Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Holi is literally one of the most colorful festivals in the world. Hindus celebrate the festival in early March, when wheat is harvested. Holi commemorates spring and the mythological stories of the god Krishna and the king Prahlad. In Hindu legend, during Holi Krishna covered Radha and her friends with colored water and stole off with their clothes as they bathed. In the other story, Prahlad, the son of the king, refused his father’s demand that he worship him rather than God. God saved Prahlad from death twice, first when the king ordered him killed, and again, when the king’s evil sister, Holika, led Prahlad into a huge bonfire.

On the eve of Holi, Hindus dress in their finest clothes and watch a bonfire. A large tree branch, representing Prahlad, is placed in the middle of the fire. The branch is removed, recreating Prahlad’s rescue. The next morning, people put on old clothes and douse each other with colored powders. It’s the one day of the year that parents encourage their children to get filthy!

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