Holi Festival of Colors in India : Friday, March 2, 2018
A brief history about Holi
Holi is celebrated as a symbol of victory of good over evil. As per the legends, Prahlada, son of the demon King Hiranyakashipu, refused to worship his father instead Lord Vishnu. Subjecting him to cruel punishments, Hiranyakashipu failed to divert his son’s dedication. Finally he called his evil sister ‘Holika’ who tricked Prahlada into sitting on a pyre burnt with fire. ‘Holika’ was gifted with a cloak that would prevent her from any injury from fire, though it flew from her and covered Prahlada. Holika was burnt alive, and later Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyakashipu.
How Holi is celebrated
Holi is the festival of colors, where people rejuvenate themselves by smearing colors on each other, dancing on loud and peppy music in the backdrop and eating the festival’s patent delicacy ‘gujiya’. The occasion is spread over a period of three days. The first day is choti holi when still preparations for sweets undergo. The next day is Dulhendi when Holika Dehen is done, the bonfire is ignited which symbolizes burning evil. The third day is of our own vibrant festival Holi. The day when kids, adults and even senior citizens find a chance to witness the fun and frolic associated with the occasion. Even after midday, sessions of music and singing continue with fun games too. Even celebrities and politicians welcome this one day to celebrate and break all the barriers of caste, creed, religion and race. After the noon session, people end it on a good note by eating amazing lunch with a variety of sweets included in it. For the lunch, friends and relatives are invited and they gather and enjoy together. Even evening bonfires are lit and music is on its full volume making people tap their feet and swing their bodies. People dance until they are exhausted. The best part is, all those who were left in the morning for playing with colors or avoided to come outside are caught in the evening and given the flavor of the festival.
There are other famous forms of Holi played throughout India. In Braj (a place near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh), where Lord Krishna grew up, Holi is celebrated as a 16 day carnival involving use of colors, flowers and musical instruments. In Barsana (another place near Mathura), where Goddess Radha grew up, the native play “lathmar holi” where females beat up the males with a traditional thick staff (in ritual manner only).
Celebrating Holi is taken as a symbol where colors speak louder than words. It helps us build new ties, new relations, new bonds and helps us forget past worries. It is the most beautiful occasion of all occasions in India. It strengthens integrity, values, unity and friendship.