Holi- the Indian Festival of Colors

Holi- the Indian Festival of ColorsHoli- the Indian Festival of Colors
Holi is celebrated in the Northern parts of India and heralds the arrival of spring. It is also known as the Ranga Panchami, indicating the extensive use of colors in the celebration.. When baby, Prince Prahlad, started to worship Narayana (Vishnu) as his personal God Prince Prahlad’s father, Hiranya Kashyap, sent him to  be cared for by the demoness, Holika. Hiranya asked her to train the infant to worship  him as God. When she reported that the child was adamant the King ordered her to jump into a huge fire carrying the child with her. Holika died in the fire, but the child Prince escaped miraculously. To commemorate the victory of Good over Evil, Holi is celebrated on Chaitra Pratipada day, i.e. “the first day of the month of Chaitra”, as per the Hindu Calendar. There are also legends depicting Lord Rama celebrating Holi with his subjects and Lord Krishna celebrating Holi with the residents of Vrindavan.
Personal interaction between persons normally separated by rules of conduct may occur during the the application of color powders and colored water. There is a mood of gay abandon and purges the mind of pent-up tensions, without the risk of stigma. The colored face provides a kind of anonymity, and everyone smears others with color or sprays them with colored liquids.
An interesting feature of Holi is that persons belonging to non-Hindu communities  also join in the celebrations. Environmentalists have recently campaigned to ensure that only natural colors are used for Holi. This festival has interesting parallels in the Carnivals of some Latin American States and in Europe.