A box of crayons is a joy for a child. Its the one place where nothing contradicts. It's always a contrast or complimenting color but never contradictory.
It's no secret, I love colors; from the calming blues and passionate reds to the confident black and innocent white, I love them all. As a citizen of the world (I think) born in India, colors and Holi are synonyms to me.
India or USA, March is the season of spring everywhere. After a freezing winter, as the warmth of the sun emanates the Earth. It's when every seed frees itself and bursts out to celebrate life. As Robin Williams once said "Spring is nature's way of saying "Let's party." Party is what India does during spring; celebrated on the full moon during the month of Phalgun, usually the month of March, spring creates a beautiful mess like no other fesitval :)
Imagine playing with colors with all your friends and neighbor-hood, what you get is a sky full of colors. The question is why do Indians celebrate Holi? Well like everything else, there is a mythological angle to this to. So long time ago, there was a king Hrianyakashyap. In return for his unshakeable faith and worship to Lord Brahma, he was granted the boon of immortality. What would happen to a man who was granted immortality? Like they show in the Hollywood fictions, yes he did start thinking of himself as the god and created trouble for all. Fortunately for the world and mankind, his son Prahlad, was not like him. Prahlad, was a good soul who did not agree with his father's evil intentions. Angered at his son's opposition and after many failed attempts to kill him, Hrianyakashyap orders his son to be set on fire with his sister Holika, a demon who was thought to have immunity from fire. The gods came together and saved Prahlad and the evil was burnt in the fire. So Holi in one part celebrates the victory of good over evil.
There's another romantic angle to the story too. Lord Krishna is worshipped my many Hindu's. Historically, the hindus worshipped Krishna by putting red color on his idol, friends and family. It is believed that Krishna used this opportunity to have a little fun with his beloved Radha and the rest of us mortals just followed :)
This symbolism of devotion today is the fun filled crazy color flinging fun, we know as Holi.
Growing up in India, Holi instantly brings back memories of getting up early, wearing that specially selected pure white outfit and teaming up with friends to roam the street aimlessly and fling color at each other and passers by. Yes passers by, that's the beauty of the festival, one can throw color at anyone and there is never a yell or scream that comes back. The only reaction is a smile.
Today, Holi for me continues to be a favorite festival, but the crazy runs to neighbors and friends afar has been replaced by a family affair in the backyard where in my son loves taking the hose pipe and drenching his mom with it. It's the one day he can do this and not get yelled at :) This is the play part of Holi.
In reality as I look at Holi today, I see and realize it is a part of my every day life. Holi symbolizes much more than the mythological victory of gods or the love of Krishna, it's about embracing the different colors of life. Life is like a box of crayons. It's filled with bright vibrant reds to melancholy yet calming blues.
Colors silently teach us to compliment and not oppose.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Holi.