The Story of the Festival of Colors
March 9, 2020 is the start of the Hindu “festival of colors” known as Holi. The theme of this tradition is the triumph of good over evil. The holiday is celebrated by lighting bonfires on the evening before and then gathering the next day to throw brightly colored powder at each other in a spirit of love and happiness.
According to HinduismToday.com, the lighting of the bonfires represents the death of Holika, the evil sister of Prahlada. Holika’s father was angry and jealous that his son Prahlada was filled with peace as he worshiped the Hindu god Vishnu, and he plotted to kill him. He instructed Holika to lure her brother onto a pyre where he would light a fire that her magic shawl would protect her from while Prahlada would be killed. When the fire was lit, the god Vishnu intervened, causing the magic shawl to fly from Holika’s shoulders onto Prahlada, protecting him while the evil Holika was burned away.
The festive colors of Holi have a basis in Hindu mythology as well. The god Vishnu is believed to be embodied by Krishna, an indigo-colored boy playing a flute. Krishna was said to be so in love with Radha, the fair-skinned Hindu goddess, that he playfully sprinkled her with colored spices to make her look like him.