Holi, “Festival of Colours” is marked as one of the most popular and traditional festival conducted in the Holy land of India. The essence of Holi spreads the message of painting the canvas of life with the colours of joy, love, happiness, prosperity, good health and success. Here we are sharing with you some interesting facts regarding the Holy Holi

1. Behind “Holi” –

The term Holi derived from the word “Holika”; a demoness in Hindu Vedic scriptures, who was burnt to death with the help of Lord Vishnu. She was the sister of King Hiranyakashipu and aunt of Prahlad. The story of Holika dahan (Holika’s death) signifies the triumph of good over evil.

 

2. Other Mythological Stories –

Other than the myth stated above, the others which contribute to the reason of celebration of Holi are as follows;

Holi is believed to be a celebration of Radha’s divine love for Lord Krishna. Hence Holi is also considered as “The Festival of Love”.

Another mythological tale states that when Lord Shiva destroyed Kamadeva, and later Kaamadeva’s wife, Rati pleaded Lord Shiva and said this was all the plan of the gods and asked him to kindly revive Kamadeva. A manifestation of love himself, Lord Shiva gladly accepted to do so. The festival is believed to celebrate this event too.

 

3. Representation of Holi –

As mentioned above, Holi signifies triumph of good over evil, whereas it also represents the end of winter, arrival of spring, and moreover a day to express the gratitude to the God for good harvest. It throws light towards the morals to be followed in the lives by enhancing the capability and enriching the mind and soul with pleasure and peace.

 

4. When and How? –

Holi is celebrated on the last full moon day of Falgun according to Hindu calendar, that fall within the period sometime in the month of February/March. Like any other festivals, Holi does have certain ritual and customs associated with it. This mighty festival usually lasts for two days with Holika Dahan performed on the night of the first day and Rangwali Holi in the next morning.

 

5. About “Holika Dahan” –

Holika Dahan is performed on the night of the first day. For this people set up a hearth a few days ahead of the festival by collecting twigs and other inflammable materials. A dummy is set on the top of the hearth that exemplifies the demon, Holika and it is set to fire on the first night of the festival symbolising and commemorating the burning of the demon Holika. People gather around the Campfire and celebrate the ritual accompanied with their singing and dancing. The next day, people smear the ash on their forehead as an act of good portent.

 

6. About ”Rangwali Holi” –

Rangwali Holi constitutes one of the prominent criteria of Holi festival which is also known as Dhuli, Dhulandi or Dhulheti and is celebrated on the second day. Everyone participate in this festival of colours regardless of their age with applying Gulal (solutions of coloured powders) and Abir (dry coloured powders) on each other.  All find time in playing with colours, coloured water filled balloons and enjoy the morning in a rejoicing mood. Holi delicacies including homemade drinks and sweets are distributed alongside and thus making the festival a grand and colourful event.

 

7. Ensuring Unity in Diversity –

Holi being celebrated all over India in diverse and unique ways where conveying the same messages of love and harmony.

In Mathura the festival lasts for 16 days, and is primarily played with flowers.In the region of Brijbhoomi a playful tradition is followed with men running around with shields and women chasing and beating their shields with sticks.

In Ahmedabad, boys gather and form a human pyramid to break pot of buttermilk hung several feet above the ground while girls throw coloured water on them in an act to stop them thus commemorating the legend of Lord Krishna stealing butter with cowherd boys in his boyhood.

The Sikh populace of Anandpur Sahib organizes martial arts programs and competitions, acrobatic displays and wrestling tournaments during this time.

 

8. Social and Cultural Significance –

Holi besides everything discussed promotes togetherness in society and strengthen the secular fabric of the country. The tradition of Holi is that even the enemy turns as friend and forgets any feeling of hardships and hurdles that hinders the healthy relationship bonds.In spite of being such a colourful festival let there be every reason for heartily enjoy this celebration.