Holi Festival of Colors, Utah 2010 - Chalk Explosion
An explosion of color results as participants of a Holi festival in Utah throw colored chalk into the air and at each other. (photo: Jeremy Nicoll)

There’s no shortage of photos from Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, which takes place this year on Sunday, March 20th. Around the world, people celebrate the holiday by “throwing colors” at anyone who wanders by. Sometimes it’s in the form of powders, sometimes colored water, and sometimes natural dyes.

According to the BBC’s description of Holi, Ratnaval, a seventh-century Sanskrit drama, has one of the first references to the festivities:

“Witness the beauty of the great cupid festival which excites curiosity as the townsfolk are dancing at the touch of brownish water thrown from squirt-guns. They are seized by pretty women while all along the roads the air is filled with singing and drum-beating. Everything is coloured yellowish red and rendered dusty by the heaps of scented powder blown all over.”

As with most Hindu holidays, the historical significance of the festival is complex and varied, depending on the region of India you find yourself in. For some, like my dad who grew up in the city of Hyderabad, it represents the beginning of spring, which, coincidentally, also occurs today.

With such differing explanations, I was particularly drawn to this lovely depiction by Outsourced actor Sacha Dawan. He says “it’s a day of throwing unlimited amounts of color. In a way the color represents energy, joy, life.”

If you find yourself at a Holi celebration this weekend, please send us your pictures!

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Very nice photograph of holi festival.Photograph quality likes crystal.You write article amazing. Thanks for sharing information about this festival.

Thanks for the kind words!


Yes Holi is our one of main festival and celebrated with great enthusiasm.

I like it all published images and photos. Thanks for sharing with us.

Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival but from a long time, it has become one of the most popular with almost all communities all over India, in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia. There is a legend to explain why holi is well celebrated as a colour festival. You can look at our page of History behind Holi here. The word “Holi” comes from “Holika”, the evil sister of king Hiranyakaship who had earned powers that made him virtually indestructible. The special powers blinded him, he grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worship only him. Hiranyakaship’s son Prahlad disagreed to him and he remained devoted to Lord Vishnu even cruel punishments, none of which affected the Prahlad or his resolve to do what he thought was right. Holika tried to kill Prahlad by taking him in fire thinking that she will not be burnt as she had this power but on contrary, Holika was burnt and Prahlad remained harmless.