You will be amazed to know Why Do We Celebrate Holi, the real reason behind and why it is so important in India. The article has everything.
The festival of colours is round the corner. The vibrant colours, the aroma of gujiyas are the signatures of the celebration.
With “rang barse bheege chunar wali rang barse” playing, the mood is set.
An opportunity to forget the personal conflicts amidst the happiness around. It fills your heart with love. There are so much energy, joy and positive vibes in the air.
People celebrate Holi, the festival of colours, on a full moon day in March (known as Phalguna). The festival marks the triumph of good over evil. It brings a galore of excitement and colourfulness.
And a lot of food! Loud music, balloons and the varieties of sweets are the essences of the celebrations. But how was the term Holi coined? What is the legend behind this festival? Why do the Holi proceedings take place in a particular manner? Here is a glimpse of the history behind the celebration of colors-Holi!
Holi is an ancient Hindu festival, originated from the Indian subcontinent. The festival marks the onset of spring and signifies the end of the winter season. Over time, Holi has spread to the other parts of Asia and the western countries under the influence of India. In recent years, Holi has spread to certain parts of Europe as a celebration of love, fun and frolic.
Holi celebrations start with a night before Holi when people gather. They perform rituals in front of the bonfire and pray to destroy their internal demons.
The legend of Lord Vishnu: Hiranyakashyapu was an evil king- king of the Asuras. He had earned a boon that gave him five special powers:
1. No human being or an animal can kill him
2. Neither indoors nor outdoors
3. Neither at day nor night
4. Neither by Astra (projectile weapons)
5. Nor by any Shastra (handheld weapons), and neither on land nor in water or air. Attaining these extraordinary powers, Hiranyakashyapu grew arrogant.
He visualized himself as God and demanded that everybody had to worship him. But his son Prahlada disagreed. He remained an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu thus, infuriating Hiranyakashyapu.
He subjected Prahalad to a lot of punishments but all in vain. Nothing affected Prahlada as his ultimate motto was right. After all his plans failed, the evil king tricked Prahlada to sit in the lap of his sister, Holika. She wore a cloak which would save her from the injuries from the fire. She took Prahlada and sat in the pyre. As the flames rose, the cloak flew and encased Prahlada, thus saving him while Holika burned.
This marks the triumph of good over evil. Lord Vishnu appeared:
1. in the Narasimha avatar-half human and half lion (which is neither a human nor an animal)
2. at dusk (when it was neither day nor night)
3. took Hiranyakashyapu at a doorstep (which was neither indoors or outdoors)
4. placed him on his lap (which was neither land, water nor air),
5. and then killed the king with his lion claws (which were neither a handheld weapon nor a launched weapon). The Holika bonfire signifies “good over evil”, and of the fire that burned Holika.
The legend of Lord Krishna:
The Braj region of India celebrates Holi with great fervor. The festival commemorates the divine love of Lord Krishna and Radha. The legend says that the Lord was in despair of his dark-skin. He often obsessed over whether the fair-skinned Radha would like him or not. Catering to his feelings, Lord Krishna’s mother asked him to approach Radha. And ask her to colour his face with the colour she wanted. Thus, Radha and Krishna became a couple.
Since the playful colouring of Krishna’s face by Radha marks their love and the people celebrate it as Holi.
These are some of the legends behind the celebration of Holi. Now gear up, as the festival approaches. Splash the colours, shower the people with love and enjoy the lip-smacking savouries.
Forgive and forget and hug it out! Happy Holi, ya’ll!
– Written by Etisha( Intern at BoldBlush)