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1
Happy Holi Lisboa 2013 - Official Aftermovie
Happy Holi Lisboa 2013 - Official Aftermovie
::2013/11/25::
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Festival of Colors - World
Festival of Colors - World's BIGGEST color party
::2012/03/26::
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Soni Soni - Full Holi Song - Mohabbatein
Soni Soni - Full Holi Song - Mohabbatein
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Holi festival of colors kicks off India
Holi festival of colors kicks off India
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Happy Holi e Ano Novo
Happy Holi e Ano Novo
::2014/12/16::
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Happy Holi Belém-PA 2014
Happy Holi Belém-PA 2014
::2014/08/16::
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Holi. Festival of Colors. 2011
Holi. Festival of Colors. 2011
::2011/03/30::
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Susheel Harmony Holi Celebration 2014
Susheel Harmony Holi Celebration 2014
::2014/08/24::
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Travel India - Covered In Colour - Holi Festival, Vrindavan
Travel India - Covered In Colour - Holi Festival, Vrindavan
::2013/11/15::
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Holi Full Length Telugu Movie || DVD Rip
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::2013/12/05::
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Happy Holi Fortaleza 2014 - (After Movie Official) | O Festival das Cores | Brazil
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HAPPY HOLI  - Goiânia Brazil  (AfterMovie Oficial)
HAPPY HOLI - Goiânia Brazil (AfterMovie Oficial)
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Happy Holi Brasil   Florianopolis 2014
Happy Holi Brasil Florianopolis 2014
::2014/10/23::
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My holi
My holi
::2014/07/03::
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EU FUI! HAPPY HOLI - PORTO ALEGRE | #AtoaPorAi
EU FUI! HAPPY HOLI - PORTO ALEGRE | #AtoaPorAi
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CID Holi Dhamaka - Episode 1054 - 17th March 2014
CID Holi Dhamaka - Episode 1054 - 17th March 2014
::2014/03/17::
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midair Holi dance by SpiceJet cabin crew
midair Holi dance by SpiceJet cabin crew
::2014/03/19::
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Drags Colombianas MRP- "Holi, aquí en un día super relajadito"
Drags Colombianas MRP- "Holi, aquí en un día super relajadito"
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MELHOR FESTA QUE JÁ FUI - Happy Holi Vlog
MELHOR FESTA QUE JÁ FUI - Happy Holi Vlog
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Holi - Telugu Songs - Avunani Antavo
Holi - Telugu Songs - Avunani Antavo
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Festival of colors | Holi 2014
Festival of colors | Holi 2014
::2014/03/17::
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Happy Holi Porto 2014 - Official Aftermovie
Happy Holi Porto 2014 - Official Aftermovie
::2014/07/24::
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Vlog: Happy Holi | Festival das cores
Vlog: Happy Holi | Festival das cores
::2014/12/03::
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Girls playing HOLI
Girls playing HOLI
::2014/04/17::
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Making of the "Holi Song" - Lai Bhaari
Making of the "Holi Song" - Lai Bhaari
::2014/06/26::
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Happy Holi Fortaleza
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::2014/02/24::
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"Do Me A Favour Lets Play Holi" Waqt- The Race Against Time, Priyanka Chopra, Akshay Kumar
"Do Me A Favour Lets Play Holi" Waqt- The Race Against Time, Priyanka Chopra, Akshay Kumar
::2011/05/30::
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De olho em você - Happy Holi
De olho em você - Happy Holi
::2014/02/27::
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HOLI GAUDY - Europe
HOLI GAUDY - Europe's big Holi-Festival Tour 2014 - TRAILER
::2014/01/28::
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Holi - Radha Krishna
Holi - Radha Krishna
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Holi. Festival of Colors. 2014
Holi. Festival of Colors. 2014
::2014/03/21::
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Happy Holi Festival - Vlog
Happy Holi Festival - Vlog
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LAI BHAARI | Lai Bhaari Holi Song | Riteish Deshmukh
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VLOG: Happy Holi - O festival das cores (Florianópolis)
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Happy Holi - Goiânia - 2014- Festival Das Cores
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Holi Festival 2014 no Parque do Ibirapuera
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Holi One São Paulo Festival das Cores 2013
Holi One São Paulo Festival das Cores 2013
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Happy Holi Brasilia - (After Movie Oficial)
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Holi Song - Genelia, Riteish Deshmukh - Full Video Song - Lai Bhaari - Aala Holicha San
Holi Song - Genelia, Riteish Deshmukh - Full Video Song - Lai Bhaari - Aala Holicha San
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Holi Ke Hud Dangg Part 1 - Top 10 Bollywood Holi Songs
Holi Ke Hud Dangg Part 1 - Top 10 Bollywood Holi Songs
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HOLI FESTIVAL 2014
HOLI FESTIVAL 2014
::2014/05/09::
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KOLLÁROVCI, Na Kráľovej holi.wmv
KOLLÁROVCI, Na Kráľovej holi.wmv
::2012/10/22::
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Getting painted at the Holi Festival in India - BBC
Getting painted at the Holi Festival in India - BBC
::2008/05/19::
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HOLI Festival by Xavier Zimbardo (Canon EOS 5D Mark II)
HOLI Festival by Xavier Zimbardo (Canon EOS 5D Mark II)
::2011/12/21::
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Kaaho Bhauji Holi Khelbu - Sexy Phagunwa (Hot Holi Video Song)
Kaaho Bhauji Holi Khelbu - Sexy Phagunwa (Hot Holi Video Song)
::2012/03/06::
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Maceió  Happy Holi  O Festival das Cores
Maceió Happy Holi O Festival das Cores
::2014/08/15::
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Holi 2014, Jaipur India GoPro HD
Holi 2014, Jaipur India GoPro HD
::2014/03/19::
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Holi. Festival of Colors. 2012
Holi. Festival of Colors. 2012
::2012/03/26::
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Basanta Utsav" redirects here. For the film, see Basanta Utsav (film). For the Japanese singer also known as Holi, see Akiko Kobayashi (singer). For the 1984 Hindi film, see Holi (1984 film). For the 1999 Malayalam film, see Holi (1999 film).
Holi
Festival of Colours/Holika Dahan
Holi Celebration
Type Hindu
Celebrations Night before: Holika Bonfire
On Holi: spray colours on others, dance, party; eat festival delicacies[1]
Begins Phalgun Purnima or Pooranmashi (Full Moon)
2015 date Friday, March 6[2]
2016 date Wednesday, March 23
Frequency annual

