Holi, the Hindu Festival of Color, falls on Monday, March 17 in 2014.
Holi is a spring festival that is celebrated on the last full moon day of the Hindu lunar month.
The festival commemorates the victory of good over evil, in particular, the triumph of the Hindu god Lord Vishnu over the demoness Holika.
On the eve of Holi, Holika bonfires are built, and people gather round them to pray, sing, and dance.
On Holi, people chase each other about, and throw colored powder and liquids at each other. It can get quite riotous, as social rules are relaxed for a day, which is significant in a caste-based Hindu society.
Bhang, an intoxicating drink made from the cannabis plant, is also drank.
Feel apologetic for misbehavior? Just say “bura na mano holi hai,” or “don’t mind, it is Holi,” and you should be able to get away with it.
Living in New York City, want to celebrate Holi, but realize March 17 is also St. Patrick’s Day? No worries, because there is a NYC Holi Festival celebration on May 3.
Want to know more? Check out holifestival.org.