Holi is the vibrant and colorful festival of India. Hindu spring festival Holi, also known as the festival of colours, is observed in India and Nepal. Holika Dahan took place on March 17 in 2022, and Rangwali Holi was observed on March 18. Holika Dahan falls on March 7 in 2023, and Rangwali Holi falls on March 8. It symbolizes the exuberance of life. It is a day of forgiveness, friendliness, oneness and equality. It is also a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. Holi is split into two events: Holika Dahan and Dhulivandan (Rangwali Holi). Holika Dahan takes place the night before Dhulivandan. Wood and dung cakes are burned in a symbolic lure to signify good defeating evil. Dhulivandan happens the morning after Holika Dahan, it is a noisy affair where people throw handfuls of colored powder (Gulal) at one another playfully, while getting drenched in water. The timing of Holi is synchronized with the moon, which means that the dates of each celebration vary. It generally comes in the month of Feb- March.
Some popular stories around the background of Holi are as follows:
· In the Hindu legend, one of the most famous mythological stories of the legend of Holi involves an evil King names Hiranyakashyap who stopped his son Prahlad from worshipping God Vishnu. God Vishu helps his devotee Prahlad and burns his wicked aunt Holika to death to signify the victory of good over evil. It is believed that Holika begged Prahlad for forgiveness before her demise. Therefore, Prahlad announced that she would be remembered every year at Holi. This is why the burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi across India.
· Holi also celebrates the legend of Radha and Krishan which describes the extreme delight, Krishna took in applying color on Radha and other Gopis. This act of Krishna later became a trend and a part of the Holi festivities.The Holi festival is primarily a celebration of joy. During the festival days, people spend a lot of time participating in enjoyable activities.
A week or ten days prior to Holi, children begin to use water balloons and water guns. They conceal and use water guns and balloons filled with coloured water to attack passersby.
· Another legend of Holi which is extremely popular in Southern India is that of Lord Shiva and Kamadeva. People in south India celebrate the sacrifice of Lord of Passion Kaamadeva who risked his life to revoke Lord Shiva from meditation and save the world.
· Also, popular is the legend of Ogress Dhundhi who used to trouble children in the kingdom of Raghu and was ultimately chased away by the pranks of the children on the day of Holi. Children play pranks and hurl abuses at the time of Holika Dahan till date.
· Besides this, Holi is celebrated at a time of the year when the fields are in full bloom and people are expecting a good harvest. Holi today signifies a day that brings the society together and strengthens the secular fabric of our country.
So, as the time for Holi comes, don’t hold yourself back and enjoy this beautiful festival of colors!
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