Cover image: Holi

Holi

Taking place at the last full moon of winter in the Hindu Calendar.

Hindu spring festival and festival of colours.

Updated 2 months ago

About the event

Holi is celebrated at the last full moon of winter in the Hindu Calendar. It celebrates the arrival of spring and is famously known as ‘the festival of colours’ because in India, Nepal and around the world, people celebrate by throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other. It’s also called the ‘festival of love’ where forgiveness, reconciliation and the triumph of good over evil are celebrated. Bonfires are lit at the start of Holi to remember the victory of Vishnu and his follower Prahalad over his evil sister Holika and demon father Hiranyakashipu. 

How to approach it

Holi is a great day to introduce Hindu culture to students at the same time as celebrating with Hindu students you may have in your class. It’s best to avoid paint and colour throwing unless an event is organised with Hindu input. Instead, take this opportunity to tell the story of Prahalad. This gives cultural context and offers a great introduction to the epic tradition of Indian literature. Holi also offers a good opportunity to introduce students to the Indian subcontinent and diaspora. Holi is celebrated in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan as well as Europe, the Americas and Africa. 

Conversation starter

Also called the festival of colours, Holi is an important Hindu celebration where people gather, have bonfires and throw colourful paint powder all over each other. Did you know that Holi celebrates equality too? That's why everyone tries to get as equally messy as everyone else! In what ways do you celebrate equality in your life?