Holi (English pronunciation: /ˈhl/) (Sanskrit: होली) is a spring festival also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love.[3][4] It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.[5]

It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. The festival has, in recent times, spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours.[6][7][8]

Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colours,[5] where participants play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water, with some carrying water guns and coloured water-filled balloons for their water fight. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People move and visit family, friends and foes, first play with colours on each other, laugh and chit-chat, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. Some drinks are intoxicating. For example, Bhang, an intoxicating ingredient made from cannabis leaves, is mixed into drinks and sweets and consumed by many.[9][10] In the evening, after sobering up, people dress up, visit friends and family.[1][11]

Holi is celebrated at the approach of vernal equinox,[5] on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon). The festival date varies every year, per the Hindu calendar, and typically comes in March, sometimes February in the Gregorian Calendar. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.[5][12][13]

Significance[edit]

See also: Holika
Holika bonfire in front of Jagdish Temple in Udaipur, Rajasthan, 2010

There is a symbolic legend to explain why holi is well celebrated as a colour fest. The word "Holi" originates from "Holika", the evil sister of demon king Hiranyakashipu. King Hiranyakashipu had earned a boon that made him virtually indestructible. The special powers blinded him, he grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worshiped only him.[1]

Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada,[14] however, disagreed. He was and remained devoted to Vishnu.[11] This infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right. Finally, Holika - Prahlada's evil aunt - tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her.[1] Holika was wearing a cloak (shawl) that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada.[11] Holika burned, Prahlada survived. Vishnu appeared and killed Hiranyakashipu. The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, of fire that burned Holika.[12] The day after Holika bonfire is celebrated as Holi.

In Braj region of India, where Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna, a Hindu deity. The festivities officially usher in spring, with Holi celebrated as festival of love.[15] There is a symbolic myth behind commemorating Krishna as well. Baby Krishna transitioned into his characteristic dark blue skin colour because a she demon Putana poisoned him with her breast milk.[16] In his youth, Krishna despairs whether fair skinned Radha and other Gopikas (girls) will like him because of his skin colour. His mother, tired of the desperation, asks him to approach Radha and colour her face in any colour he wanted. This he does, and Radha and Krishna became a couple. The playful colouring of the face of Radha has henceforth been commemorated as Holi.[17][18] Beyond India, these legends to explain the significance of Holi (Phagwah) are common in some Caribbean and South American communities of Indian origin such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.[19][20]

Holi festival has other cultural significance. It is the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, end conflicts by meeting others, a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive debts, as well as deal anew with those in their lives. Holi also marks the start of spring, and for many the start of new year.[12][21]

Description[edit]

Radha and the Gopis celebrating Holi, with accompaniment of music instruments

Holi is an important festival to Hindus. It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalgun (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in March, sometimes in late February.[22]

The festival has many purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of Spring. In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land.[5] Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring's abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. Holi festivities mark the beginning of new year to many Hindus, as well as a justification to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and accumulated emotional impurities from past.[12][21]

It also has a religious purpose, symbolically signified by the legend of Holika. The night before Holi, bonfires are lit, in a ceremony known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Little Holi. People gather near fires, sing and dance. The next day, Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, or Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated. Children and youth spray coloured powder solutions (Gulal) at each other, laugh and celebrate, while elders tend to smear dry coloured powder (Abir) on each other's face.[1][21] Visitors to homes are first teased with colours, then served with Holi delicacies, desserts and drinks.[23] After playing with colours, and cleaning up, people bathe, put on clean clothes, visit friends and family.[12]

Like Holika Dahan, Kama Dahanam is celebrated in some parts of India. The festival of colours in these parts is called Rangapanchami, and occurs on fifth day after Poornima (full moon).[24]

History and rituals[edit]

Holi is an ancient Hindu festival with its cultural rituals. It is mentioned in the Puranas, Dasakumara Charita, and by the poet Kālidāsa during the 4th century reign of Chandragupta II.[3] The celebration of Holi is also mentioned in the 7th-century Sanskrit drama, Ratnavali.[25] The festival of Holi caught the fascination of European traders and British colonial staff by the 17th century. Various old editions of Oxford English Dictionary mention it, but with varying, phonetically derived spellings: Houly (1687), Hooly (1698), Huli (1789), Hohlee (1809), Hoolee (1825) and Holi in editions published after 1910.[5]

There are several cultural rituals associated with Holi:[26]

Prepare Holika pyre for bonfire

Main article: Holika Dahan

Shops start selling colours for Holi in the days and weeks beforehand.

Days before the festival people start gathering wood and combustible materials for the bonfire in parks, community centers, near temples and other open spaces. On top of the pyre is an effigy to signify Holika who tricked Prahalad into the fire. Inside homes, people stock up on colour pigments, food, party drinks and festive seasonal foods such as gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other regional delicacies.

