Holi is a festival that is widely celebrated by Hindus. It occurs in March and marks the beginning of the spring season.
It has a religious origin. Hindus believe that Holika an evil woman tried to burn Prahlad a true devotee of God. But Prahlad was saved by God and Holika was burnt to ashes. Hindus rejoice over the victory of Prahlad. It represents the victory of good versus evil or virtue over vice.
Holi is generally a public holiday. Banks, schools and colleges and offices are closed on that day. People celebrate Holi in a gay and playful mood. They spray coloured water over one another. They look like clowns with multicoloured clothes. People sing, dance, beat drums and blow whistles as they go in a noisy procession through the streets. They do not spare anyone they meet. Everyone is sprayed with colour.
At night on the eve of Holi a fire is lit in the open air. It is a reminder of the burning of Holika. People return home from the burning and enjoy sweets for their supper.
Holi is truly a festival of the common man. All alike, great and small, enjoy Holi. No person is respected. Anyone who passes through the streets is sprayed with colour. So this festival makes all equal. No distinctions are observed on account of wealth or social position.