Also known as the “Festival of Love”, the “Festival of Colors”, and the “Festival of Spring”, the Hindu festival of Holi is one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India—it's celebrated in almost every part of the country as well as across the world.
After a long winter season, we know that everyone could use more color in their lives. This year, the Holi festival was celebrated on March 18th. We asked CJ associates from across the globe to share their colorful celebrations with us to spread the joy of Holi a little further.
Karan Patil, Associate Client Services Analyst, Navi Mumbai, India
What does Holi mean to you? For me, Holi is a festival of erasing all the evil thoughts in your mind and enjoying the festival with purity and colors.
How did you celebrate Holi this year? I went to a small Holi party in the outskirts of Mumbai with my friends.
What's your favorite part of Holi? Playing with colors, dancing, and having fun.
How is Holi celebrated differently in your town? Holi starts a week before its actual date with kids and everyone passing those kids can never leave unless they are colored. Pro tip: Don't wear new clothes starting one week before Holi!
What's your favorite memory from Holi? Everything about Holi is my favorite! The family gatherings, the food, the music. Everything feels lively and energetic.
Radha Iyer, Lead, Publisher Development, Bangalore, India
What does Holi mean to you? Holi is about letting your inner child out, having fun with colors, and eating great food.
What's your favorite part of Holi? The traditions of welcoming the spring colorfully.
What's your favorite memory from Holi? As a kid, we used to get together with all our friends and sing and dance.
Ankit Jha, Data Scientist, Roorkee, India
What does Holi mean to you? Pure joy! I have fond childhood memories of this festival: waking up to the aroma of amazing food and running out immediately to pour color on all my friends. Times have changed, but I love how everyone I know always comes together to celebrate it!
How did you celebrate Holi this year? I celebrated with family and friends in Roorkee. I usually start the day by visiting friends all over and pouring colors on everyone! When you’re tired of playing all day the delicious meals back home are the cherry on top.
What's your favorite part of Holi? It’s the food for me: Kachaudi-Sabzi, Dahi Bhalla, and Gujiya.
Shruti Shukla, Sr. Client Service Analyst, Bangalore, India
What does Holi mean to you? Holi teaches us to forgive and forget. Holi brings new color into our lives. May these colors be filled with joy, happiness, love, and abundance now and forever.
How did you celebrate Holi this year? I celebrate Holi with my family and friends every year. This year things were a little different as I celebrated with my fiancée, and we all had great fun.
What's your favorite part of Holi? Food! During this festival, we prepare lots of delicacies like Gujiya, malpua, dahi vada, and more to treat our loved ones. However, Dahi vada and bhang is surely my most favorite part of Holi.
How is Holi celebrated differently in your town? We have a unique and fun way to celebrate Holi. In Barsana, Mathura, and Vrindavan regions, the women chase men and playfully beat them up with lathis (sticks) as a part of the tradition. Hence it is called the Lathmar Holi. It’s celebrated a week before the Holi festival. The tradition dates back to Dwaparyug when Lord Krishna came to meet his beloved Radha and mischievously teased her and her friends. To take revenge, the women of the village chased him away with lathis. Every year men from Nandgaon visit Barsana to be welcomed by sticks.
What's your favorite memory from Holi? I attended a Holi event hosted by my friend who had just started her own event management business. It was her first-ever event and it was a HIT. I attended to encourage her to grow to unimaginable heights and in turn, we had loads of fun too.
Mehar Aneja, Sr. Analyst Publisher Development, Saharanpur UP
What does Holi mean to you? A festival of colors, joy, togetherness, and love.
How did you celebrate Holi this year? For me, no Holi celebration is complete without family and friends. I had all of them come over so we could celebrate together, play with colors, and eat delicious lunch and a traditional sweet Gujiya.
What's your favorite part of Holi? Playing with colors along with enjoying amazing sweets, spicy food, and chilled beer.
Aloke Mahapatra, Sr. Manager, Publisher Development, New Delhi, India
What does Holi mean to you? Holi represents all the goodness that's within and around us, which we embrace and express by putting colors on each other. A day before Holi we celebrate Holika Dahan (which means burning of the demon named Holika) where people gather around a pyre lit in remembrance of the victory of good over evil and pray that everything that is evil in the society is destroyed and the goodness in everyone prevails.
How did you celebrate Holi this year? This year my family and I celebrated with my in-laws who live in Dehradun and whom we haven't seen since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. I met up with lots of family friends, relished in some good food, and played with lots of colors.
What's your favorite part of Holi? Playing with Gulal (colorful powder) with family and friends, and eating lots of Gujiya, which is a sweet, deep-fried dumpling that is prepared around Holi.
Gaurav Kumar Dubey, Publisher Development Associate Analyst, Bangalore, India
What does Holi mean to you? Holi means a lot more than just traditions to me, it is a day when people from all backgrounds come together to celebrate equality, brotherhood, enjoy this day covered in colors indifferent to our biases, and showcase that love and faith can prevail over darkness and hate any day. It’s a great day to roam the streets covered in colors, too.
What's your favorite part of Holi? The food, of course!!! Colors are a big part of the festival, but along with that I love seeing communities coming together, people being open, casual, and accepting. We have a local saying, "Don't feel sad, it's Holi over here".
How is Holi celebrated differently in your town? Kids celebrate Holi with water balloons, water guns, and lots of surprise colored water bucket showers. No one is safe from colors if you go out, especially wearing light colors.
What's your favorite memory from Holi? I still remember the Holi from fourth grade when I used to live in Air Force residential housing and all the families of defense personnel celebrated Holi with a gathering of almost 500 people. The festivities went on the whole day.
Sumi Bharti, Associate Publisher Development Analyst, Bangalore, India
What does Holi mean to you? Holi is about strengthening friendships and family bonds and posing in ethnic clothes with brightly colored faces.
How will you celebrate Holi this year? I'd like to celebrate it with my family and my wacky friends, whom I'd like to drag into the mud and paint their faces permanently, haha!
What's your favorite part of Holi? Of course, the traditions! Vibrant colors on faces and rain dances with a DJ are my favorite part.
How is Holi celebrated differently in your town? In the evening of Holika Dahan, we prepare gujia and pakodas and then offer them to bonfires to destroy negative energy. We get drenched in the mud, water, and colors on Holi. We battle in teams with water guns and balloons. Malpua, Dahi vada, and Poori are just a few of the delicious foods prepared on this day. In the evening, we pay visits to friends and family, putting gulal on the elders' feet as a symbol of respect and splatter gulal on the faces of younger ones, friends, and peers.
Nilesh Kabra, Sr. Director, Software Engineering, Bangalore, India
What's your favorite part of Holi? Holi is a special occasion for our family where we get to meet new people. Even strangers don’t mind when you throw a colorful water balloon on them and if they do mind, we just say “Bura naa Mano, Holi Hai!”
Sankalp Singh, Lead Data Scientist, Bangalore, India
What does Holi mean to you? Let the positive energies flow in various colors.
How did you celebrate Holi this year? I celebrated with my family (wife, son, parents, brother, and his wife)
What's your favorite part of Holi? The adults turn into kids and leave all their inhibitions behind!
Happy Spring! Wishing you all a vibrant season full of love, laughter, and the playful spirit of Holi!