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Authored by British Online Archives
Published on 8th March, 2023 2 min read


Poster for Holi

Today (08/03/2023) marks the religious festival in Hinduism called Holi. This festival, also known as the “festival of colours”, commemorates the beginning of spring. Alongside this, the festival is seen as a joyful new beginning/fresh start. Usually on the eve of the festival a bonfire is lit to burn away evil spirits and to signify a vibrant new future.

On the day of Holi, people throw powdered dye into the air, which in turn covers everyone in vibrant colours and turns the streets green, red and yellow. There are multiple meanings behind this, however for some the throwing of the colours symbolize the beginnings of a vibrant new life. While for some the washing off of the dye at the end marks ones commitment to a live well and cleansing off evil spirits. Each colour has a different symbolic meaning, for example green represents new beginnings, while red symbolises love and fertility. 

Holi is a celebration of good triumphing over evil and has many religious stories that display this attached to it. The religious stories differ depending on the region of India, however one story is the story of Krishna’s love for Radha. As a young boy Krishna’s skin had turned dark blue after he drank poisoned milk given to him by the demoness, Putana. Krishna fell in love with Radha, however was worried that she would not love him because his skin was blue, so he playfully coloured her face with coloured powder and they became a couple. The Holi festival commemorates the divine love of Krishna and Radha. Their story has thought to be the origins of the colour throwing during the Holi celebrations. 

The British Online Archives team wishes all that are partaking in this colourful festival a very Happy Holi. May this festival bring you health, prosperity and happiness. 

Authored by British Online Archives

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The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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