Holi, often known as the festival of colours, is the most vibrant of all Hindu festivals. It is the conclusion of the winter season in India and the beginning of the spring season. People play with colours, meet and welcome one another, and create new beginnings on this lively day.But do you know why Holi is ever celebrated at all? Here’s everything you need to know about this colourful festival, including what to expect during India’s forthcoming Holi.
Holi ceremonies are said to be based on folklore.
Holi, like every other holiday in the country, is surrounded by folklore. These fascinating tales detail the origins of many holiday customs.
According to the Holika Dahan legend, there was once a mighty monarch named Hiranyakashipu. He was a devil who was despised for his ruthlessness. He regarded himself as God and desired that everyone in his dominion worship him as such. His own son, Prahlada, was a Lord Vishnu follower who refused to worship his father.
Hiranyakashipu was enraged by his son’s disobedience and attempted to murder him several times, but nothing worked. He then sought assistance from his nasty sister, Holika. Holika possessed the unique ability to be impervious to fire. So, in order to slay Prahlada, she duped him into sitting on a pyre with her. Her strength, however, proved ineffectual as a result of her bad intents, and she was burned to ashes. Prahlada, on the other side, was granted immunity and saved. As a result, the first day of Holi is known as Holika Dahan, and it represents the triumph of virtue over evil.
Radha and Krishna’s love storey
Holi is celebrated as a large event in Uttar Pradesh’s Braj area (where Lord Krishna grew up) until the day of Rangpanchmi, in honour of Krishna and Radha’s devout love. This is also the subject of a local legend. Krishna developed a peculiar blue skin colour as an infant after drinking poisoned breast milk from the she-demon Putana. Later in life, when he was younger, he would often wonder if the fair-skinned Radha or other village ladies would ever accept him because of his dark skin. Krishna’s mother gave in to his desperation and told him to go paint Radha’s face any colour he pleased. As a result, when Krishna painted Radha with colour, they married, and people have been playing with colours on Holi ever since.
In India, how is Holi celebrated?
Holi is a colourful holiday that includes a number of rituals:
Getting the Holika pyre ready
People begin collecting wood and other flammable materials for the bonfire a few days before the festival. The flammable materials are then gathered in colonies, community centres, parks, and other open locations and burned in a pyre. An effigy of Holika is set on top of the bonfire, to be burned according to folklore.
Holika Dahan is a fictional character.
Holika Dahan, also known as Chhoti Holi, is the first day of the festival. People assemble around the pyre after nightfall, perform puja (prayer), and then light it. People even sing and dance around the pyre, which represents good triumphing over evil.
Having fun with colours
Rangwali Holi, Dhulandi, Dhulandi, Phagwah, or Badi Holi is the name given to the second day of Holi. This is the day when people paint each other, have parties, and have fun. Children and teenagers play in groups with abir or gulal (dry colours), pichkaris (water pistols), water balloons filled with coloured solutions, and other imaginative items. On the streets, you can even come across groups of people playing drums and other musical instruments, dancing and singing their way from one location to the next.
The unique meal
Gujiya is a unique treat that is created in every Indian home during Holi. It’s a dumpling stuffed with dried fruits and khoya (a dairy product). Holi’s traditional drink is thandai, which usually contains bhang.