Holi: The Festival of Colors

March 13, 2017

What is Holi?

Holi, better known as the Festival of Colors, is a colorful two day Hindu festival celebrated in India and Nepal. Holi starts on Phalgun Purnima (Full Moon Day), which comes around February or March. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil- the arrival of spring. For the singles out there, it's a festive day to meet a significant other. For this reason, people hug and wish each other ‘Happy Holi’.

How to Celebrate

Holi celebrations start the night before Holi with a Holika bonfire. Here, people gather, engage in religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil will be destroyed as the bonfire starts.

The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi - a free-for-all carnival of colors, where participants chase each other with dry powder and colored water. People rub ‘gulal’ and ‘abeer’ on each others’ faces and cheer, ‘bura na mano Holi hai’ (don’t feel offended, it’s Holi). These antics occur everywhere from the open streets and parks to temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments all over town to sing and dance.

Holi Food

The food that is eaten on Holi mostly consists of typical Indian cuisine. However, different parts of India have unique specialties. A staple of Holi is Thandai, a sweet creamy milk drink. The drink consists of spices such as rose petals, cardamom, aniseed, peppercorn, and poppy seeds flavored with almonds.

Another Holi staple is the delicious, sweet Gujhiya, made with dried milk powder and nut stuffing. In Southern India, they prepare a cold beverage called Sherbets along with exotic sweet rice and a variety of fruit mixtures.

Get inspired by the Festival of Colors and the wonderful cuisine of India. Check out SideChef’s favorite recipes and taste the flavors of Holi.

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