Holi(होली)
 

16 March 2014, Sunday

 

Holi is a religious festival celebrated by Hindus, as a festival of colors. Holi is celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun.Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of 'good' over 'bad'. 
Just a night before Holi, a bonfire is burnt(Holika Dahan) , which represents the burning of the demoness Holika (or Holi), sister of Hiranyakashipu, who enlisted her in his attempt to kill his son Prahlada. It was Prahlada’s unshakable devotion to Vishnu that had alienated him from his family. The burning of Holika prompts worshippers to remember how Vishnu (in the form of a lion-man) attacked and killed Hiranyakashipu, showing that faith prevails.
 
Holi is a festival of colors and fun. This festival is celebrated 40 days before the spring season. Generally, we see the festival of Holi is celebrated as a symbol of unity, leaving behind all sorts of hatred. On this day, people mix color in water and drench each other. Using natural colors made by mixing of sandalwood, saffron and rose, also essence etc. with water of Tesu flower, increases the beauty of this festival.
 
The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renew sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other 'Happy Holi'. 
 
The festival is particularly enjoyed by worshippers of the god Krishna. Its general frivolity is considered to be in imitation of Krishna’s play with the gopis (wives and daughters of cowherds). In Vraja (Braja in modern Uttar Pradesh), rituals of reversal culminate in a battle in which the women of the natal village of Radha, Krishna’s eternally devoted lover, pummel the men of Krishna’s village with staves; the men defend themselves with shields. 
 
 
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