Why people play with Holi Colors

Young Krishna was known to be very playful and mischievous. The story goes that as a child, Krishna was extremely jealous of Radha's fair complexion as he himself was very dark. One day, Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about the injustice of nature which made Radha so fair and him so dark. To pacify the crying young Krishna, the doting mother asked him to go and colour Radha's face in whichever colour he wanted. In a mischievous mood, naughty Krishna heeded the advice of mother Yashoda and applied colour on his beloved Radha's face; Making her one like himself.

Over the years, this lovable prank of Krishna applying colour on Radha and other gopis using water jets called pichkaris gained acceptance and popularity. So much so that it evolved as a tradition and later, a full-fledged festival. Till date, use of colours and pichkaris is rampant in Holi. Lovers long to apply colour on their beloved’s face and express their affection for each other. This legend is wonderfully brought alive each year all over India, particularly in Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana and Nandgaon-the places associated with Krishna and Radha.

It is also important to note that each color has a specific meaning: green is for harmony, orange symbolizes faith in the future, blue brings health, while red represents love and joy. While throwing colour on someone it is customary to apologize and scream “Bura na mano, Holi hai”.

In present days, we are glad to see the growing trend of people playing holi with just natural colours and indulging less in wastage of water on the pretext of the celebration, thus giving rise to the phrase “eco-friendly Holi”

What are some of your favorite memories from the colorful festivities?