Why India celebrates Holi: the legends behind the festival of color

Holi Hai ! Google dedicates doodle to festival of colours

Google's homepage features colorful artwork from Amrita Marino that depicts dhol players represented by the colors red, yellow, blue and green.

Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, is one of India's merriest festivals.

As the celebration of Holi is at its peak, Bollywood stars have also jumped into the pool of colours to share the happiness of the festival with their fans.

The festival originates from one main story about the arrogant King Hiranyakashipu, who asked to be worshipped as he believed he was invincible, and then punished his son Prahlada for remaining loyal to the god Vishnu instead.

Usually celebrated in large gatherings of people, the colour-throwing is accompanied by music and drums. A day before Holi, people celebrate Choti Holi, where they burn stash of woods to fend off evil.

Millions of young and old across the country on Friday celebrated Holi, smearing vibrant colours on each other and exchanging candies to spread joy and welcome the beginning of spring in India. People came out of their houses to smear each other with coloured powder, coloured water and mud as well.

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Children can douse elders with water, women splash men with color and the rules of caste and creed are briefly forgotten with everyone taking part. Along with it, he shared pictures of the family celebrating Holika.

This year's national holiday falls on Friday, March 2.

Today's Google Doodle provides a snapshot of Holi celebrations.

It is said that the mythological Holika - who was immune to fire - died on this day.

Vishnu - the preserver and protector of the universe - saved Prahlad and killed Holika instead. On the Indian subcontinent, people start making and selling different Holi powder colors at least a week before the festival begins.

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