Holi, known as the ‘festival of colors’ is celebrated on the full moon day falling in the month of Phalguna (Feb-Mar). Various colors and water are thrown on each other, amidst loud music, drums etc to celebrate Holi. Like many other festivals in India, Holi also signifies a victory of good over evil. As per ancient mythology, there is a legend of King Hiranyakashipu with who Holi is associated.
In the Braj region of India, where the Hindu deity Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna. The festivities officially usher in spring, with Holi celebrated as a festival of love.There is a symbolic myth behind commemorating Krishna as well. As a baby, Krishna developed his characteristic dark blue skin colour because the she-demon Putana poisoned him with her breast milk.In his youth, Krishna despaired whether the fair-skinned Radha and other girls would 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. Ever since, the playful colouring of Radha's face has been commemorated as Holi.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. It is also celebrated with great fervour in Mauritius.
The Holi festival has further cultural significance. It is the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, to 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 the new year.