The Hindu traditional day of festivity known as Holi, celebrated on March 5th, is a religious celebration that has come to signify a lighthearted goodbye to winter and joyous welcome to Spring. Celebrants throw vibrantly colored powders on each other, as though blessings, in a jubilant day of transformation.  Spring is literally in the air!

Young men in New Delhi, featured in the video below, speak eloquently of how the flashily-playful and innocuous mimicry of attack —using colored medicinal herb powders and dyed water— can ease tensions and initiate catharsis without violence.

As one man put it, the festival is an equalizer, especially poignant in a caste-structured society (Holi largely takes place in India, though Nepal loves to sling color as well):

…it makes us look-alike, which is the best part of this festival….

Covered head-to-toe in fuchsia and lemon-yellow, it is harder to tell apart a friend from an enemy. (Video link HERE).

Stateside in Spanish Fork, Utah, we see the biggest Holi celebration in the Western Hemisphere, put on by the local Hare Krishnas for tens of thousands of visitors with over a hundred thousand bags of lovely powdered BRIGHTNESS to toss up in the air and at each other, stirring up a quite unusual desert sandstorm. In Utah, the day seems to take on more of a music-fest vibe, with happy body surfers, girls with huge grins moshing in the mud, and barefoot teenagers whooping joyfully at the tops of their lungs while the band plays on. (Video link HERE.)

Perhaps inspired by Holi, the Color Run 5k exploded in popularity in the last couple of years as being an excuse to get stained in glorious neon hues while getting in your 3+ miles of running, jogging, or walking. Less overwhelming than a half or full-marathon, 5ks are a great way to break into running. (Zombies, Run!, a tweak on the Couch-to-5k program, was my key to losing 52 lbs. since last year!—download apps for both in either the Apple app store or Google Play).

Color Run 5k‘s sign, at top, puts a smile on my face:


…a fitting practice to welcome Spring.

For deeper immersion into the Holi celebration, check out Big Pictures wonderful images.

Anupam Nath/Associated Press
Anupam Nath/Associated Press

Sinnae Choi

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3 replies on “Holi: Throw Happiness Around Like Confetti!

  1. peace camouflage ~

    a field full of wildflowers


    my name comes from there *

    ps. love to combine “throw happiness around like confetti” with
    “be a smile millionaire” (Paramahansa Yogananda )

  2. “a smile millionaire”. GREAT.

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