Celebrating Holi

Holi is a spring festival. It is celebrated in the Month of Phalguna, also known as the Lunar month. In spite of the fact that Holi began in the northern part of India, it has accepted a national flavour over the ages. Despite the fact of Holi being a Hindu festival, it is now regarded as a secular event, for, the whole country witness a holiday on this day. As individuals, regardless of race, culture and ethnic foundation, they appreciate the Spirit of Holi. Cities, rural areas, and towns, all come alive to celebrate the frenzy of the March Holi madness.

Actually “Holi” connotes “blazing” in the Indian language. However, how it came to be related with ‘blazing’ is a story. The reference is discovered just in the old Indian mythology. Furthermore, it is the legend of Hiranyakashyap, to whom the Festival of Holi is dedicated.

Way back in the pre-Christian time, there was a wicked King named Hiranyakashyap in India. He wanted to take revenge for the death of his youthful sibling. The sibling, equally a devil, was slaughtered by Lord Vishnu, one of the incomparable trios, monitoring the life and death in the universe (as indicated by the Hindu conviction).

To go against Vishnu, he wanted to be the King of the paradise, earth, and the world. He performed appeals and prayers for a long time to gather enough power. Lastly, he was allowed a boon. Power-driven by the boon, Hiranyakshyap thought that he had turned out to be powerful. Overconfident, he requested everyone in his kingdom to worship him, rather than god. The evil King, however, had a youthful child, named Prahalad. He was a passionate follower of Vishnu.

In spite of his dad’s request, Prahalad continued worshipping Vishnu. So, the evil King wanted to kill his child. He solicited the support of his sister Holika who, as a result of a boon, was resistant to flame. They planned that Prahalad should be burned to death. A fire was lit and Holika sat in it, gripping Prahalad. However, towards the end, Prahalad rose unscathed by the fire and Holika, the evil spirit, was burned to ashes. The sincere dedication of Lord Vishnu saved Prahlad.

In this way, it was the triumph of Prahlad, and the victory of good spirits. It brought the defeat of Holika, a sign of evil. Later, even the King Hiranyakashyap was killed by Lord Vishnu. However, that is a significant diverse story.

It is from Holika that Holi began. This legend is remembered even today on the Holi-eve when the fire is re-lit as campfires and people gather around it, dance and celebrate the victory of good over evil. Even today, individuals commend this event. Immense blazes are lit up each year on the eve of the full moon night of Holi to burn the soul of the shades of evils.

The next morning which is Holi, people celebrate it with friends and families, visit each other, apply gulaal and prepare and serve delicious treats in the houses, or purchase them from the markets.

Some people also enjoy Holi on another level, where they play with water, smear paints on people, dance, sing and drink bhaang or beer with snacks. Some ladies also use sandalwood, flowers, and saffron.