Here’s a really neat postcard from India! This is a depiction of the ancient Hindu festival known as Holi, or the “festival of colors”. Dating back to as far as the 4th century, this celebration occurs on Purnima, which is the day of the full moon, based on the Hindu calendar (the Vikrami calendar) – that ends up being around March. The festival takes part in two phases: Holika Dahan (the day of Purnima itself), and Holi (the day after). During Holika Dahan, a bonfire is held, which symbolizes destroying the evil within oneself. It’s an allusion to the legend of Holika and Prahlad of Hindu scripture, where the demoness Holika was burned to death in a fire that was meant to kill Prahlad, who was saved by Lord Vishnu for his devotion to the Hindu deity (some people throw effigies of the demoness into the fire to further symbolize getting rid of the evil). The next day is the festival of colors, which you see here! This part of Holi actually does not usually involve any religious rituals. Instead, it’s simply a time to have tons of fun and go wild! As you can imagine, colored powder (which I found out you can buy on Amazon as “Holi powder”, neat!) is tossed around and water balloons/water guns are used to drench one’s neighbors, all in pure fun. During all this, there are also folk songs being sung and typical Holi foods and beverages being consumed. This day is hugely significant in that it’s strongly symbolic of love. Everyone puts aside their differences: young or old, rich or poor, irrespective of race and gender. I think the sentiment behind the festival is astoundingly beautiful – everyone is doused in a rainbow of colors, matching the person next to them and the person next to that one. While this is largely done in India, other countries, such as Nepal, Pakistan, and even some areas in the United States, are known to hold such festivals. I absolutely LOVE this! What an extraordinary celebration – thank you tons and tons for all your kindness and for sharing this amazing tradition with me, Sagar!