Holika dahan

On the eve of Holi, typically at or after sunset, the pyre is lit, signifying Holika Dahan. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. People gather around the fire, sing and dance.[12]

Play with colours

Holi frolic and celebrations begin the morning after Holika bonfire. There is no tradition of holding puja (prayer), and the day is for partying and pure enjoyment. Children and youth groups form armed with dry colours, coloured solution, means to fill and spray others with coloured solution (pichkaris), balloons that can hold coloured water, and other creative means to colour their targets.[26]

In Braj region of North India, women have the option to playfully hit men who save themselves with shields; for the day, men are culturally expected to accept whatever women dish out to them. This ritual is called Lath Mar Holi.[27]

Traditionally, washable natural plant-derived colours such as turmeric, neem, dhak, kumkum were used; but water-based commercial pigments are increasingly used. All colours are used. Everyone in open areas such as streets and parks are game. Inside homes or at doorways though, only dry powder is used to smear each other's face. People throw colours, and get their targets completely coloured up. It is like a water fight, but where the water is coloured. People take delight in spraying coloured water on each other. By late morning, everyone looks like a canvas of colours. This is why Holi is given the name “Festival of Colours.”

Groups sing and dance, some playing drums and dholak. After each stop of fun and play with colours, people offer gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other traditional delicacies.[28] Chilled drinks, including adult drinks based on local intoxicating herbs, is also part of the Holi festivity.

Other variations
Friends form groups on Holi, play drums and music, sing and dance, as they move from one stop to another.

In Braj region around Mathura, in north India, the festivities may last more than week. The rituals go beyond playing with colours, and include a day where men go around with shields and women have the right to playfully beat them on their shields with sticks.[29]

In south India, some worship and make offerings to Kaamadeva, the love god of Indian mythology, on Holi.

The after party

After a day of play with colours, people clean up, wash and bathe, sober and dress up in the evening and greet friends and relatives by visiting them and exchange sweets. Holi is also a festival of forgiveness and new starts, which ritually aims to generate harmony in the society.[26]

Regional names, rituals and celebrations[edit]

Holi (Hindi: होली, Nepali: होली, Punjabi: ਹੋਲੀ) is also known as Phakuwa or Phagwah (Assamese: ফাকুৱা), Festival of Colours, or Doḷajātra in Odisha, and as Dol Jatra (Assamese: দ’ল যাত্ৰা) or Basantotsav ("spring festival") in West Bengal and Assam. The customs and celebrations vary between regions of India.

Holi is of particular significance in the Braj region, which includes locations traditionally connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh, and Barsana, which become tourist destinations during the season of Holi.[15]

Outside India, Holi is observed by the minority Hindus in Bangladesh, Pakistan as well in countries with large Indian subcontinent diaspora populations such as Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. The Holi rituals and customs outside South Asia also vary with local adaptations.

India[edit]

Gujarat
"Celebration of Spring by Krishna and Radha", 18th-century miniature; in the Guimet Museum, Paris

In Gujarat, Holi is two day festival. On the evening of the first day people lit the bonfire. People offer raw coconut, corn to the fire. The second day is the festival of colour or "Dhuleti", celebrated by sprinkling coloured water and applying colours to each other. Dwarka, a coastal city of Gujarat, celebrates Holi at the Dwarkadheesh temple and city wide comedy and music festivities.[30]

The Holi celebration has its celebrative origins in Gujarat,[citation needed] particularly with dance, food, music, and coloured powder to offer a spring parallel of Navratri, Gujarat's Hindu festival celebrated in the fall. Falling in the Hindu month of Phalguna, Holi marks the agricultural season of the Rabi crop.

In Western India, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, a pot of buttermilk is hung high on the streets and young boys try to reach it and break it by making human pyramids. The girls try to stop them by throwing coloured water on them to commemorate the pranks of Krishna and cowherd boys to steal butter and "gopis" while trying to stop the girls. The boy who finally manages to break the pot is crowned the Holi King. Afterwards, the men, who are now very colourful men, go out in a large procession to "alert" people of the Krishna's possible appearance to steal butter from their homes.

In some places, there is a custom in the undivided Hindu families that the women of the families beat their brother-in-law with her sari rolled up into a rope in a mock rage as they try to drench them with colours, and in turn, the brothers-in-law bring sweets (Indian desserts) to her in the evening.[31]

Uttar Pradesh
See also: Lath mar Holi

Barsana, a town near Mathura in Braj region of Uttar Pradesh, celebrates Lath mar Holi in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple. Thousands gather to witness the Lath Mar holi when women beat up men with sticks as those on the sidelines become hysterical, sing Holi Songs and shout Sri Radhey or Sri Krishna. The Holi songs of Braj mandal are sung in pure Braj, the local language. Holi celebrated at Barsana is unique in the sense that here women chase men away with sticks. Males also sing provocative songs in a bid to invite the attention of women. Women then go on the offensive and use long staves called lathis to beat men folk who protect themselves with shields.

Mathura, in the Braj region, is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and in Vrindavan this day is celebrated with special puja and the traditional custom of worshipping Lord Krishna, here the festival lasts for sixteen days.[15] All over the Braj region [32] and its nearby places like Hathras, Aligarh, Agra the Holi is celebrated in more or less same way as in Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana.

Outside Braj, in Kanpur area, Holi lasts seven days with colour. On the last day, a grand fair called Ganga Mela or the Holi Mela is celebrated. This Mela (fair) was started by freedom fighters who fought British rule in the First Indian War of Independence in 1857 under the leadership of Nana Saheb. The Mela is held at various Ghats along the banks of River Ganga in Kanpur, to celebrate Hindus and the Muslims who together resisted the British forces in the city in 1857. On the eve of Ganga Mela, all Government offices, shops, Courts generally remain closed. The Ganga Mela marks the official end of "The Festival of Colours" or Holi in Kanpur.

