Spring Equinox celebrations around the World

Holi Festival, India

by Juliette Amadis Monday 10 March 2014

Holi Festival, India
© Steven Gerner, http://flic.kr/p/e9yzKq, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

You may already know this festival as « The festival of colours », one of the most famous festivals in the world. It is usually celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox. Originally a festival to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land, Holi has now become a symbolic commemoration of the arrival of spring and of a legend from Hindi Mythology. It celebrates the story of a pure-hearted devotee, Prahlad, who underwent many trials to maintain his faith as well as the burning of carnal desires by Shiva to reach a higher level of love. 

On that special day, people toss vibrant coloured powders onto each other and dance in the streets with joy. The colours were traditionally made from flowers, herbs and roots but are now artificial. Like many festivals around the world, it also represents the burning away of the dullness of winter even though many families see the festival as the triumph of Prahlad and the burning of his evil sister.

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