Holi is the festival that knows no bars and is celebrated around various parts of the world including Asia, Jamaica, the United States, Fiji, U.K., Canada, South Africa, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan and other parts of Asia, Europe and North America. With a lot of change over the time, the festival is now admired with a lot of fanfare in North America owing to large population of Indians settled in the region. Different organizations and Indian communities from these regions come forward and organize the programs to mark the occasion and help people connect with their cultural roots.
Earlier celebrated primarily in India and Nepal, the history of Holi goes way back to the time with its origin in Indian subcontinent. Even though the occasion is connected to more than one religion, it particularly revolves around the Hindu legends. With an idea of bringing people together as one and spreading harmony, people start the festival by starting large bonfires one day before the main event which continues till the wee hours of the morning. The bonfire signifies ‘Holika Dahan’ meaning Holika’s death symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. She was the sister of King Hiranyakashipu who was burnt to death by God Vishnu to save his disciple, Prahlad.
The festival of love, frolic and colors commemorates the start of spring and the end of the winter season in India. Holi is not only famous for laughter, fun and colors but it is also celebrated as a prayer for a good harvest. The festivity of the event with people dancing, exchanging sweets, marching the colorful parades, applying colors, throwing water filled balloons with the touch of traditional bhang lifts the spirit of people from all walks of life who enjoy those moments to the hilt along with wiping away the differences through the colors of Holi!