In Gorakhpur, the northeast district of Uttar Pradesh, this day starts with a special puja in the morning of Holi day. This day is considered to be the most colourful day of the year promoting the brotherhood among the people. This is known as "Holi Milan" in which people visit every house and sing holi song and express their gratitude by applying coloured powder (Abeer). Holi is also considered as the beginning of the year as it occurs on the first day of new Hindu calendar year (Panchang).

A natural dye-based Holi in Pune, an alternative to synthetic colours.
Uttarakhand
Main article: Kumauni Holi

Kumaoni Holi in Uttarakhand includes a musical affair. It takes different forms such as the Baithki Holi, the Khari Holi and the Mahila Holi. In Baithki Holi and Khari Holi, people sing songs with a touch of melody, fun and spiritualism. These songs are essentially based on classical ragas. Baithki Holi (बैठकी होली), also known as Nirvan Ki Holi begins from the premises of temples, where Holiyars (होल्यार) sing Holi songs, people gather to participate, along with playing classical music. The songs are sung in a particular sequence depending on the time of day; for instance, at noon the songs based on Peelu, Bhimpalasi and Sarang ragas, while evening songs are based on the ragas such as Kalyan, Shyamkalyan and Yaman. The Khari Holi (खड़ी होली) is mostly celebrated in the rural areas of Kumaon. The songs of the Khari Holi are sung by the people, who, sporting traditional white churidar payajama and kurta, dance in groups to the tune of ethnic musical instruments such as the Dhol and Hurka.

In Kumaon region, the Holika pyre is known as Cheer (चीर,) which is ceremonically made in a ceremony known as Cheer Bandhan (चीर बंधन) fifteen days before Dulhendi. The Cheer is a bonfire with a green Paiya tree branch in the middle. The Cheer of every village and neighborhood is rigorously guarded as rival mohallas try to playfully steal the other's cheer.

The colours used on Holi are derived from natural sources. Dulhendi, known as Charadi (छरड़ी) (from Chharad (छरड़)), is made from flower extracts, ash and water. Holi is celebrated with great gusto much in the same way as all across North India.[33]

Bihar

Holi is known as Phaguwa in the local Bhojpuri dialect. In this region as well, the legend of Holika is prevalent. On the eve of Phalgun Poornima, people light bonfires. They put dried cow dung cakes, wood of Araad or Redi tree and Holika tree, grains from the fresh harvest and unwanted wood leaves in the bonfire. At the time of Holika people assemble near the fire. The eldest member of the gathering or a purohit initiates the lighting. He then smears others with colour as a mark of greeting. Next day the festival is celebrated with colours and lot of frolic. Traditionally, people also clean their houses to mark the festival.[citation needed]

Holi Milan, is also observed in Bihar where family members and well wishers visit each other's family, apply colours (abeer) on each other's faces, and on feet, if elderly. Usually this takes place on the evening of Holiday after Holi with wet colours is played in the morning through afternoon. Due to large scale internal migration issues faced by the people, recently this tradition has slowly begun to transform. It is common to have Holi Milan on an entirely different day either before or after the actual day of Holi.[citation needed]

Children and youths take extreme delight in the festival. Though the festival is usually celebrated with colours, in some places people also enjoy celebrating Holi with water solutions of mud or clay. Folk songs are sung at high pitch and people dance to the tune of dholak and the spirit of Holi. Intoxicating bhang, made from cannabis, milk and spices, is consumed with a variety of mouth-watering delicacies, such as pakoras and thandai, to enhance the mood of the festival.[34]

Holi celebrations, Pushkar, Rajasthan.
Bengal

In West Bengal region, Holi is known by the name of "Dol Jatra", "Dol Purnima" or the "Swing Festival". The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the icons of Krishna and Radha on a picturesquely decorated palanquin which is then taken round the main streets of the city or the village. On the Dol Purnima day in the early morning, the students dress up in saffron-coloured or pure white clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. They sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments like ektara, dubri, veena, etc. The devotees take turns to swing them while women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. During these activities, the men keep spraying coloured water and coloured powder, abir, at them.

The head of the family observes a fast and prays to Lord Krishna and Agnidev.[citation needed] After all the traditional rituals are over, he smears Krishna's icon with gulal and offers "bhog" to both Krishna and Agnidev. In Shantiniketan, Holi has a special musical flavour. Visitors on Holi are offered traditional dishes that include malpoa, kheer sandesh, basanti sandesh (saffron), saffron milk, payash, and related foods.

Odisha

The people of Odisha celebrate Holi as rest of India, but here the icons of Jagannath, the deity of the Jagannath Temple of Puri, replace the icons of Krishna and Radha.

Assam

Holi, also called Phakuwa (ফাকুৱা) in Assamese, is celebrated all over Assam. Locally called Dol Jatra, associated with Satras of Barpeta, Holi is celebrated over two days. On the first day, the burning of clay huts are seen in Barpeta and lower Assam which signifies the legends of Holika. On the second day of it, Holi is celebrated with colour powders. The Holi songs in chorus devoted to Lord Krishna are also sung in the regions of Barpeta.

Goa
Main article: Shigmo

Holi is a part of Goan or Konkani spring festival known as Śigmo or शिगमो in Koṅkaṇī or Śiśirotsava and lasts for about a month. The colour festival or Holi is a part of longer, more extensive spring festival celebrations.[35] Holi festivities (but not Śigmo festivities) include: Holika Puja and Dahan, Dhulvad or Dhuli vandan, Haldune or offering yellow and saffron colour or Gulal to the deity.

Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, Holi Purnima is also celebrated as Shimga, festivities that last 5 to 7 days. A week before the festival, youngsters go around the community, collecting firewood and money. On the day of Shimga, the firewood is a huge pile in neighborhoods. In the evening, the fire is lit. Every household brings a meal and dessert, in the honour of the fire god. Puran Poli is the main delicacy and children shout "Holi re Holi puranachi poli". Shimga celebrates the elimination of all evil. The colour celebrations here traditionally take place on the day of Rangapanchami, five days after Shimga. During this festival, people are supposed to forget and forgive any rivalries and start new healthy relations with all.

