Jul 08, 2020 Holi: The Gateway Holiday

The haze of primary colors raining down on joyous, dancing crowds right around the time when the dreary final weeks of winter are giving way to the dewy hopefulness of spring -- it’s an image that even non-Hindus the world over are familiar with.

Holi is what I consider to be the gateway holiday of Indian celebrations. Diwali may be the most significant holiday for many South Asians, but Holi is the one that most resonates with non-Indians the world over, from Los Angeles to London to Lagos.

When I was growing up one of a handful of Indian-Americans in my high school, Holi was the event that my non-Indian friends buzzed about the most. It was the early 2000s and they didn’t always know much about Hinduism or Partition or the amazingness of pav bhaji, but they loved the idea of playing under a powder rainbow so much that they dutifully donned white shirts and signed up for Color Runs. Even Coldplay and Beyoncé were intrigued, and featured the holiday in their video for “Hymn for the Weekend.”

Many Indian-Americans themselves don’t know about the significance of the colors -- far from being just prismatic, each of the colors carries a meaning for the coming season: Green symbolizes new beginnings, red represents fertility and love, blue exemplifies Krishna.

More importantly, for me, it represents a way to share my culture with others -- including my son and the next generation of Indian-Americans and non-Indians alike. It’s a vibrant, vivid way to open up the conversation to the other customs, rituals and celebrations of South Asia. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a picturesque celebration to the end of the cold and the home stretch to the lazy, happy days of summer?

#holi #Indianfestivals #colorrun #colorful


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Modi Toys is a children's brand of toys and books inspired by ancient Hindu culture. We exist to spread joy and to spark curiosity in the next generation through our innovative soft plush toys, illustrated children's books and free learning resources. Our weekly Theology Thursday series covers a wide range of topics rooted in Hinduism to help us better understand the origins of traditions, the symbolic meaning of rituals, and the stories behind Hindu holidays and festivals. The more we can understand "the why" behind this 4,000 year ancient religion, and make sense of it in this modern age, the greater we can appreciate and preserve our rich Hindu culture. While we take great care in thoroughly researching the information presented, we may occasionally get some things wrong. We encourage a healthy and open dialogue so we can learn together. Please leave a comment below or email us directly at support@moditoys.com to address any concerns. 


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