Holi is holiday which marks the arrival of Spring in India. People traditionally throw colored pigments on each other to celebrate luck, and the triumph of good over evil.
Holi is holiday which marks the arrival of Spring in India. People traditionally throw colored pigments on each other to celebrate luck, and the triumph of good over evil.
MAYMUNAH MAJUMDER ’26

From Past to Present: The Festival of Colors

This March 25, many students at Edison High look forward to partying, throwing colored dye, and eating sweets to celebrate Holi. The holiday has been commemorated in a variety of ways over time, but have all revolved around positive change and the triumph of good over evil. From originally being a ceremony for married women to spread luck to their new family to the colorful celebrations we see today, Holi has notably evolved from the past, changing the ways EHS students celebrate the holiday in the present.
Holi’s origins are rooted in Hindu mythology, mainly associated with the story of an ancient demon king, Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu recruited his sister, Holika, to kill his son, Prahlada, a faithful worshiper of Vishnu (the Hindu god of protection and preservation). Holika would sit with Prahlada on a pyre (a heap of wood used to burn a dead body) while wearing a cloak that gave her invincibility to the fire. However, the cloak gave the invulnerability to Prahlada instead, killing Holika as a result. Afterwards, Vishnu would kill the demon Hiranyakashipu, and the event would be regarded as a victory for good over evil. Some regions of India burn a pyre every Holi in commemoration of the legend.
The first records of Holi being celebrated were in the 4th century CE, some sources writing that the holiday was a ceremony for married women to spread luck to their new family. However, over time, Holi grew to encompass more than just giving good blessings, representing a day where good prevails over evil. Holi also signifies the end of winter and the arrival of spring. Holi is currently celebrated by over a billion people across the globe, and the holiday’s popularity is only increasing. Hindus commonly celebrate Holi by throwing colored powder at each other, shooting water guns at each other, dancing, and having parties. At EHS, students celebrate by playing instruments, eating traditional food, and throwing colored powder.
Many EHS students play a variety of instruments in order to celebrate Holi, as Indian culture emphasizes music. Specifically, different styles of music specific to India, like Carnatic and Eastern, are played during Holi.
“I go to Wisconsin to visit my grandparents and celebrate this holiday,” said Sameth Sitaram ‘27, “I also often play Eastern Violin pieces for them as Holi is an auspicious religious occasion.”
It is common practice to eat traditional sweets during Holi.
“I eat sweets like Ladoos and wear new clothes every Holi,” said Arni Shashi ‘27.
Sweets eaten by students during the auspicious occasion include gujiya, malpua, dahi bhalle, thandai, and rasmalai. Moreover, they also keep some traditional foods as an offering to God. Students also wear new clothes as a sign of respect for God.
Throwing colored powder is one of the most popular traditions to celebrate Holi and is a main reason the holiday is often referred to as “The Festival of Colors.” The origins of the use of colored powder during Holi stem from another myth regarding one of Vishnu’s avatars, Krishna. According to legend, Krishna fell in love with a milkmaid, Radha, but was embarrassed that his skin was dark blue while hers was fair. To solve this issue, Krishna colored her face with powder while playing outside. Hundreds of millions of people around the world use colored powder to celebrate the holiday to this day.
“We wear white and have a fight with colorful powers and water, and the holiday represents good over evil,” said Prisha Patel ‘25.
By throwing colored powder at one another, EHS students follow traditions while having a good time with family and friends.
All in all, with changes in rituals and practices, the observance of Holi has evolved greatly over the years. From playing traditional music, eating traditional food, and throwing colored powder, Edison High School students celebrate the annual occasion in numerous ways. However, the central theme of the holiday—the triumph of good over evil—remains.

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