Manipur

Manipuris celebrate Holi for 6 days. Here, this holiday merges with the festival of Yaosang. Traditionally, the festival commences with the burning of a thatched hut of hay and twigs. Young children go from house to house to collect money, locally known as nakadeng (or nakatheng), as gifts on the first two days. The youths at night perform a group folk dance called Thabal chongba on the full moon night of Lamta (Phalgun) along with folk songs and rhythmic beats of the indigenous drum. However, this moonlight party now has modern bands and fluorescent lamps. In Krishna temples, devotees sing devotional songs, perform dances and celebrate with aber (gulal) wearing traditional white and yellow turbans. On the last day of the festival, large processions are taken out to the main Krishna temple near Imphal where several cultural activities are held. In recent decades, Yaoshang, a type of Indian sport, has become common in many places of the valley, where people of all ages come out to participate in a number of sports that are somewhat altered for the holiday.

Kerala

Holi is locally called Ukkuli in Konkani or Manjal Kuli in Malayalam. It is celebrated around the Konkani temple called Gosripuram Thirumala temple.

Karnataka

Traditionally, in rural Karnataka children collect money and wood in the weeks prior to Holi, and on "Kamadahana" night all the wood is put together and lit. The festival is celebrated for two days. People in north Karnataka prepare special food on this day.

Holi Celebration in Andhra Pradesh.

In Sirsi, Karnataka, Holi is celebrated with a unique folk dance called “Bedara Vesha”, which is performed during the nights beginning five days before the actual festival day. The festival is celebrated every alternate year in the town, which attracts a large number of tourists from different parts of the India.[36]

Telangana

As in other parts of India, in rural Telangana region, children celebrate kamuda and collect money, rice, Mokkajonna and wood for weeks prior to Holi, and on Kamadhana night all the wood is put together and set on fire.

Andhra Pradesh

In Andhra Pradesh Holi is celebrated along with Basanta Panchami. Holi is a major festival, and the festivities and colour start appearing at least a day before the actual holiday.

Jammu & Kashmir

In Jammu & Kashmir, Muslims and Hindus alike celebrate Holi. Holi celebrations here are much in line with the general definition of Holi celebrations: a high-spirited festival to mark the beginning of the harvesting of the summer crop, with the throwing of coloured water and powder and singing and dancing.

Madhya Pradesh

In western Madhya Pradesh, Bhil tribesmen who have held on to many of the pre-Hindu customs celebrate it in a special way.[further explanation needed]

Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh

This region has its own variety of Holi.[further explanation needed] The Holi celebration in Dhampur is famous throughout the whole of Western UP.

Tamil nadu

In the Phalguna Poornima is Panguni Uthram (Meena Uttara-phalguni in Sanskrit). It is special because of the star "Uthiram" and "Pournami" occurring together, is the marriage anniversary of many mythological figures and deities. On this day Goddess Mahalakshmi incarnated on earth from the ocean of milk (after the ocean was churned by the gods and the demons). Holi is celebrated as Vasanthosavam and all temples start their Utsavams with decorations and music, dance festivals, Pravachans and Harikathas. The colours are also popular, and celebrate divine love and welcoming of spring.

Nepal[edit]

Preparing for Holika Dahan, Kathamandu, Nepal.

In Nepal, Holi celebrated in Hills is remarkably different from Madhesh, even the festival is celebrated on two different days. Holi is celebrated in the month of Falgun and is also called as the "Fagu/Phaguwa" and is celebrated on the full moon day (in hills) and the day after (in Madhesh) in the month of February. The word "Fagu/Phaguwa" (Devanagari:फागु/फगुआ) represents the month of Falgun and the day is called the "Fagu Poornima" (Devanagari:फागु पुर्णीमा) which means (full moon day in the Falgun).

In Nepal Holi is regarded as one of the greatest festivals as important as Dashain (also known as Dussehra in Madhesh) and Tihar or Dipawali (also known as Diwali in Madhesh). Since more than 80% of people in Nepal are Hindus,[37] Holi, along with many other Hindu festivals, is celebrated in Nepal as a national festival and almost everyone celebrates it regardless of their religion, e.g., even Muslims celebrate it. Christians may also join in, although since Holi falls during Lent, many would not join in the festivities. The day of Holi is also a national holiday in Nepal.

People walk down their neighbourhoods to celebrate Holi by exchanging colours and spraying coloured water on one another. A popular activity is the throwing of water balloons at one another, sometimes called lola (meaning water balloon).[38] Also a lot of people mix bhang in their drinks and food, as is also done during Shivaratri. It is believed that the combination of different colours at this festival take all the sorrow away and make life itself more colourful.

Holi celebrations by the India Student Association at University of New Mexico.

Indian diaspora[edit]

Over the years, Holi has become an important festival in many regions wherever Indian diaspora were either taken as indentured labourers during colonial era, or where they emigrated on their own, and are now present in large numbers such as in Africa, North America, Europe, Latin America, and parts of Asia such as Fiji.[7][8][39][40]

Suriname
A celebration of Holi Festival in the United States.

Holi is a national holiday in Suriname. It is called Phagwa festival, and is celebrated to mark the beginning of spring and Hindu mythology. In Suriname, Holi Phagwa is a festival of colour. It is customary to wear old white clothes on this day, be prepared to get them dirty and join in the colour throwing excitement and party.[41][42]

Trinidad and Tobago

Phagwa is normally celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago on the Sunday closest to the actual date of Phagwa. It is celebrated with a lot of colour and splendour, along with the singing on traditional Phagwa songs or Chowtaal (ganna).

