The play of colors, but it's due to the story of Radha and Krishna. The young man asked his mother why his beloved Radha was clear and he was so dark. The mother then told him that coloring the complexion of Radha, he would not have noticed the difference. It's game launch color reminds one of the erotic games that Krishna used to do with the Gopis Young cowherd, of which there are various artistic representations , such as in a painting of 1788 in Kangra.
Colors used by Krishna in his games and before industrialization by the Indians, were produced by flowers like tesu . From these flowers, dried, were obtained powders that mix the water created a dye on the orange-red , with beneficial properties for the skin, used in the battle of colors. Unfortunately modernity has transformed the natural ointments in highly toxic chemical powders , which have detrimental effects on the skin and eyes, leading in some cases to blindness.
During Holi, the differences of caste, gender, age and social status, for a day, they are forgotten. Male, female, rich and poor, of all castes, they can break free from social restrictions, launching into a euphoric playfulness that reaches levels even obscene . example, in Varanasi, you can meet boys who proudly walk around with a fake phallus Giant in between the legs, or seminude university that run for the campus chased by a cascade of colors.
The icing on the cake, tradition has it that on this day is consumed a good dose of bhang lassi yogurt seasoned with marijuana, delicacy usually reserved young alternative or holy men, but for a day consumed without shame even the most unsuspected layers of the rigid Indian society. After the traditional bonfire the night before Holi, will start a battle without quarter that involve women for once too!
Children, old people and young people of all walks of life. To try to make the idea, take a look at one of the representations of the party in the Bollywood film industry.