On Wednesday, Holi celebrations commence in India with traditional bonfires lighting up at night. The festival also known as the festival of colors or the festival of love originated from the Northern parts of India but spread throughout the subcontinent, into the large Indian diaspora and the whole world, as more and more people are fascinated with the world’s most colorful celebration.
The festival, which also signifies the arrival of spring for farmers, celebrates the victory of good over evil. This is represented in the joyful atmosphere of Holi, which has strangers and friends drench each other with water, throw color at each other and just celebrate together. Holi eve is usually a quieter affair with communal gatherings, ritual and prayer.
Different parts of India have their own traditions surrounding Holi. In the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh, which also hosts the longest Holi celebration, women and men playfully fight with swords and shields. In Ahmedabad, boys compete by building human pyramids to reach a pot of buttermilk. In Jaipur, elephants are painted with colorful patterns as part of the celebration.