Desirable mutual colouring
Gulal, the colourful powder, is being catapulted from platters over the heads of the gathering. Tiny particles are mingling with the incident rays of morning light, giving rise to a bizarre play of colours. People are changing colours like chameleons from red to yellow, blue and green. Crimson rose petals are pouring down like rain on people. It is a breathtaking atmosphere in which Lord Krishna is praised in unison. Outside the temple walls, a colourful game is going on: Buckets full of water are being poured down from the roofs on the passers-by. Old and young, men and women, all are mutually sprinkling the gulal powder on each other.
The 22-year-old Apurwah from Hardiwar is navigating her way through the crowds. The student travels with her family to Vrindavan every year. Her face is beaming through the pink and yellow and green colors. “There are various legends explaining the origin of Holi”, she explains. “For example the one about king Hiranyakaship who wanted to kill his son Prahlanda who was saved by his faith in Lord Vishnu”, she says. “Holi is thus not only a celebration of harvest and fertility, but also a celebration of victory of good over evil. Old disputes are to be settled, social barriers removed, existing friendships and relationships renewed. „All barriers disappear during Holi”, explains Apurwah. “All people are colourful and all are equal – no matter which caste they belong to or what their status is.”
Whole streets are flooded by dark crimson, the dominant colour of Holi. It symbolizes purity, joyfulness, power and vitality. Yellow stands for life, light, truth and immortality. This is the reason, why Indian brides wear yellow dresses before their wedding, to ward off evil spirits. In Hinduism, green can mean life as well as death. Blue is a symbol of divine enlightenment as well as the highest consciousness.