In India, the Holi Celebration of Colors commemorates the triumph of good over evil and the defeat of the demonic Holika. Every year on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna, which falls in early March, it is commemorated.
People celebrate the beginning of spring and other Hindu religious holidays by marching through the streets and sprinkling colorful powders on passers-by while dancing and singing.
Holi, also known as the Celebration of Spring, the Festival of Colors, or the Festival of Love, is a renowned ancient Hindu festival. The event honors Radha Krishna’s eternal and holy love. It also represents the triumph of good over evil, as it commemorates Lord Vishnu‘s victory over Hiranyakashipu as Narasimha Narayana. It began in the Indian subcontinent and is primarily celebrated there, but the South Asian diaspora has expanded it to other parts of Asia and the Western world.
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Although it is a Hindu celebration, it is well-known among non-Hindus. The night before Holi, people congregate to undertake religious rites and pray for the annihilation of their internal evil.
The next morning, people begin the true carnival custom of smearing colored powders on each other; they may even use water pistols and water-filled balloons for added excitement.
People march through the streets, accompanied by drums and other instruments, singing and dancing. People often get together with their families and friends to color and exchange Holi treats.
From the full moon’s nightfall, the event lasts for a night and a day (Purnima). The first evening of the festival is Holika Dahan, the flaming demon Holika. People assemble on this night to perform religious rites around a campfire, praying that the evil within them be destroyed in the same way that Holika was killed in the fire.
Significance Of The Holi Festival
Holi is a Hindu holiday celebrated across the Indian subcontinent that has cultural importance. It is a celebratory day to reflect on and pardon past mistakes, resolve issues by meeting others, and forget and forgive. Debts are paid or forgiven, and relationships are re-established. Holi also heralds the arrival of spring, a time for people to celebrate the passing of time and meet new acquaintances.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Holi Celebration:
1. A festival that is observed by people of all religions.
Non-Hindus, such as Jains and Buddhists Newars, have always participated in the celebration (Nepal).
Holi is a festival celebrated in such a unique way that it can be seen all over India. However, a distinguishing element of the holiday is that people of all faiths celebrate it with equal zeal.
In a secular country like India, this is an astounding sight. It becomes more appealing because Holi is such a lavish event in which you will be amazed.
2. Holi’s Origin
The festival’s name, Holi, has a fascinating backstory. It originated from the Hindu mythology character Holika, the sister of the demon King Hiranyakashyap, according to tradition.
People begin gathering wood and flammable materials for the bonfire in parks, community centers, near temples, and other open locations days before the event. An effigy of Holika, who lured Prahalad into the flames, is placed on top of the pyre.
3. Worldwide jubilation
Almost every Hindu holiday is different depending on where you live. Holi, on the other hand, is a truly national celebration observed in all 28 Indian states.
While Holi, along with Chhath, is one of the oldest Hindu religious holidays, it has gained popularity among non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people from various cultures outside of Asia.
The event is celebrated by the Indian subcontinent diaspora in nations including Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mauritius, and Fiji, in addition to India and Nepal.
4. Holi is associated with Lord Krishna.
There’s also a legend concerning Lord Krishna’s involvement in the origins of Holi. According to mythology, Lord Krishna was poisoned as a baby by Putana’s breast milk, which caused him to have the characteristic blue hue of his skin.
Krishna approached Radha and dyed her face in various hues, unsure if fair-skinned Radha and the other girls would appreciate him.
Despite Krishna’s blue skin, Radha accepted him, and the Holi celebration has been celebrated ever since. This is, however, a lesser-known fact of Holi, as well as a lesser-accepted interpretation of Holi’s origin. However, the narrative is widely believed to be a legend.
5. The Legend of Hirankashipu, the Evil King.
Now, according to mythology, the evil king Hiranyakashyap banned his son Prahlad from worshiping Lord Vishnu, one of the Hindu gods. Despite his father’s opposition, Prahlad worshipped Vishnu.
Thus, the demon king ordered Prahlad and Holika, the demon king’s sister, to sit on a pyre (a structure, usually constructed of wood, for burning a body as part of a funeral rite or execution).
Holika was burned to death when the fire erupted, despite her fire immunity, while Prahlad was miraculously saved since he requested the protection of Lord Vishnu throughout the tragedy. In the shape of Holika Dahan, this significant event is still repeated. You may learn about the significance and practices of the Holi celebration by reading about it.
6. The significance of the celebration
Holi is a festival that takes place after the full moon in the month of ‘Phalguna,’ which falls between February and March.
It also signals the conclusion of the harsh winter season and the arrival of warmer weather. The celebration marks the beginning of spring, the end of winter, the blossoming of love, and, for many, a celebratory day to meet new people, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and mend broken relationships.
7. A Day Before Holi (Holika Dahan)
The night before Holi, people assemble to perform religious rites in front of a bonfire, praying that their internal evil is eliminated in the same way that Holika, the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was killed in the fire.
Between 8 p.m. and midnight, the bonfire is ignited. People congregate around the fire to watch it burn while eating their favorite foods and conversing with their friends.
8. Celebration of Holika Dahan.
People gather around the Holika bonfire to perform religious ceremonies. During religious rites, people ask for forgiveness from god and pray for the end of their evil.
The bonfire is ignited on the eve of Holi, usually at or after sundown, to symbolize Holika Dahan. The rite represents the triumph of good over evil. People sing and dance in front of the fire.
9. Rangwali Holi
The second day of Holi, also known as “Rangwali Holi,” is the primary day of the festival when people play with wet and dry colors. People are chasing each other, attempting to color each other.
Many people utilize water balloons and engage in entertaining water battles with their family and friends, so water is a key component of the event.
There are many various colors involved, and it’s a fun time for everyone because everyone, regardless of age, participates.
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10. Various colors are used.
It is a new tendency to utilize synthetic colors during the Holi festival. In actuality, this has been a source of anxiety for a large number of people. Many people, on the other hand, prefer to play with water and created natural colors and gulal.
A progressive movement toward natural colors has occurred. In ancient India, it was observed in this manner.
Indigo, sunflower, and marigold flowers are commonly used to create natural colors.