Holi, the festival of colors, is celebrated on March 17 and acquires a renowned spot in ancient Hindu festivals. The excitement of having vibrant colors scattered in the air is delightful. The two-day festival is a pleasant way of welcoming spring. All people, regardless of their age, take part in this event with enthusiasm and vigor. So let’s just grab our ‘gulal’ (colored powder thrown at each other as a symbol of joy and love) and celebrate the victory of good over evil.
History of Holi
The name of this event comes from an intriguing tale of a vicious king and his determined son. Back in ancient times, it all started with the invincible evil king, Hiranyakashipu, who became arrogant and wanted to be worshiped by every person in the kingdom. However, his son Prahlad denied him and continued worshipping Lord Vishnu. This caused an immense wave of rage in the evil king, the consequences of which were suffered by Prahlad in the form of brutal punishments.
Despite all this, the strong belief of Prahlad enabled him to get through this cruelty and he kept praising Vishnu. Seeing his own defeat, Hiranyakashipu couldn’t control his anger and asked his sister Holika to sit on a pyre with Prahlad in her lap. Holika was known to be immune to fire but she didn’t know that it only worked if she entered the fire alone. Consequently, Holika was burnt to death, and Lord Vishnu saved Prahlad. The burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi. Because of the defeat of the evil king, Holi is also called ‘Victory of Good Over Evil.’
Another story linked with throwing colored powders on each other is the love story of Krishna and Radha. Krishna was poisoned as a baby by some demoness and turned a blue color. He fell in love with Radha and was worried that Radha would reject him because of his skin color. Krishna’s mother suggested that he playfully color Radha’s face with some colors. He did so, Radha fell in love with him, and they later got married.
Krishna and Radha fall in love with each other and get married.
Holi becomes a birthday celebration of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
“Holi” becomes a widely famous movie in Bollywood.
Holi color powder starts being produced from rice flour, which is completely biodegradable, compostable, non-toxic, and allergy-free.
What can I expect at a Holi festival?
A big splash of colors, various flavors of food, and a mob of people letting their inner child come out is exactly what you can expect at a Holi festival. You’ll be surprised by the rain of colors. The aroma of all the traditional dishes will make your mouth water and, of course, you’ll be in a flood of people showering colors on each other.
Where can we celebrate Holi?
You really need to make no effort to find a venue for Holi if you’re in India. Just come out of your house and you’ll find celebrations in almost every street. Other countries have specific venues booked for the Holi festival and you can google this to see which one suits you.
What is Holi powder used for?
Gulal powder is significant in Hindu culture and is used for religious purposes.
How to Celebrate Holi
Light up a fire
Have a Holika bonfire set up and gather people around to perform religious rituals. Most of them include praying to God to demolish evil and asking for forgiveness from God.
Let your inner child come out by playing with wet and dry colors. Strengthen your bond with others and engage in a cheerful fight with them by throwing colors and water balloons at them.
Arrange a feast that comprises different meals including sweets, drinks, etc. One of the most popular drinks of this festival is 'bhang,' which is made from cannabis leaves and largely consumed during the festival.
5 Interesting Facts About Holi
It brings about unity
People, regardless of their age, caste, or color throw colors at each other.
Avoiding responsibility for pranks
A popular saying during the throwing of colors is “Bura na mano, Holi hai!,” which means “Do not mind, it’s Holi.”
Before Holi, people moisturize the skin to be able to remove the ‘gulal’ (colored powder) easily afterwards.
Shower of colors
In the era of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, Holi was called 'Aab-e-Pashi,' which means shower of colors.
La Tomatina is a Spanish festival similar to Holi but the difference is they throw tomatoes instead of colors.
Why We Love Holi
It welcomes spring
The Festival of Holi is celebrated to pay a tribute to the arrival of spring. The vibrancy of the festival indicates the transition from dry, gloomy winter to bright, vivid spring.
It commemorates love, passion, and unity
People of all castes, colors, and ages gather together for the celebration of good over evil. Their bonding with each other strengthens them, thus bringing about love and oneness.
It includes yummy food
Celebrations of Holi include delicious foods to tempt your taste buds. 'Gujiya,' a delicate sweet made with milk solids, nuts, and a pinch of love (which increases sweetness) is a popular food of Holi, along with the traditional drink ‘bhang.’