“Holi” the festival of colors, the festival of love, the festival of friendship, the festival of forgiveness, the festival of fun and enjoyment. Holi signifies the entrance of spring season and progress of winter season.
Holi is commonly celebrated in India, Nepal and other countries with Hindu population. Some non-Hindus now-a-days have also started the trend of celebrating the festival of holi as the festival of love and compassion in their own ways, Spain festival “LaTomatian” could be said as an example for this statement.
Holi in India is considered as two day extended festival; first day is celebrated as Holika Dahan by setting bonfire to a large heap of woods, cow dung cakes etc. Women’s of the houses perform different types of rituals around bonfire according to their culture and tradition, after all rituals everyone sing songs and dances around to the accompanied of drums. Everyone disperses when the fire fades off.
Main celebration starts on second day were people sparkles colored water on each other and smear the faces with color powders.
As other Hindu festivals Holi also signifies the victory of good over evil. Holi is associated with the Hindu mythology which believes in the story of legend Prahalad and lord Vishnu. King Hiranyakashipu the father of Prahalad has earned the benefit of 5special powers: he could be killed by neither a human nor an animal, neither by astra(projectile weapon) nor by shastra(handled weapon), neither at night nor at day, neither indoor nor outdoor, neither on air nor in water. Due to these powers Hiranyakashipu grew arrogant and demanded everyone to worship only him as he considered himself the God. But his son Prahalad disagreed for the same. He remained devotee of Lord Vishnu, which infuriated the king.
He tortured Prahalad with brutal punishments but on punishment affected him. At last Holika, the wicked aunt of Prahalad tricked him to sit with her into the pyre. Holika was wearing the blanket which made her protected from the fire. As the fire roared the blanket flew and roofed Prahalad while Holika burned. After this incidence Lord Vinshu appeared in form of Narsimha( half man and half lion) to restore dharma at dusk( the time when it was neither day nor night) placed king Hiranyakashipu over his lap( nor land , water or air) took him to doorsteps( neither indoor nor outdoor) and then killed the king with his lion claws ( which was neither astra nor sastra).
In India Holi is celebrated in all best ways it can be in different places with different names.
Lathmar holi in Barsana region which includes Vrindavan , Mathura etc of Uttar Pradesh, this holi is crazy enough, here holi is not onl plyed with colors but also with lathis, were women’s chases away men with lathi in their hands but it is not all a beating session.
Khadi holi or Baithika holi or Mahila holi in Uttarakhand here holi is usually considered as musical gathering. People here wear traditional clothes sing khari songs and dance in groups, people moves cross the town in tolis and greet people they passes by.
Hola Mohalla in Punjab known as worries holi which is celebrated by Nihang Sikhs, they exhibits their martial arts and sings songs. This is observed the day before holi.
Basant Utsav in West Bengal Basant utsav is way to welcome spring season, locals dress in saffron color cloths and they sing and dance together to celebrate the welcoming.
Dhol jatra is celebrated in Orissa on Dol purnima, idols of lord Krishna and Radha are taken to the streets in procession, to add fun to this men spray colors and waters.
Shigmo in Goa it is celebrated as spring festival were farmers walk down to streets through their folk dances.
Yaosang in Manipur is a festival which is celebrated for 6 days it starts at the day of full moon which is accompanied with traditional folk dance to maintain uniformity Hindus of Manipur enjoy this fest with colors.
Manjal khuli in Kerala is a form of holi celebrated the same way as it is done in north India just with difference in name.
Phaguwa in Bihar is the Bhojpuri translation of holi. In Bihar Holika Dahan is more important after the bornfire holi is played, the most famous thing here is consumption of bhang.
Phakuwha in Assam it is same as Dol jatra and north holi.
Rang Punchami in Maharashtra and Madhaya Pradesh it is celebrated on the 5th day of holi.
Holi the popular festival has noted some evil effects now-a-days. People get drunk, some people use chemical colors, dyes etc which is bringing danger to people health. Some even abuse women which making women to restrict themselves to avoid the festival. It is festival of love, friendship and forgiveness its better to keep the dignity of festival then to ruin the essence of the fest. Significance of fest should be maintained which says the victory of good over bad it won’t turn opposite in the coming days.
-N_Angel (Neha Asawa)
Its history and mythology ,
Its diversity and types in our diverse India,
And above all the message of good over evil.
And the unwanted modifications spoiling the fest.
Your article covers everything starting with mythology to realistic ending!
I truely enjoyed reading!
Happy holi N_angel 😚!
Happy reading readers!
Yours loving warrior