Holi: Colours and concerns

March 23, 2016 11:05
Holi: Colours and concerns

Commemorating the victory of good over evil, brought about by the burning and destruction of the demoness named Holika, the Holi festival has good significance in the country. This was enabled through unwavering devotion to the Hindu god of preservation, Lord Vishnu.

Holi is named as the "Festival of Colors" from Lord Krishna, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. The festival marks the end of winter and the abundance of the upcoming spring harvest season.

Every year, the Holi is celebrated after the full moon in March. Compared to the  other states, Holi is celebrated one day earlier, in West Bengal and Odisha.

How is Holi Celebrated?

Along with smearing colors on one another, even Bhang (a paste made from cannabis plants) is also traditionally consumed during the Holi celebrations.  Special Holi events with music, rain dances, and colors are organized in large cities across India.

Rituals during Holi

The emphasis of Holi rituals is on the burning of demoness Holika. Calling it as Holika Dahan, the large bonfires are lit to mark the occasion. Along with performing special puja, a large number of people sing and dance around the fire and walk around it for three times.

Holi history

Hindu Text ‘Narada Purana’ contained the issue of burning of Holika. Apparently, Hiranyakashyap, Holika's brother demon King instructed her to burn his son, Prahlad, as he followed Lord Vishnu and failed to worship him.

Holika with Prahlad in her lap, sat in the burning fire, as it was thought that no fire could harm her. However, due to his devotion to Lord Vishnu who protected him, Prahlad survived and Holika lost her life.

Being the festival of colors, while playing with the colors, take good care of mouth and eyes, as there is possibility of health issues, big time.

By Phani Ch

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Holi  holi festival  Indian festivals