Holi is an important festival to Hindus, as well as many other Indians and other people of south Asian origin. It is celebrated at the end of winter, on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalgun, which usually falls in March, sometimes in late February. The festival has many purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of Spring. The night before Holi, bonfires are lit in a ceremony known as Holika Dahan or Little Holi. People gather near fires, sing and dance. The next day, people pour into the streets and temples to spray colored powder solutions at each other, laugh and celebrate. After playing with colors, people bathe, put on clean clothes, and visit friends and family.
In recent years, some Western communities have taken Holi-style celebrations out of their religious context in the form of popular “color-runs.”