There are lots of celebrations around the world this week to welcome spring, but none more colorful than Holi, the Hindu celebration that falls near the vernal equinox each year. Celebrated in India and all around the world, people mark the day (and often up to two weeks) by throwing colored powders and spraying jets of colored water at one another. It’s a democratic holiday: on Holi you’re free to pelt anyone — young or old, male or female, friend or stranger — with color. Even boundaries of caste soften during Holi.
Holi celebrates the end of winter, and what better way to give winter a sendoff than with an éclat of color, a promise of what’s to come. Holi is a time to forgive and forget, to end conflicts, to let go of mistakes, to repay or release people from debts, and generally turn over a new leaf with loved ones. (I suppose it’s hard to hold on to anger or bitterness when you all look like you got into a mud fight with a bunch of Care Bears.) The festival also symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. And if “good” = “colorful” well you’ll hear no argument from me!