejuvenation. The colours of Holi signify the many shades of life, representing joy, love, and the brightness of nature. Furthermore, the celebration promotes togetherness and inclusivity, breaking down barriers of caste, creed, and social standing.

In addition to its cultural significance, Holi serves as a reminder of the unending conflict between good and evil, as well as righteousness' final victory. It helps people to reflect, let go of old grievances, and accept forgiveness and reconciliation.

Holi, with its vibrant colours and irresistible enthusiasm, is more than simply a holiday; it's a celebration of life. It unites communities, inspires the spirit of friendship, and fills hearts with joy and optimism. As we celebrate Holi, let us treasure the bonds of friendship and love, and may the colours of Holi fill our lives with happiness and prosperity. Happy Holi!

So, whether you're dancing to the rhythm of dhol rhythms, indulging in delicious sweets, or happily splashing colours with loved ones, Holi is a time to celebrate the beauty of togetherness and make treasured memories that will last a lifetime.

ResLife are also hosting a Holi Celebration on the 25th March so look out for more information via your emails and social media on this and we look forward to you joining us.