India and Nepal celebrated Holi, the festival of colors, despite the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. This year’s events were relatively sombre due to the Coronavirus scare.
About the Festival
Holi is an ancient Hindu festival and one of the most popular Indian festivals. It is considered as ‘festival of spring’ or ‘festival of colors’ and signifies the victory of good over evil. It is celebrated as Holika Dahan on the first evening and as Rangwali Holi on the following day.
Holi is predominantly celebrated in India. It is known by different regional names like Dola Jatra in Odisha, Basanto Utsav in Assam, West Bengal and Tripura, etc. It is known as Fagu Purnima in Nepal. It is also celebrated in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Elsewhere, it is mainly celebrated by the Indian diaspora.
The holi colors were traditionally derived from natural sources like neem, haldi (turmeric), palash (flame of the forest flowers), kumkum, vegetables, etc. They are believed to possess medicinal properties according to Ayurveda- significant in a season that causes viral fevers and colds. Over time, the natural colors have been replaced by synthetic colored powders.
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