Holi

Celebrate the Festival of Colors with CWRU

Check back for information about Case Western Reserve University's 2019 Holi celebration!

What is Holi?

Originating in Hindu legend, Holi traditionally commemorated the act of the dark blue god Krishna applying color to the face of his soul mate.

Known as the "festival of colors" Holi celebrations consist of throwing colored powders and waters at others. In addition, special food and drink are consumed throughout the day. The variety of colors used in Holi celebrations are culturally symbolic.

Although primarily celebrated in India and Nepal, Holi is observed in many other countries throughout Southeast Asia and around the world.

The festival celebrates the arrival of spring and thanksgiving for a good harvest. Holi is also a day for building relationships through play and laughter. During the celebration in areas where Holi is widely observed, anyone on the street could be fair game for color from head to toe, but in houses and doorways, only the face is smeared with color. Originally, the colors were made from Neem, Kumkum, Haldi and Bilva—medicinal herbs which were simultaneously used in the playful festival as a means of preventing springtime ailments.

Today, many events have been inspired by the colorful festivities including the Color Run 5K and the Festival of Colors Music Tour.

Want to learn more? Check out the Kelvin Smith Library's Holi and Basant Kite Festival Resource Guide.