Holi festival is also a celebration of good over evil. Moreover it is celebrated
as the advent of spring. It commemorates the new beginning that was brought
about by the burning and destruction of the demoness Holika. This was enabled
through the unwavering devotion to Lord Vishnu who is invoked as the God of
Perseveration. As far as being known as the festival of colors, is attributed to
Lord Krishna who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who played pranks on village
girls by drenching them with water and splurging colors. This festival also has
its roots in the story of Pralhad. His father King Hiranyakashyap was ruthless
dictator who demanded to worshipped by everyone. Being an ardent devotee of Lord
Vishnu he was firmly resisted his fatherís wishes. The King outraged by his
sonís strong disobedience ordered for him to be put to death. The King tried a
number of ways to kill his own son but each time he was rescued. Finally he
ordered his sister Holika to sit on a burning pyre holding Pralhad. She had
received a power of being fireproof. Pralhad was unscathed and Hollika was
charged to death. The king had a received a vow of invincibility that ensured
that he could not be killed either by man and beast and that too not in the
morning or evening. Understanding this Lord appeared in the form of Narashima
that is part lion and part human being and slew the tyranny Hiranyakashyap at
twilight. Holi is also associated with the life and the times of Lord Krishna
the most accessible of Hindu deities who spent his childhood days in Govarnam
(Gokul) Uttar Pradesh. Unlike Diwali Holi seems inconceivable with that of the
community. The festivities begin with the bonfire night and the biggest
festivity is that of the celebration with gulal (colors) and pichkaris
(syringes) and is also known for cuisine.
When is Holi celebrated?
Holi is celebrated on the day after the full moon in March every year. Sometimes
Holi is celebrated a day earlier a day earlier in parts of Eastern India.
Where is Holi celebrated?
Holi is celebrated almost everywhere in India. However they are celebrated with
more pomp fervor and exuberance in some places unlike other. Regionally Holi is
celebrated with variations in different parts of the country.
Laatmar Holi- The birthplace of Lord Krishnaís lover Radha, Barsana celebrates
this form of Holi. Men folk of the region pad themselves up as they brace women
folk armed with lathis ready to strike the male folk who try to apply gulal.
They are later made to made to dress in female attire and dance in public.
Dulandi Holi- this type of Holi mainly celebrated in Haryana sees Bhabhis
(brotherís wife) get the social sanction to beat up their devars for all the
pranks that have played throughout the year. In the evening the younger brothers
are supposed to bring sweets for their Bhabhis. Besides there is also a
tradition of breaking the pot of buttermilk hanging high on street by forming a
Rangpanchami- People of Maharashtra commonly commemorate this festival as
Rangpanchami. The festival is particularly popular among fisher folk. They
celebrate this festival by singing, dancing and merrymaking.
Basant Utsav- this festival is celebrated with fervor in West Bengal. The
festival of Basant Panchami or spring festival was started by Nobel laurate and
famous poet Rabindranath Tagore at Shanti Niketan. This festival is celebrated
with grace and in a dignified manner unlike other parts of the country. The
season is welcomed not only with colors but also with songs, chants and dances
that renders a serene ambience to celebrations.
Dol Purnima- this form of Holi is celebrated in West Bengal. Also known as Dol
Jatra or Dol Purnima. This is also celebrated in a dignified manner by placing
idols of Lord Krishna and Radha on a decorated a palanquin. The devotees take
palanquin to various corners of the city.
Hola Mohalla- Holi gets this joyful name in the state of Punjab. The festival is
celebrated in an entirely different manner, it's meaning and significance also
shifts a little here. Hola Mohalla is actually an annual fair that is organized
in a large scale at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab on the day following the festival
of Holi. Practise of holding a fair of this kind was initiated by Guru Gobind
Singh, the tenth Sikh guru. Purpose of the fair was to physically strengthen the
Sikh community by holding military exercises and mock battles.
Shimgo- Shimgotsav is celebrated with pomp and fervor throughout Goa. Here too
people play with colors to welcome the arrival of spring. The most interesting
facet of holi is the huge procession that is still carried out in the streets in
Panjim. The high point of the celebrations is the cultural troupes and cultural
Kaman Pandigai- In the state of Tamilnadu people worship the Kaamadevi for his
supreme sacrifice on the occasion of Holi.
Phaghu Purnima- At some places like Bihar, Holi is also known as Phagwa as it is
celebrated in the later part of the month of Phalgun and the early part of
Chaitra in the Hindu calendar. This corresponds to the English months of
How to prepare for Holi
Holi is carefare festival and therefore one can certainly enjoy to the fullest.
However the colors and the gulal do not wash out easily and hence it is
advisable to oil on body and also wear old clothes.
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