India’s Festival of Colors

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India’s Festival of Colors
Each spring, millions of Indians and other Hindus celebrate the festival of Holi. The annual Holi celebrations usually include full-body splashes of colored powders (called gulal) and water. This dazzling National Geographic photo gallery showcases participants in this year’s Holi festival.

Holi is a springtime festival celebrated mostly in Northern India.Photograph by Nilanjan Basu

Holi is a springtime festival celebrated mostly in Northern India.
Photograph by Nilanjan Basu

Discussion Ideas:

  • Read our “media spotlight” about Holi. It gives a brief description of the mythic origins of the festival, and how the date of the holiday is calculated.
  • Can students think of any other springtime religious holidays?
  • The theme for many springtime holidays, including Holi, is rebirth or renewal. Why do students think such diverse spiritual traditions have this in common?
    • Ancient communities most likely celebrated spring as the renewal of the agricultural or growing season. The long months of winter, when food was scarce, were ending and the springtime season of planting was about to begin.
  • Holi, Easter, and some celebrations of Nowruz all involve brightly colored objects, clothes, or people. Why do students think such diverse spiritual traditions have this in common?
    • All three festivals are celebrated in spring, when many brightly colored flowers are beginning to bud and bloom. Bright colors often signify spring.
    • What colors are associated with autumn festivals, such as Thanksgiving? Why do students think those colors are associated with autumn?

2 responses to “India’s Festival of Colors

  1. Pingback: What Caused the ‘Shamrock Shake’? | Nat Geo Education Blog·

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