Holi is undoubtedly one of the most fun-filled festivals of Hindu in India. It is celebrated on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna, which usually falls in the month of February or March every year.
Holi festival signifies the victory of good over evil and is celebrated as Holika by the lighting of bonfires called Holika Dahan. This festival is also known as Phagwa or Basant Utsav or Dolyatra. In north India, on the day of Holi it becomes more colorful as people spray colors each other. On this festive day, class distinctions, pettiness and quarrels are forgotten and replaced by true loving affection.
Date of Holi 2012 is on March 8 and Holika Dahan is celebrated on March 7.
People use water pistols, gulaal, coloured powder, coloured water and many more things to play Holi. Fortunately the bent these days is towards natural and eco friendly colours.
Children enjoy the most on Holi occasion by playing with gulaal, throwing water filled balloons on everybody and with colourful water using their water gun ‘Pichkari. ‘
The merriment continues with eating holi delicacies such as gujia, puran poli, malpuas and drinking bhang.
Why is Holi celebrated?
The very famous legend of Holi festival is Holika and Prahlad. It’s believed that there was a demon king named Hiranyakashyap who won over the kingdom of earth and commanded everybody in his kingdom to worship him. But his son, Prahlad, who was a passionate devotee of Lord Naarayana refused to worship his father.
Hiranyakashyap tried several ways to kill Prahlad but Lord Vishnu saved his life every time. Finally, he asked his sister, Holika to enter a burning fire with Prahlad in her lap. Holika deceitfully persuaded young Prahlad to sit in her lap in the fire where she herself was burnt in the blistering heat as she was not aware that the boon worked only when she entered the fire alone. Legend has it that Holika had to pay the price of her evil desire with her life and Prahlad, who kept chanting the name of Lord Naarayana in the fire, came out unharmed. Therefore Holi is celebrated as a festival of victory of good over evil and as the triumph of a devotee.
Other legend of Holi is Lord Krishna, who started the tradition of playing with colors. When Lord Krishna was young then he was jealous of beloved Radha because Radha’s complexion was extremely fair while Krishna was very dark. One day Lord Krishna used colors on Radha’s face and made it dark. From that time color festival of Holi was started and now celebrated every year.
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