“May the colors of Holi fill your life with happiness, joy, and prosperity”

I love the diversity of cultures in Canada; the vibrancy and richness that this brings to life. As travel has become easier and communication across the globe instantaneous, it has become easier to embrace celebrations and influences from around the world and, of course, easier for people to move around and settle elsewhere; bringing with them their traditions and festivities. One such celebration is the Hindu festival of Holi. Originating in India, with literary documentation of the festival dating back to the 4th century, it has now spread through South Asia and across the world and is recognised as one of the most vivid and joyous festivals.

There are many legends and therefore many origin stories for this festival but the essence of the festival remains the same around the world; it is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. On the eve of holi, a bonfire is lit and people gather to sing and dance around the flames, to signify the burning of evil spirits.

On the day itself, it is a time to let loose and celebrate life. Family and friends join together to throw colourful paint at each other in playful ways, until they are covered from head to toe. A musical troupe will dance amongst the paint throwers playing the traditional wooden drum called a dhol.

Colours are deeply enmeshed in the Indian psyche and Holi is a day to paint the skies, their surroundings and the people in a hue of colour.

Each colour signifies something special, for example, according to the Smithsonian magazine, blue is the complex spiritual colour of the Gods, green is the colour of nature and happiness, yellow of sunshine, healing (with links to Turmeric), piety and strength, while red signifies fertility, love, beauty and most importantly matrimony.

Holi is a festival for everyone, regardless of caste, class or religion. It is time to come together in revelry and welcome the onset of spring and bless all lives with abundance, happiness and peace.

And so, to my customers, my colleagues, my friends and my family I wish you a Happy Holi festival and I hope this year brings you all it signifies.

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