Holi- Festival of Color
When- 1st – 2nd March 2018
Where- India and Nepal
About- Holi is a Hindu spring festival celebrated in India and Nepal, also known as the “festival of colors” or the “festival of love”. It distributes the message of unity and friendship among people in order to remove all the differences in the society. According to the Hindu calendar, it falls in the month of Phalgun on a full moon day. It is two days long festival; first day is celebrated as Holika Bonfire and second day as colorful Holi. It is the greatest festival of Hindus indicates the triumph of good over evil.
Colorful Holi preparations start a week before the main date of the Holi festival. People become highly enthusiastic especially children who starts buying different colors a week before the date. Even they start playing colors with their friends, neighbors and relatives with water guns (pichakri) and small water balloons.
In the evening of a day before the colorful Holi, people make a heap of woods and co-dung cakes on the cross roads and do fire in the heap in the myth of burning Holika and celebrate Holika Dahan ceremony. Some people make round and round of the burning Holika and worship to get blessed with the prosperity and good health by burning all the sins and diseases in the fire.
Holi frolic and celebrations begin the morning after the Holika bonfire. It is like a water fight, but with colored water. People take delight in spraying colored water on each other. By late morning, everyone looks like a canvas of colors. This is why Holi is given the name “Festival of Colors”.After each stop of fun and play with colors, people offer gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other traditional delicacies. Some customary drinks include bhang, which is intoxicating. In the evening, after sobering up, people dress up and visit friends and family.
History- According to the Hindu mythology, it is considered as Holi celebration was started a long ago from the ancient time when Holika was burned in the fire while trying to kill her own brother’s son in the fire. It is considered as there was a demon king called Hiranyakashyap, father of little Prahlad. He had tried to kill his own son in the fire when Prahlad denied to worship his father as Prahlad was a great devotee of the Lord Vishnu. When Hiranyakashyap failed in many of his strategies to kill Prahlad, he ordered his own sister, Holika to sit in fire by having Prahlad in her lap as she was booned by the God for never getting harmed by the fire.
However, this strategy was also failed as little Prahlad was the devotee of the Lord Vishnu and he was saved by his God. Holika was died in the fire. From that day, people of Hindu religion started celebrating the Holi festival every year.