Guyana
Drummers of Indo-Caribbean community celebrating Phagwah (Holi) in New York City, 2013

Phagwah is a national holiday in Guyana, and peoples of all races and religions participate in the celebrations.[43] The main celebration in Georgetown is held at the Mandir in Prashad Nagar.[44]

Holi is mainly celebrated in spiring in inda[45]

Fiji

Indo-Fijians celebrate Holi as festival of colours, folksongs and dances. The folksongs sung in Fiji during Holi season are called phaag gaaian. Phagan, also written as Phalgan, is the last month of the Hindu calendar. Holi is celebrated at the end of Phagan. Holi marks the advent of spring and ripening of crops in Northern India. Not only it is a season of romance and excitement, folk songs and dances, it is also an occasion of playing with powder, perfumes and colours. Many of the Holi songs in Fiji are around the theme of love-relationship between Radha and Krishna.[46]

Mauritius

Holi in Mauritius comes close on the heels of Shivaratri. It celebrates the beginning of spring, commemorating good harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. It is considered one of the most exhilarating religious holidays in existence. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw coloured powder at each other, and celebrate wildly.[45]

Traditional Holi[edit]

Flowers of Dhak or Palash are used to make traditional colours

The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. The playful throwing of natural coloured powders has a medicinal significance: the colours are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors.

Many colours are obtained by mixing primary colours. Artisans produce and sell many of the colours from natural sources in dry powder form, in weeks and months preceding Holi. Some of the traditional natural plant based sources of colours are:[5][47][48]

Orange and red

The flowers of palash or tesu tree, also called the flame of the forest, are typical source of bright red and deep orange colours. Powdered fragrant red sandal wood, dried hibiscus flowers, madder tree, radish and pomegranate are alternate sources and shades of red. Mixing lime with turmeric powder creates an alternate source of orange powder, as does boiling saffron (kesar) in water.

Green

Mehendi and dried leaves of gulmohur tree offer a source of green colour. In some areas, the leaves of spring crops and herbs have been used as source of green pigment.

Yellow
Colours for Holi on sale at a market in Mysore.

Haldi (turmeric) powder is the typical source of yellow colour. Sometimes this is mixed with chickpeas, gram or other flour to get the right shade. Bael fruit, amaltas, species of chrysanthemums, and species of marigold are alternate sources of yellow.

Blue

Indigo, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus and jacaranda flowers are traditional sources of blue colour for Holi.

Magenta and purple

Beetroot is the traditional source of magenta and purple colour. Often these are directly boiled in water to prepare coloured water.

Brown

Dried tea leaves offer a source of brown coloured water. Certain clays are alternate source of brown.

Black

Species of grapes, fruits of amla (gooseberry) and vegetable carbon (charcoal) offer gray to black colours.

Modern issues[edit]

Synthetic colours[edit]

A young man celebrating Holi

Natural colours were used in the past to celebrate Holi safely by applying turmeric, sandalwood paste, extracts of flowers and leaves. As the spring-blossoming trees that once supplied the colours used to celebrate Holi have become more rare, chemically produced industrial dyes have been used to take their place in almost all of urban India. Due to the commercial availability of attractive pigments, slowly the natural colours are replaced by synthetic colours. As a result it has caused mild to severe symptoms of skin irritation and inflammation. Lack of control over the quality and content of these colours is a problem, as they are frequently sold by vendors who do not know their origin.

A 2007 study found that Malachite green, a synthetic bluish-green dye used in some colours during Holi festival, as responsible for severe eye irritation in Delhi, if eyes were not washed upon exposure. Though the study found that the pigment did not penetrate through the cornea, malachite green is of concern and needs further study.[49]

Another 2009 study reports that some colours produced and sold in India contain metal-based industrial dyes, causing an increase in cutaneous problems to some people in the days following Holi. These colours are produced in India, particularly by small informal businesses, without any quality checks and are sold freely in the market. The colours are sold without labeling, and the consumer lacks information about the source of the colours, their contents, and possible toxic effects. In recent years, several nongovernmental organisations have started campaigning for safe practices related to the use of colours. Some are producing and marketing ranges of safer colours derived from natural sources such as vegetables and flowers.[50]

These reports have galvanised a number of groups into promoting more natural celebrations of Holi. Development Alternatives, Delhi and Kalpavriksh,[51] Pune, The CLEAN India campaign[52] and Society for Child Development, through its Avacayam Cooperative Campaign[53] have launched campaigns to help children learn to make their own colours for Holi from safer, natural ingredients. Meanwhile, some commercial companies such as the National Botanical Research Institute have begun to market "herbal" dyes, though these are substantially more expensive than the dangerous alternatives. However, it may be noted that many parts of rural India have always resorted to natural colours (and other parts of festivities more than colours) due to availability.

In urban areas, some people wear nose mask and sun glasses to avoid inhaling pigments and to prevent chemical exposure to eyes.[54]

Environmental impact[edit]

An alleged environmental issue related to the celebration of Holi is the traditional Holika bonfire, which is believed to contribute to deforestation. Activists estimate Holika causes 30,000 bonfires each burning approximately 100 kilograms of wood every year.[55] This represents less than 0.0001% of 350 million tons of wood India consumes every year, as one of the traditional fuels for cooking and other uses.[56] Methods to further reduce wood consumption during Holika have been proposed, including the replacement of wood with waste material or lighting of a single fire per community, rather than multiple smaller fires. However, the idea of lighting waste material antagonises large sections of a certain community, who take it as an attack to their cultures and traditions citing several examples of similar festivities elsewhere.[citation needed]

The use of heavy metal-based pigments during Holi is also reported to cause temporary wastewater pollution, with the water systems recovering to pre-festival levels within 5 days.[57]

Influence on other cultures[edit]

Holi celebrations in other cultures
A celebration of Holi festival at UNC college campus United States, March 2011.jpg
North Carolina, United States
Holi One We Are One Colour Festival South Africa 2013 c.jpg
A celebration of Holi festival at Stanford University United States, 2009.jpg
California, United States
Holi, the festival of colors in Germany 2012.jpg
Holi Festival of Colors Utah, United States 2013.jpg
Utah, United States
Holi celebrations in Malaysia 2012.jpg
Holi Festival Celebrations, The Netherlands, 2008.jpg
Holi celebrations at Parque Villa Lobos, 2013.jpg
Holi festival is increasingly celebrated outside India, in many parts of the world.
A collage of coloured faces after Holi festivities in the USA, 2011.

