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Holi the Festival of Colors

Holi-India-FestivalHoli is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colors, and is celebrated all over the globe by Asians and non-Asian communities.

Story behind the Holi celebration

As the legend goes, King Hiranyakashipu, the King of Multan, had earned a blessing that made him virtually indestructible. He grew arrogant. He thought he was God and demanded that everyone worship him only.

Hiranyakashipu’s own son, Prahlada, disagreed with his father as he was devoted to Lord Vishnu. This infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or changed his mind. Finally Holika – Prahlada’s evil aunt – tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika was wearing a cloak that made her immune to fire.  As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada. Thus Holika burned while Prahlada survived. After seeing this, Hiranyakashipu was unable to control his anger and smashed a pillar with his mace resulting in a tumultuous sound.  Lord Vishnu appeared as Lord Narasimha and killed Hiranyakashipu. This is reason why a bonfire is lit the night before Holi to celebrate the victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, and of the fire that burned Holika.

The next day when the fire cooled down, people applied ash to their foreheads, a practice still observed by some people.  As time went by, people started using color powder instead of ash to celebrate Holi.

There is another story behind Holi celebration. Since Holi is a spring festival, it was celebrated by Lord Krishna with his gopiyan (fellow mates) to share love and kinship. It is believed that Lord Krishna and Radha played Holi by smearing gulal (red color powder) to share and celebrate their love.

What is Holi

During Holi, friends and family members smear colors on each other to celebrate the festival of colors. You can buy colored powder (eco-friendly and non-toxic) in packets from any Indian store and use then to play Holi.

Where is Holi celebrated in Bay Area

This year, the Holi Festival falls on Wednesday, March 23.  If you want to experience this fun then check out the following events near you. Some people like to wear comfortable white clothes to display the colors.

Festival of Colors (presented by Sankara Eye Foundation)

Saturday, March 26, 2016 (11 am – 3pm)

Alameda County Fairgrounds

4501 Pleasanton Ave, Pleasanton, CA94566


RANA Holi Celebration

Saturday, March 26, 2016 (11 am – 3pm)

Cardoza Park, Kennedy Dr, Milpitas, CA 95035


Barron Park Holi Festival

Saturday, March 26, 2016 (noon – 3pm)

Bol Park, Palo Alto


Foster City Holi Celebration

Saturday, March 26, 2016 (11am – 3pm)

Leo J. Ryan Park, Foster City


Holi Celebration at Bishop Ranch Community of San Ramon

Friday, April 1, 2016 (5:30 – 8pm)

Sunset Development Company 2600 Camino Ramon, Suite 201, San Ramon


Saturday & Sunday, April 2 & 3, 2016 (11 am – 3 pm)

Stanford Eucalyptus Grove, Stanford, California


If you want to experience the authentic style of Holi celebration then pack your bags to travel to India to celebrate this festival of colors. If you are traveling alone and need some extra help then go to Tripcompanion.com to find your perfect travel companion.

Fly Confident! Fly Colorful!Holi Celebration