The Indian Artist: The Festival of Colors

Happy Sunday everybody! I hope that you are all doing well. I realized right after I posted last week that I sorely missed an opportunity. Being that last Sunday was Holi and I remembered a little too late, I decided that this week I would talk about the beautiful and wonderous holiday that is the Festival of Colors. Enjoy!

Holi is the ancient Hindu festival, also known as the “Festival of Love” or the “Festival of Colors”. This beautiful and fun festival celebrates the eternal and divine love of Radha and Krishna, whom I have talked about extensively in a few of my past posts. It also signifies the triumph of good over evil and signifies ridding oneself of past errors, ending conflicts by meeting others, and forgetting and forgiving. People pay or forgive debts, as well as deal anew with those in their lives. Holi also marks the start of spring, an occasion for people to enjoy the changing seasons and make new friends. 

On the eve of the festival, large pyres are lit in many parts of India to signify the burning away of evil spirits. People often throw wood, dried leaves, and twigs into bonfires. On the day of Holi, streets and towns turn incredible hues of red, green, pink, blue, and yellow as people throw colored powder into the air and splash them on others in a fun game that is traditional for Holi. These colors generally carry meaning. For instance, red symbolizes love and fertility while green stands for new beginnings. People will dress in white to make the experience of exploding colors more enjoyable and noticeable, wearing the bright hues as medallions or badges of honor after the festival is over. People also splash water on each other during the celebration. Water guns are used to squirt water while balloons filled with colored water are also flung from rooftops. As common with any Indian festival, food plays a significant role as families gather together for festive meals and distribute sweets among neighbors and friends.

NEW JERSEY, USA – JUNE 15: People take part in the Holi Festival celebrations in Hoboken, in New Jersey, United States on June 15, 2019. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

This incredibly colorful festival is my absolute favorite. “Playing” Holi with friends and family is essentially like a giant game of tag that involves bombarding each other with fistfuls of colored powder. It is a lot of fun and overall a beautiful experience. As an artist, the aftermath of Holi celebrations is a sight to behold and a work of art in itself. I plan on doing an art piece in the future inspired by the wonderful Festival of Colors, which I hope to be able to share with you all soon! I know that this was a bit of a different post, but I thought, even from the name of the holiday, it was incredibly fitting for an art blog. I hope that you all enjoyed this week’s post and perhaps learned something new about Indian culture!




As always, if anything that I discussed in this post stands out, or if any questions arise please feel free to comment and share your thoughts!

Looking forward to next Sunday!


~ Riya


Personal website:


Riya A

My name is Riya and I am currently a Senior at U of M studying Molecular Biology with a double minor in Art & Design and Sociology on the pre-med track. Art has been a huge passion of mine from a very young age and in the final iteration of my column, I look forward to sharing my passions as they connect to my culture, medicine, and art.

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "The Indian Artist: The Festival of Colors"

Mark Watson
1 year 6 months ago

As India is rich in culture, it is also rich when it comes to fashion. Its great to know Holi was celebrated in NEW JERSEY. It one of the finest festival where you get a chance to play with different colors and enjoy that colorful day.