No these images are not scenes from the latest Skittles commercial … although it does appear that the people of India tasted the rainbow during the most recent Holi, a festival that celebrates color. It is also sometimes referred to as the festival of love. It is a fun-filled and lively affair that draws all members of the community together for an amazing and lively celebration.
The festival of Holi is celebrated all throughout India. The legend behind it claims that it is closely associated with Lord Krishna and his principle consort and childhood friend, Radha.
It is also celebrated in Nepal, Pakistan, Fiji, Suriname, and other places where there is a significant Hindu population.
Participants in Holi can expect to walk away resembling a rainbow! Taking place in spring each year, the exact date varies according to the traditional Hindu calendar. Symbolising the start of a new year, it also celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Bonfires are lit to represent purity defeating badness. Indeed, bonfires are an integral part of the start of the celbrations, with numerous fires burnt on the evening before the main festival begins.
The event involves thousands of men and women showering themselves and others in brilliantly coloured powders and millions of flower petals. Colored powder, water guns, and water balloons filled with dyed water are all part of the arsenal used to cover everyone and everything in vibrant colors. The festival is loved by people of all ages, with children and elders alike taking to the street to join in with the revelry. Singing, dancing, and music is also part of the fun.
The men throw the coloured powders and flowers on the women, who fight back by pretending to beat them with bamboo. A little friendly role-play infused with lots of brilliant color certainly sounds like a lot of fun!