Diya

The diya (oil lamp) symbolizes purity and goodness of inner spirit. Fire is a significant element in the Hindu tradition, symbolizing the purification of evil energies and attraction of divine protection. In the celebration of Holi, fire represents the triumph of good over evil with the arrival of spring in the legend of Prahlada, a hero who survived forced immolation to win victory over the demon Hiranyakashipu. 

Dinesh Patel, Diya, 2015. Digital Photograph. ©Dinesh Patel. All rights reserved.

Dinesh Patel, MD

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Holi (Sanskrit: होली Holī) is a Hindu spring festival that is celebrated across the Indian subcontinent and by the greater South Asian diaspora across the world. Aside from being the festival of colors, Holi is a time to celebrate unbridled joy, love, and the triumph of good over evil. Through visual art, this installation highlights some of the spirit and traditions associated with Holi such as throwing colored powdered and spraying colored water through pichkari at friends and family and poojas (religious ceremonies).  

This collection is the result of generous donations from the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, the MGH Department of Dermatology, and the MGH Employee Resource Group Leaders Group.

Other work from Holi