Holi – The festival of Colors

Holi festival is a popular Hindu festival, originated from India. It is celebrated mostly in India and Nepal, but has also spread to some parts of Asia and parts of the Western countries among the Indian communities. Holi is also popularly known as the “festival of colours”, and the “festival of love”.

Holi Festival

The festival occurs in arrival of spring and at the end of winter. Holi also celebrates the beginning of a good spring and a harvest season. It mostly lasts for a night and a day, starting on the evening of the Purnima (Full Moon day) in the month of Phalgun, which falls around middle of March in the calendar. The first evening is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the next following day as Holi.

History behind the Celebration of Holi Festival

The Holi festival is an ancient Hindu festival with a cultural significance. Holi is mentioned in the Puranas and other holy books by the poet Kālidāsa during the 4th century during the rule of Chandragupta II.

There are plenty of stories linked with the holi festival, but the popular one is Prahallad a ancient character. Prahllad, son of demon king Hiranya kashyap was an devotee of Lord Vishnu. He disobeyed the orders of his father not to pray to Lord Vishnu. To teach his son a lesson, he orders Holika to kill Prahlada. Holika sat on a on a fire with Prahallad and instead of burning Prahallad she burned herself. Thus the ritual Holica dahan is there.

How To Celebrate Holi?

Holi celebrations starts with the burning of Holika on the evening of choti Holi. However, at some places specially Mathura and Barsana Holi celebrations continue for more than 7 day as each most temples organise a Holi bash on different days.

Holi celebration in India is there since ancient time, but the popularity of Holi celebrations rising with every year. People just drowned in the coloured waters of Holi and enjoy playing with colours. Then there is a total madness as people dance to the rhythm of dhol and DJ songs in loudest pitch.

Holi Celebration

Children mainly enjoy the festival as they throw water filled balloons at each other and pedestrians. Besides all, they have their water and colours they have water guns called puichkaris to wet a person from far from them.

In some states there is a tradition of breaking the matka or pot filled with butter milk which is hung high on the streets. A group of men/boys form a pyramid and one of them climes to the top break the pot.

And after a mad and eventful day, evenings are celebrated by visiting friends and families. People exchange sweets and hug each other with warm wishes for Holi.

What Rituals Are Performed During Holi Festival?

Holika Dahan

Holi rituals starts with the burning of demon Holika on the evening of choiti Holi, large bonfires are lit known as Holika Dahan. People conducts special puja, sing and dance around the fire, and walk around it and in some tradition walk in fire.

Playing with colours

After Holika Dahan next day people plays Holi with colours and colour water. They take part in various activities like throwing water balloons on people, aiming them with water guns. Playing Holi has been followed since the pre-Christian era.

Matka Ritual

A pot (matka) is filled with butter-milk and hung in a ropes from a great height.Some boys form human-pyramids and break the it as per the custom. Followed widely in western and northern states of India. This ritual is most popular in states of Maharashtra, Punjab, bihar, Uttar pradesh, haryana and others.

Dates of Holi Festival

Holi festival 2020 – March 09, 2020 and March 10, 2020

Holi festival 2021 – March 28, 2021 and March 29, 2021

Holi festival 2022 – March 07, 2022 and March 08, 2022

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