DJ Carlito, aka my brother Carl, who has become the go-to deejay for Indian weddings in Virginia (I am absolutely not kidding), shares the links and images in this post and explains:
Holi, the yearly festival celebrating the return of color to the world, will start on Sunday Feb 28, 2010 and continue for 2 days until Monday March 1st. Holi is celebrated on the Phalgun Purnima (or Pooranmashi, Full Moon) according to the Hindu Calendar. Holi is a festival of radiance (teja) in the universe. The celebrations officially usher in spring, the celebrated season of love. There are several stories of the origin of Holi -- and several various deities are involved in this holiday.
More about the celebration here. Video above: Rang Barse. Another goodie: Holi Aai Re," from the Bollywood classic Mashaal. Another gem from one of the biggest Bollywood blockbusters ever: Holi ke Din. And here's another Holi-themed video you may dig.
More about DJ Carlito (aka Xeni's kid brother, available for all your Indian wedding DJ needs): blog, Myspace. Listen to his weekly radio show "If Music Could Talk" Sundays 7-9pm EST online or on-air at WRIR in Virginia, and dig his show archive here online.
If you're in NYC on March 7, you can get your Holi on at a big parade on that date. Scanned flyer below. Hopefully the snow will have melted by then! Watch the videos in this post, and you'll see why the parade organizers have to warn people not to bring water guns or rainbow powder (it's right there on the flyer!)
DJ Carlito adds,
It's also worth mentioning that the "colors" used to be made from Dhak and Palash flowers but in more recent times have been made from such synthetic materials as metal alloys mixed with asbestos --- theres a movement to go "organic" again with the colors -- which are thrown, smeared, squirted on everyone you meet... but then by accident often inhaled, ingested, swallowed in the process. It's also the only holiday where use of ganga is pretty much widespread in the form of "bhang" -- which is ganga mixed with herbs and spices in a milky beverage form. The use of bhang is regulated by the government, and only authorized "dealers" can sell it. The drink is traditionally said to come from Shiva. I'm not sure how widespread the use is but friends tell me that its very common in the celebration.