The Color Run, Run or Dye, Color in Motion, Color Me Rad, The Graffiti Run, and other runs are starting to spread over the United States. They combine the bright colours of Holi with the intensity of a 5K race.[58] Runners show up wearing white running outfits and every kilometer they run, they are doused in a different colour. Holi is also celebrated in a non-sporting format, as a social event in parts of the United States. For example, at Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah Holi is celebrated as the Festival of Color, where thousands of people gather from all over the United States, play and mingle.[59]

Similarly in Europe and elsewhere, several groups such as Holi Festival of Colours,[8] Holi One,[60] and Colors Festival[61] have been organising Holi as a social and partying event, to celebrate amity and togetherness, in various cities around the world. In 2013, Holi Festival of Colours[8] hosted nearly 250,000 participants at venues all over the world. Instead of coinciding with the date when Holi is celebrated in India, these Holi-inspired festivals are typically adapted to local weather and holiday schedules. The organisers claim thousands of people join in to celebrate and experience the festivities.[62][63] Critics claim these Holi-themed events are a for-profit commercial twist with ticket sales and may be a fad that lacks the traditional breadth and depth of Holi, while supporters claim the ticket prices cover the cost of safe colours they provide, space, clean up, music and general security.[64]

In the music video for their song "The Catalyst", American rock band Linkin Park incorporated scenes of band members throwing powdered colour at one another. The director, band turntablist Joe Hahn, identifies Holi as a direct influence on the visual style of the video.[65] Hahn states that "... the inspiration for the colors came from the Color Festival in India called Holi." He further elaborates on the religious significance of the colours: "People collect these pigments throughout the year to release them in this festival as a celebration of life and tribute to Vishnu."[65]

South Africa-based electro-swing dance group Goodluck released a song "The Vision" wherein Holi is seen as an influence.

The Holi festival was featured as a RoadBlock challenge in the popular CBS reality television show The Amazing Race 13, episode 7.

The Ke$ha music video for the song "Take It Off" features powdered coloured dyes similar to those used to celebrate Holi.[66]

The music video for Regina Spektor's song "Fidelity" depicts a couple in an achromatic set throwing and celebrating in powdered pigments.[67]

The 2006 independent film Outsourced details the story of Todd Anderson, an American call center novelty products salesman (Josh Hamilton) as he heads to India to train his replacement after his entire department is outsourced to a new, much cheaper call centre in Gharapuri. Todd soon discovers that to successfully train his new charges, he must learn about their culture. A Holi celebration is the catalyst for this change in his attitude.[68]

On September 18, 2009, in an episode of the USA Network series Psych entitled "Bollywood Homicide," Holi is first depicted on an American network television.[69] Shawn is distracted by someone throwing red powder at him.

The March 17, 2011 episode of the NBC series based on the film of the same name, Outsourced, titled "Todd's Holi War," takes a more sitcom-oriented approach to the holiday, marking Holi's second appearance on American network television.

The music video Behind the Cow, which appears to be set in India, by the band Scooter features a final scene with everyone throwing coloured powder at one another.

In the British TV show An Idiot Abroad, episode 2 has host Karl Pilkington take a trip through Delhi, India where he experiences Holi as locals cover him with coloured powder and paint.[70]

Keith Olbermann shows clips from Holi festivals every year on the "Time Marches On" portion of his nightly Countdown news show.

The music video for the song "The City" by French DJ Madeon centres on a full-out colour war between two factions of youngsters. In it, the powders are packed in plastic bags for a longer throw.[71]

