Holi, the festival we wait for the whole year. The festival which truly represents the colors of life, colors of joy, colors of relations, colors of emotions, and most importantly the colors of unity in diversity. It’s the time to unwind, de-stress, strengthen the bond with sweets and Thandhai, and to drench everybody around us with vibrant hues. It is a festival of joy, a special time of year to remember those who are close to our hearts with splashing colors.
One of the exuberant and rollicking festivals in India, Holi is celebrated with full enthusiasm by people all over in country. Though, the festival originated through Hindu mythologies, it is no longer a festival of Hindus only, it never was. The festival got its name from religious story of Holika, sister of the demon King Hiranyakashyap. The egoistic king wanted the whole world to worship him only, but his own son Prahlad denounced him as a god as he worshipped Lord Vishnu. After seeing no ways to win loyalty of his son and to make him believe his father as a god, Hiranyakashyap decided to kill his son. He assigned the task to his sister Holika (who was blessed with unique gift of not burning in fire). She was supposed to sit in fire with Prahlad in her lap. However, with the grace of Lord Vishnu, Prahlad came out of fire alive and Holika died. So, Holi symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and that’s why we start the celebration with Holika Dahan in order to blaze evil demon inside us and grow as a pious soul.
Another Hindu mythology associates Holi with Lord Krishna. He used to play Rasleela with the Gopis and his devotees in Vrindavan. Holi is also marked as the beginning of the harvest season. It’s the way to celebrate new life and ardor related to it.
Though in different parts of the India it is celebrated in various forms like in Vrindavan and Barsana Lathmar Holi is very much popular. Women chase men with their lathis and at the same time men defend themselves with their shields. Devotees of Krishna from all over the world and also tourists interested in witnessing this unique celebration of colors come from all over the world to Vrindavan and become a witness and be a part of the world famous Lathmar Holi.
In western India (Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh), Holi is among the most popular festivals. They have a different tradition of playing Holi on the 5th day (popularly known as Rang Panchmi) of the actual date of Holi. People exchange sweets, Maalpua, and greet each other with Paan and Thandhai (the drink made of Milk, Bhang, Dry Fruits and sugar).
In Bihar and some parts of Uttar Pradesh, Holi is popularly known as Fagua (derived from Falgun, the last month in Hindi Calendar), after the Chhath Puja, Holi is the most popular festival in this belt of country. The most popular thing in Holi here is the Faag, which is local songs that people sing in unison, mostly based on love and romance with main characters Ram and Seeta, or Krishna and Radha.
To sum it up, Holi is a festival which teaches us love, togetherness, and gives us the real essence of life; different colors symbolize different emotions.
Let’s make this Holi a memorable one and start spreading happiness all around us.
I’m an avid reader, a foodie, and a movie buff; who is passionate about the positivity around us. I love to dream and convert those dreams into words. At one moment I’m inside a shell and the very next moment I’m the ferocious one. Dynamism is my forte.
Apart from being a dreamer, I’m also a woman with a beating heart and a curious mind questioning traditional social norms. I’m a rebel at one moment and just opposite at the very next moment. My fuel is the smile of my son, the happiness of my family, and lots of coffee.
I’m also not ashamed of spending money on buying books and to fill my (always empty) stomach.