Spring! Colours! Love! Holi is a time to play and laugh, forget and forgive.

Holi is the ancient Hindu festival of colours and love. It is celebrated in India and Nepal and many parts of South Asia. There are lots of Holi celebrations in the UK, organised by the large British-Hindu community. Recently, Holi has also inspired non-religious celebrations in Europe and North America, and its popularity is growing.

The festival of colour

Holi marks the beginning of spring. It is a celebration of good winning over evil, and a time to give thanks for the good harvest. The dates change each year according to the full moon, but it is normally in March and sometimes in late February. People go outside and throw coloured paint powder at each other. It does not matter if you are rich, poor, old or young – everyone can throw paint and everyone can get messy! There is a spirit of togetherness and equality. It is a time to forgive people and repair broken relationships, as well as meet with other people, play and have fun.

Traditional Holi

Traditional Holi celebrations start the night before the throwing of colours. People meet around a bonfire and pray that evil will be destroyed, in the same way that the demon Holika was burnt in a fire, according to the legend. The next day is the chaotic and noisy festival of colours. People chase each other and throw coloured paint powder over each other. There is music and drumming, and people run and laugh in the streets and parks. Holi is celebrated outside.

Other Holi events in the UK

Holi celebrations happened as early as the fourth century. It is thousands of years old! But recently, Holi-themed events have become popular with a new generation in Europe and North America. Every year, bigger and bigger crowds of people go to Holi events in London and all over the country, arriving dressed in white T-shirts and returning covered from head to toe in bright colours. There are paint-throwing parties at music festivals and races like the five-kilometre ‘Colour Run’, which is celebrated in more than 35 different countries. In the UK, restaurants and cultural organisations also offer their own Holi celebrations, with special menus, Indian music and dance.

Know your festival

Many thousands of people in the UK will go to Holi events this year, attracted by the bright colours and playful atmosphere. Holi has a friendly and inclusive spirit, so non-Hindus are often welcomed to join the celebrations. It is always good to know about the origins and meaning of the festival though, even if you do not identify as Hindu. So, as well as being a fun festival and your photos looking great on Instagram, it’s good to learn what it’s all about and where it comes from.

Discussion

Do you celebrate Holi? Tell us about it!

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Comments

Senbo's picture
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Senbo 4 September, 2021 - 04:33

Personally, I don't celebrate Holi but it sound like a very happy tradition and I like it, i hope that I can celebrate it someday

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Nihilanth's picture
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Nihilanth 4 September, 2021 - 02:38

We do not celebrate Holi in our contry, but i think that its a very interesting festival, and i think it would be quite funny to see people going outside and throwing coloured paint powders at each other

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Crys's picture
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Crys 3 September, 2021 - 17:00

For me, holi is a very entertaining tradition that promotes the inclusion of all people and when using colors I find it very striking

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wmsmp 3 September, 2021 - 16:57

We don't celebrate Holi, but I think we should since it's a very lively celebration with a meaningful purpose which, besides being pretty funny, it allows people to strengthen they relationship with friends and family or build/make new friends.

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Crys's picture
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Crys 3 September, 2021 - 16:54

BENJA M:
for me, holi is a very interesting, very striking and very entertaining celebration that could be included in my country

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Gonza 3 September, 2021 - 16:47

In my opinion the holi celebration is a moment that makes the whole community happy, it is a celebration that everyone enjoys the arrival of spring, the celebration could be extended to the rest of the world to be able to have a good day, wherever it is it is just games and fun

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iiRiiSsSsS's picture
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iiRiiSsSsS 3 September, 2021 - 16:47

I personally think this celebration is so beautiful, interesting and a lot of fun. It's a festival i would definitely attend for its beautiful colors, music and dance.I find it very captivating that they continue with an ancient tradition and remembering the legends that began with this festival.

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Sad_Heisenberg's picture
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Sad_Heisenberg 3 September, 2021 - 16:42

Even if i don´t agree with religious tradition ´cause they can be sometimes harmeful for people, i got to say that this is a fun exception and an actually entertaining, interesting tradition. I kinda like it.

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ari789's picture
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ari789 3 September, 2021 - 16:42

i find the holi party something too creative and i dont know if ir is a celebarted in chile , but is a very clear de cute simbolisim of color and religion

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monselizhe's picture
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monselizhe 3 September, 2021 - 16:41

I did not know about this party, I never celebrated it or heard anyone do it. but it seems to me a beautiful tradition with a message beyond the colors

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Daninii 3 September, 2021 - 16:36

I have never celebrated the Holi festival, although it looks to me a very interesting and fun celebration, I would appreciate going to one of these festivals in the future with my family and friends, and have fun throwing colors at other people.

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ari789's picture
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ari789 3 September, 2021 - 16:33

I don't celebrate Holi but when I was younger I wanted to go to "Color run" in Chile, anyways I would love to experience this celebration because it has a beautiful meaning and I love that people throw powder paint to each other to celebrate good winning over evil.
-kemy

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iiRiiSsSsS's picture
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iiRiiSsSsS 3 September, 2021 - 16:32

I personally think this celebration is so beautiful, interesting and a lot of fun. It's a festival i would definitely attend

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valderrama 3 September, 2021 - 16:29

I think thai it looks like a wonderful, funny, and colorful tradition, that represents a part of Indian culture. It is also celebrated in countrys like UK, organized by the British-Hindu community. It seems like a very interesting celebration, and i would like to be there to participate at least once

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Nihilanth's picture
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Nihilanth 3 September, 2021 - 16:19

We do not celebrate Holi in my country, but i think that is a very fun, playful and interesting festival and think it would be quite funny to see people going outside and throwing coloured paint powder at each other

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vicho's picture
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vicho 3 September, 2021 - 14:49

the truth is that I have never celebrated or commemorated this tradition, but reading this is something very entertaining and didactic to welcome spring in a more entertaining way

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Esteban 3 September, 2021 - 02:16

Holi is an interesting celebration on the theme of colors and spring. You can cross borders even reaching the United Kingdom.

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Jaoh 3 September, 2021 - 01:38

Personally, I have never celebrated this party but I think that if I can ever be at this party I think I would like it a lot.

Jose

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RuiKz's picture
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RuiKz 2 September, 2021 - 04:14

I do not celebrate Holi since it is the first time. I have heard about the festival that means the beginning of spring

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Nicolas's picture
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Nicolas 2 September, 2021 - 03:16

Holi is not celebrated in my country, but I would like to celebrate this event as it sounds fun and interesting.

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Feliponsio725 2 September, 2021 - 00:09

Although the holi festival is not celebrated in my country, I find it very funny that in this festival people chase each other and throw colored powder paint on each other. Something I would like to go to the holi festival in london since it is my favorite city and see the brightly colored decorations

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Bestekkolas's picture
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Bestekkolas 1 September, 2021 - 17:08

The truth is that I have never heard of Holi in my country, but it seems to me to be a very happy and interesting tradition :D

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Cfvdv's picture
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Cfvdv 7 May, 2021 - 18:21

No, we don’t celebrate Holi in my country, but I think this festival is interesting and very nice to go.

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Arivelde's picture
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Arivelde 7 May, 2021 - 17:41

In my country every year have a big Holi event/party, but I've never been to it.

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Assia 25 March, 2020 - 10:02

I don't celebrate Holi, but I think is a great festival.
It is a festival of unity, everything becomes so colorful.

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sofiacap's picture
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sofiacap 23 March, 2020 - 20:48

I don't crelebrate the Holi but it sounds so funny and good. I would love to celebrate it someday with my friends.

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