Holi! What is it and how did I grow up celebrating it?


Kiran Patan, Featured Writer

Holi is a Hindu holiday and celebration also known as Phagwah. It is a celebration that signifies love, spring and triumph of good over evil. All of these have a relation to Hindu gods but my favorite story is about love. The story is told that the God Krishna was in love with a fair skinned girl named Radha. As a child, he wasn’t sure if she would love him back due to his dark skin, so his mom suggested that he let Radha color his skin whatever color she wanted and they have been a couple ever since. In this story Radha colored Krishna’s skin with colorful powder, and to this day holi is still celebrated by throwing powder on one another. This ties  religion into the celebration, while showing the love and color in the world. 

As a Guyanese person growing up in Richmond Hill, I have gotten to experience and enjoy this celebration while continuously feeling connected to my culture. Every year for as long as I can remember, there has been a Phagwah parade on liberty avenue going all the way to a park for the Guyanese community to come together and celebrate the way it’s meant to be. This celebration includes music, floats, dancers, crowds, food and colorful powder. While I keep mentioning the Guyanese community, the Holi celebration is open to many more. One of the many reasons we do such a big celebration is to also open up Holi to others that are not in the community. This year Holi is on March 7th and there will be the first ever Phagwah parade since covid on Sunday March 26. As I said before this is open to anyone who wants to enjoy it. Happy Holi everyone!

List of holi songs: