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When is Holi 2019 and what does it celebrate?

Here are 12 facts you may not know about Holi, the festival of colour

The ancient Hindu festival of colours, Holi, heralds the end of winter and the victory of good over evil. Here are 12 facts that you may not know about Holi.
Throwing coloured powder is a popular custom of Holi.

When is Holi?

The festival of Holi is celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March every year. In 2019, it takes place on 21 March 2019.

Holi was originally a festival to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land, but is now a symbolic commemoration of a legend from Hindu Mythology.

12 Facts about Holi

The word Holi is derived from the word 'Holika', who was the demonic sister of King Hiranyakashipu and was burned to death with the help of Vishnu.

The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil and is celebrated on the following day after Holika was burned in a bonfire.

Holi marks the passing of winter and beginning of spring and is celebrated each year after the full moon in March, the first day of the new season on the astronomical calendar.

In India, Holi is celebrated in some form across all the 28 states of India. The date of the holiday may vary between states.

Known as Phagwah, Holi is a public holiday in the South American country of Guyana.

The festival begins on the night before Holi. Bonfires are lit and people gather around the fire to watch it while eating their favourite food items.

The second day of the festival known as 'Rangwali Holi' is the famous day when people throw coloured powder at each other.

For Holi, all castes, social divisions and religious barriers are forgotten, as people celebrate the religious festival together regardless of cultural and religious differences.

During the festival, people are heard saying 'Bura na mano, Holi hai!' which means 'do not mind, it's Holi', which acts as a way of avoiding any responsibility for any pranks played on Holi.

Participants in the festivities are advised to moisturise their skin well before taking part. This helps make the 'gulal', the coloured powder, be more easily removed and not stain the skin as much.

Doljatra is essentially the same festival as Holi, but has added emphasis as it is the last festival of the Bengali year.

Fires are lit on street corners to cleanse the air of evil spirits and bad vibes, and to symbolize the destruction of the wicked Holika, after whom the festival was named

 

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