Holi

An annual spring festival that is the last festival of the Hindu calendar, occuring on the full-moon day of Phalguna in February or March. The festival is probably ancient in origin and is characterized by its sense of playfulness and reversal of normal codes of behavior. It is only on this day that the typical restrictions of caste, sex, age, and status are set aside.

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Go Historic ID
31002
Names
Holi Spanish
Holākā
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Refers to an annual spring festival that is the last festival of the Hindu calendar, occuring on the full-moon day of Phalguna in February or March. The festival is probably ancient in origin and is characterized by its sense of playfulness and reversal of normal codes of behavior. It is only on this day that the typical restrictions of caste, sex, age, and status are set aside. Celebrants throw colored waters and powders on one another and celebrations are known for their ribald language and behavior. Some participants may drink 'bhang,' an intoxicating beverage made with hemp. Bonfires are lit the preceding evening to signify the triumph of good over evil and the end of winter; a straw figure of the witch Holikā may be burnt in the fires. The festival is especially associated with Krishna, the young god known for his frivolity. The Dolayatra (swinging of the god) festival takes place during Holi; images of the gods on decorated platforms are swung to the accompaniment of special songs.

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Bibliography

  1. 1.  The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, 300264515. The J. Paul Getty Trust.