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Festival of Colors-Holi | Greenville University Papyrus

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Holi is a Hindu festival celebrated in March. It is not as commonly talked about here in the United States so it was interesting to hear someone’s feedback on Holi. Tawon Swinson, a Greenville University junior, answered a few questions about Holi. When asked if he had ever heard of Holi he said that he had not. This being said, the next question was asking what he thinks it is. “A day of service for the people of the community.” What country did Swinson think it originated from? “I think it originates from Norway.”

History

Holi originally started in India long ago. It is said to have started before Christ. Holi, just like many other Indian holidays, played a big role in Indian mythology. It is also associated with the legends of Sri Krishna. Krishna is one of the most popular Indian gods. Holi was originally celebrated by married women for the well-being of their family, but it is now celebrated by Hindus to spread happiness and joy to all.

How it is Celebrated Today

Holi
Holi Festival.
Media by Johanna Drouin.

The Holi Festival is held once a year in March all around the world and even in the United States. It is a colorful festival full of care-free spirits and enjoyment which celebrates the start of spring. Although it is full of colors which seems like a lot of fun, it is also a time to meet and greet many other friendly people. On the first night, a bonfire is lit which symbolizes burning any evil away. Day two is where the fun begins, throwing colored water and scented colorful powder everywhere.

Holi
Holi Celebration.
Media by Paddy Photography

Tips for Attending the Festival

  1. Wear old clothes.
  2. Wear something over your eyes.
  3. Cover your ears, the powder gets everywhere.
  4. Cover your body with oil, it will be easier to wash afterward.
  5. Leave your phone at home, there is a high risk of losing it in a big crowd.
  6. Participate in the color fight with others.
  7. Lastly, enjoy yourself and the others around you.
Holi festival celebration in Nandgaon photo
Colored powder being thrown.
Media by Soumya Bandyopadhyay.

Holi Crafts

Many people of Indian culture and school children take part by making different crafts for the holiday such as:

  1. Painted Holi Person – This is a pretty simple concept that involves cutting paper in the shape of a person and covering it with paint and colors.
  2. Holi Art – This involves getting a canvas and filling it with colors, pretty simple.
  3. Holi Parties – Color is the key ingredient when dealing with Holi. Colorful decorations, plates, cups, food, and pretty much anything that could use some color will make your Holi party complete.
  4. Holi Cards – Many schools enjoy making these as they are super easy. These cards can be made in many ways, maybe as an invitation or just for fun.
  5. Holi Books – Schools also make and read Holi related books, learning more about their ancestors or just learning about the holiday itself.

Psychological, Cultural, and Social Significance

Psychological – Holi is important biologically because it is said that people usually feel more drowsy during this time of the year, so the festival is a big mood changer.

Cultural – Different legends relate back to Holi, which has led people to be more truthful.

Social – Holi is said to strengthen the country as it brings a lot of joy and happiness.



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