The History of Holi

The History of Holi

Holi is one of the biggest and most vibrant festivals celebrated in India and across the world. Every spring, the Hindu festival brings people across the world together to celebrate the arrival of the new season.

But where did this festival originate, we hear you ask, and how did it become such an important part of Indian culture? Let’s delve into the history of Holi together and explore the origins and traditions of this beloved festival and how it has developed over time to become popular with millions around the world. 

What are the origins of Holi?

Holi is one of the most ancient festivals in India and was originally known as “Holika”. It is also said that Holi was originally a ceremony for married women to spread goodwill and prosperity to their new family; however since then, it has evolved to mean much more.

One of the main focuses of the Holi Festival now is the celebration of the victory of good over evil. The most popular story that is rooted in this theme is the story of Hiranyakashipu, the demon king. Hiranyakashipu wanted everyone in the kingdom to worship only him; however his son, Prahlad, was devoted to worshipping the Hindu god Vishnu. 

This led to Hiranyakashipu commanding his sister Holika, who was immune to fire, to carry Prahlad into a blazing fire. Holika however burned to ashes and Prahlad emerged from the flames unscathed, saved by Vishnu for his devotion to the god. Hiranyakashipu too was eventually killed by Vishnu, displaying the triumph of good over evil.

The legend of Krishna and Radha is also linked to the origins of Holi Festival. Krishna fell in love with the goddess Radha, but feared that she wouldn’t love him due to his blue skin. Radha however allowed Krishna to dye her skin with colour and they became a true couple.

A man having colour powder applied to his face at Holi festival

How do people celebrate Holi?

Known as a fun and vibrant festival, Holi is celebrated with plenty of singing, dancing, food and parties. In honour of the legend of Krishna and Radha, people celebrate Holi by applying colour to each other’s skin. For this, natural and non-toxic colour powder is used. Colour powder is also used throughout the festival to be thrown in the air to create bright clouds of colour and cover all of the participants. 

On the eve of Holi each year, huge bonfires are lit for people to sing and dance around to commemorate the legend of Holika. The next day is all about celebrating life and letting loose, which includes the throwing of colour powder.

A large group of people celebrating in a big cloud of colour powder

When is Holi 2024?

Each year, Holi is celebrated in India on the day after the full moon in March. The celebration typically lasts two days, the first featuring bonfires lit for Holika and the second day consisting of the Festival of Colours. In 2024, this year Holi will fall on Monday 25th March.

A group of people throwing colour powder in the air

This date isn’t far away meaning there’s not long to go now until Holi Festival rolls around! If you’re attending a Holi event or throwing one yourself and are looking for bright, high quality and traditional Holi powder, then look no further than Ministry of Colours! And of course, don’t forget your colour powder accessories to take your event to the next level.

We’re very excited for Holi here at Ministry of Colours, especially because we’ll be getting involved in the festivities ourselves as we are the very proud sponsors of Leeds Holi Festival 2024! We’ll be there for the full weekend, providing party-goers with their much needed bags of colour powder and accessories. So make sure you buy a ticket and come visit us!

Our colour powder is sourced directly from India and comes in a variety of colours and sizes to suit your event needs. Why not consider using a colour powder fountain to kickstart your event and cover your guests in a bright cloud of powder?

If you’re unsure how much powder you’ll need for your event, then our handy calculator has you sorted. If you still need some extra guidance however then please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’d be more than happy to help you with everything you need to host the perfect event. Drop us an email at or call us on 0330 321 3996, we look forward to hearing from you!