Indian community in Athens celebrates IWD and Holi Festival


The Indian Embassy in Athens hosted a celebration on International Women's Day and Holi Festival on Wednesday.

"Members of the Indian Diaspora and some Greek nationals participated with great enthusiasm and joy. Cd'A Mr. S. Rajendran addressed the gathering," the embassy said in a tweet.

Here are some glimpses:

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Holi is a holiday celebrated by millions of Hindus around the world, from India and Pakistan to Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. It falls on the purnima, or full-moon day of Phalguna, which is the last month of the Hindu lunar calendar (usually around February or March), and it is a joyous, vibrant celebration of color.

Though the holiday has been commercialized with all sorts of marathon events like the Color Run, it’s actually rooted in a sacred love story between two deities, and it’s one of the biggest festivals of the year.

Holi is a spring festival that’s widely known as the Festival of Colors, as it involves the throwing of gulal (colored powder) and water. It’s celebrated around the world, and though the origin story of the holiday varies from region to region, Holi is everywhere all about love, goodness, and welcoming positive energy back into your life.

Holi is actually a two-day festival. Before the main Holi, there is Holika Dahan or Choti Holi (“small Holi”), where people gather around bonfires to sing and dance to let go of any negative thoughts and actions from the previous year.

All sorts of things are thrown into the flames, including wood, leaves, and even food, like coconut and chickpeas. Choti Holi is a release — it’s permission to start anew and overcome any lingering negative energy. The ritual is also done in remembrance of the burning of the demoness Holika, one of the most popular Holi stories.

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