Elvin celebrated ancient Hindu festival Holi, the 'Festival of Colours' with traditional food and live music

Monday 16 March 2020

On Tuesday the 10th of March, staff and students celebrated Holi at lunchtime. Holi is an ancient Hindu festival in which coloured powder is traditionally thrown on friends and family to celebrate the 'Festival of Colours'.

At Elvin, staff and students were able to have coloured powder placed on their face to mark the occasion. Our school chef and canteen staff also provided a traditional Indian meal and sweets to mark the occasion.

Why is Holi celebrated? Holi is a Hindu festival which celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and the coming of spring. It lasts for a night and a day, taking place on the last full moon of the Hindu lunar month Phalguna.

Holi is a popular ancient Hindu festival, originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is celebrated predominantly in North India, but has also spread to other areas of Asia and parts of the Western world through the diaspora from the Indian subcontinent. Holi is popularly known as the Indian "festival of spring", the "festival of colours". The festival signifies the victory of good over evil.

It signifies the arrival of spring, the end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. The festival also celebrates the beginning of a good spring harvest season. It lasts for a night and a day, starting on the evening of the Purnima (Full Moon day) falling in the Vikram Samvat Calendar, in the Hindu calendar month of Phalguna, which falls around middle of March in the Gregorian calendar. The first evening is known as Holika Dahan (burning of demon holika) or Chhoti Holi and the following day as Holi, Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi or Phagwah.


Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika Dahan where people gather, perform religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil be destroyed the way Holika, the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was killed in the fire.

The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi – a free-for-all festival of colours, where people smear each other with colours and drench each other. The frolic and fight with colours occur in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes to throw coloured powders on each other, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks.