Image: Getty Images

Image: Getty Images

Holi, the festival of colors, is one of the most popular festivals in India and is renowned all across the globe for its zest and fervor. Many tourists visit India during March just to witness this phenomenal event that turns the whole country into a colorful palette. Most places that are associated with Lord Krishna celebrate Holi with great pomp. These regions, known as Braj, include Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana. Celebrations here go on for as long as 16 days. The Lathimar Holi in Barsana is famous for its unique ritual of women hitting men with sticks while they shield themselves. Also Read - Are Sanitary Napkins Not 'Essential' Enough to be COVID-19 Lockdown Exception?

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Holi is a celebration of many things including the arrival of spring and the love between Lord Krishna and Radha. It is celebrated on the full moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Phalgun which typically falls in February or March. Here are the relevant dates for Holi 2016 celebrations as per the Indian calendar : Also Read - Over 19 People Killed in Massive Forest Fire in China’s Sichuan Province

23 March 2016, Wednesday : Chhoti Holi , Holika Dahan

24 March 2016, Thursday : Holi

Image: Getty Images

Image: Getty Images

In most parts of the country, children start celebrations by throwing water balloons on each other well before the actual day of Holi. However, the actual celebrations of Holi are spread across just two days. It is characterized by lighting of a bonfire called Holika Dahan in the evening of the first day. This is followed by a day full of colors, singing, dancing and drinking a local beverage called ‘bhang’ on the second day.

CHECK OUT 7 most unique places to celebrate Holi in India

Spirits run high on the day of Holi. People meet their loved ones and greet them with either just a tilak of color on their forehead or an entire bucket of colored water. Not just in India, but in several other parts of the world like Spain, London and Manhattan, people celebrate our festival of colors with great enthusiasm. Powdered colors are thrown in the air or rubbed on faces while exchanging smiles and hugs.

ALSO READ Holi 2016: Holika Dahan date and puja timings for celebrating Chhoti Holi

In an attempt to save water, more and more people are moving towards a dry, eco-friendly Holi while still keeping the spirit and enthusiasm alive.

For more such articles, check out our Festivals and Celebrations section.

Do let us know how you are planning to celebrate Holi in 2016. We would love to hear from you.