Holi is celebrated during the month of March and sometimes in February. It is the second of two spring festivals. The first being Vasant Panchami.
The colours of Holi are associated with the arrival of spring. It is a festival celebrated mostly in India and Nepal.
The festival of Holi is also celebrated as a triumph of good over evil. Holika the sister of the demon Hiranyakashipu, had powers to withstand heat and fire. Prahlad who worshiped Lord Vishnu, was the son of Hiranyakashipu. As part of his efforts to destroy his son (because he worshiped Lord Vishnu), Hiranyakashipu the king of the demons asked Holika to enter into fire with the boy Prahlad. Prahlad was saved from the fire because of his prayers to Lord Vishnu and Holika was killed.
How is this festival celebrated
Holi is a national holiday in India. The festival would begin the night before with the burning of Holika. On the day of Holi many people would part take in the throwing of colours, regardless if friend, foe or stranger. People sing, dance and play musical instruments while participating in the festivities. It is also a time to mend broken friendships and visit family.
Colours are either naturally derived from various plants or synthetic in nature. They are thrown in form of powder, water balloons and water guns.
Holi is also very popular with non-Hindus and during the summer months there are many Holi inspired events around the world.