Head to Google today and you'll see an especially colorful celebration adorning the search engine's homepage. The drummers, dancing figures, and buckets of powder being tossed in the air represent the Hindu festival Holi, which began yesterday evening, March 1, and wraps up tonight, March 2. Today's Doodle follows 16 days of playful, winter Olympic-themed animations, all of which honored the 2018 PyeongChang Games.
The tossing of colored powder is meant to welcome the beginning of Spring and, according to its mythological roots, the victory of good over evil. Holi is tied to the legend of Holika, which tells of the god Vishnu's victory over the demoness Holika and her demon brother, King Hiranyakashyap.
The four main colors used in Holi celebrations, and in today's Doodle, are red, yellow, blue, and green. The colored powders, which were originally made using natural sources such as various plants and herbs, each stand for something different. According to Google's Doodle blog, red symbolizes love and fertility; green marks the beginning of spring and a fresh start; yellow represents the natural remedy turmeric; and blue stands for the Lord Krishna. (According to The Independent, Krishna painted his soul mate Radha's face the same color as his because he was self conscious about their different skin tones.) However, the colors also have rich meanings tied to moments in India's history.
Today's Doodle was designed by Brooklyn-based graphic designer and illustrator Amrita Marino. Marino decided to draw a dhol player and dancers cheerfully ringing in the festival (the dhol is type of drum played using two wooden sticks). Head here to see other, equally vibrant versions of the Doodle, and, if you're looking to take part in the festival of colors yourself, simply Google "where to celebrate Holi" and you'll find no shortage of global options.