The short film/music video for Up In The Air by Thirty Seconds to Mars features the use of powdered colors for a fight during the film.[72]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Holi: Splashed with colors of friendship Hinduism Today, Hawaii (2011)
  2. ^ "Holidays in India, Month of March 2014". Government of India. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Yudit Greenberg, Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, Volume 1, ISBN 978-1851099801, page 212
  4. ^ The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) ISBN 0-19-861263-X - p.874 "Holi /'həʊli:/ noun a Hindu spring festival ...".
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Ebeling, Karin (2010), Holi, an Indian Festival, and its Reflection in English Media; Die Ordnung des Standard und die Differenzierung der Diskurse: Akten des 41. Linguistischen Kolloquiums in Mannheim 2006, 1, 107, ISBN 978-3631599174
  6. ^ A Spring Celebration of Love Moves to the Fall — and Turns Into a Fight Gabriele Steinhauser, The Wall Street Journal (October 3, 2013)
  7. ^ a b Holi Festivals Spread Far From India The Wall Street Journal (2013)
  8. ^ a b c d Holi Festival of Colours Visit Berlin, Germany (2012)
  9. ^ "High on Holi with bhang". Times of India. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Ankita Rao,even it is a holi festival it is celebrated by different people of different religions India's 'High' Holiday The Atlantic (17 March 2014)
  11. ^ a b c Constance Jones, Holi, in J Gordon Melton (Editor), Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays Festivals Solemn Observances and Spiritual Commemorations, ISBN 978-1598842067
  12. ^ a b c d e f Wendy Doniger (Editor), Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions, January 2000, ISBN 978-0877790440, Merriam-Webster, page 455
  13. ^ The Festival of Colors Holi, Naperville (2013)
  14. ^ Prahlad and Holika Katha (Kahani) in Hindi
  15. ^ a b c Holi – the festival of colours Indian Express.
  16. ^ The Legend of Radha-Krishna, Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India (2009)
  17. ^ R Deepta, A.K. Ramanujan's ‘Mythologies’ Poems: An Analysis, Points of View, Volume XIV, Number 1, Summer 2007, pp 74-81
  18. ^ Lynn Peppas (2010), Holi, Crabtree Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7787-4771-0, pp 12-15
  19. ^ The arrival of Phagwa - Holi The Guardian, Trinidad and Tobago (March 12, 2009)
  20. ^ Eat, Pray, Smear Julia Moskin, New York Times (March 22, 2011)
  21. ^ a b c Holi India Heritage: Culture, Fairs and Festivals (2008)
  22. ^ Calendar dates of major Hindu festivals
  23. ^ Holi Festival see Play of Colors (2009)
  24. ^ Rangapanchami in Bhopal Los Angeles Times (2011)
  25. ^ Religions – Hinduism: Holi. BBC. Retrieved on 2011-03-21.
  26. ^ a b c Rituals of Holi Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India (2010)
  27. ^ Lathmar Holi Festival Lane Turner, Boston.com, (March 5, 2012)
  28. ^ Holi Festival Rex Li Indrajeet Deshmukh and Marielle Roth, Festival Circle, IDSS 2013
  29. ^ Holi 2013 Ankita Mehta, International Business Times, (March 22, 2013)
  30. ^ Holi in Dwarka
  31. ^ topnews.in, Holi in Gujarat
  32. ^ इतना बरसा रंग-गुलाल, ब्रज हो गया लाल, Jagran, 9 Mar 2014
  33. ^ Kumaoni Holi – Uttaranchal Fairs and Festivals. Euttaranchal.com. Retrieved on 2011-03-21.
  34. ^ "Holi 2014: Festival Of Colors Celebrates Spring (SONGS, PHOTOS)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  35. ^ Guṅe, Viṭhṭhala Triṃbaka (1979). Gazetteer of the Union Territory Goa, Daman and Diu: district 1. Goa, Daman and Diu (India). Gazetteer Dept. p. 263. 
  36. ^ ""Karnataka", The Hindu". Hindu.com. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  37. ^ "CIA – The World Factbook – Nepal". Cia.gov. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  38. ^ Happy Holi week. Nepali Times. Retrieved on 2011-03-21.
  39. ^ Holi Festival 2013 COMMUNITY CENTER OF GUJARATI SAMAJ, New York, USA (2013)
  40. ^ Celebrate Holi: Durban South Africa (2013)
  41. ^ Holi Phagwa Suriname Insider (2012)
  42. ^ Phagwa - Festival of Colors Independence Square in Paramaribo, Suriname (2013)
  43. ^ Ali, Arif (ed.), Guyana London: Hansib, 2008, p. 69.
  44. ^ Smock, Kirk, Guyana: the Bradt Travel Guide, 2007, p. 24.
  45. ^ a b Holi Festival Mauritius (2011)
  46. ^ Holi, festival of colours The Fiji Times (March 15, 2011)
  47. ^ Holi colors Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India (2009)
  48. ^ Celebration powders (Gulal/Holi) Purcolor (2010)
  49. ^ Velpandian et al. Ocular hazards of the colours used during the festival-of-colours (Holi) in India--malachite green toxicity, J Hazard Mater. 2007, January 10; 139(2):204-8.
  50. ^ Ghosh, S. K., Bandyopadhyay, D., Chatterjee, G., & Saha, D. (2009), The ‘holi’dermatoses: Annual spate of skin diseases following the spring festival in India, Indian journal of dermatology, 54(3), 240
  51. ^ The safe Holi campaign – Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group, Pune
  52. ^ CLEAN India campaign[dead link]
  53. ^ "Society For Child Development". Sfcdindia.org. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  54. ^ Holi Festival What to wear? UK (2012)
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  56. ^ Swaminathan and Varadharaj, The status of firewood in India, IUFRO Symposium Proceedings (2003), pp 150-156
  57. ^ Tyagi, V. K., Bhatia, A., Gaur, R. Z., Khan, A. A., Ali, M., Khursheed, A., & Kazmi, A. A. (2012), Effects of multi-metal toxicity on the performance of sewage treatment system during the festival of colours (Holi) in India, Environmental monitoring and assessment, 184(12), pp 7517-7529
  58. ^ Color Me Rad 5K Run Amulya Datla, San Jose (August 2012)
  59. ^ Hindu spring festivals increase in popularity and welcome non-Hindus Chris Lyford, The Washington Post (April 05, 2013)
  60. ^ Holi One - We Are One HOLI ONE World Ltd., UK (2012)
  61. ^ Colors Festival Belgium (2012)
  62. ^ Holi One Party European Press Agency (2013)
  63. ^ 10,000 fans flock to HOLI ONE, South Africa’s first ever festival The Network for Freelance Photojournalists, South Africa (2013)
  64. ^ A Spring Celebration of Love Moves to the Fall — and Turns Into a Fight Gabriele Steinhauser, The Wall Street Journal (October 3, 2013)
  65. ^ a b Steve Baltin (2010-08-30). "Linkin Park, 'The Catalyst' – Exclusive Behind the Scenes Photos". http://www.noisecreep.com. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  66. ^ "Ke$ha – Take It Off". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  67. ^ "Regina Spektor, Fidelity music video". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  68. ^ Outsourced at the Internet Movie Database
  69. ^ Bollywood Homicide at the Internet Movie Database
  70. ^ "Karl vs Holi Day". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  71. ^ "Youtube. Retrieved on 2012-10-03". Youtube.com. 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  72. ^ "Up In The Air". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 

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