Which Hindu festival inspired “The Color Run”?

Know anyone who participated in The Color Run?

The Color Run is a 5K race where people are regularly doused with colored powder as they run. It’s a global phenomenon, taking place in cities all over the U.S. AND more than 30 countries! (There is even a nighttime color run!)

It looks like fun! I haven’t participated in this event myself, but I’ve seen pictures of several of my friends doing The Color Run over the years.

You might be surprised to know that an ancient Hindu religious festival called “Holi” inspired this popular event. Holi celebrates spring (the end of winter)—and it also signifies forgiveness and the victory of good over evil. Holi is being celebrated in India later this week (on March 23). Across India, people will congregate in open streets and parks and outside temples. They’ll chase and color other people using dry powder and colored water. Some will visit friends, family, and even enemies. For many, this is a festive day to forgive others, laugh, and repair broken relationships.

As Holi approaches, I’m thinking about our partners in the field in India—and the people they are reaching.

I am praying that as enemies extend forgiveness during Holi, their hearts are more open than ever to the message of hope and forgiveness through Christ. I hope that as they celebrate the victory of good over evil, they listen carefully to the news that Jesus triumphed over death and evil. And as they celebrate the coming of spring, I pray they desire the incredible “new life” experienced by believers.

But most of all, I pray that their spirits long to have a restored relationship with God through Christ. As you celebrate Good Friday and Easter with your family this weekend, will you join me in this prayer?

Image Source: The Telegraph,  Picture: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images