Gulal (Hindi: गुलाल) or Abir (Bengali: আবির) or Abhir (Odia: ଅଭିର) is the traditional name given to the colored powders used for throwing during Holi.
Holi is an ancient festival that celebrates spring and the harvest. So how does throwing colors relate to this festival? There are multiple Hindu legends to explain the origins of Holi, but the story that relates to color is that of Lord Krishna and Radha. Krishna’s skin is blue and he was feeling a little different or embarrassed by his blue skin in comparison to the fair skin of his love, Radha. So Krishna’s mother, Yashoda, playfully suggested that he smear some brightly colored powder on Radha’s face.
In order to play Holi this year, we’ve put together a short list of places where you can purchase a variety of gulal.