So Holi festival is finally here. Tomorrow whole of India will welcome the festival of colours. Children will be ready early morning with water buckets, balloons, colours and water sprays. On this day, it is “legal” to spray water and colours on all passerby’s known or unknown. So “decent” people better stay in the comfort of their homes. Once you are fully drenched with colours and barely recognizable, you form groups and visit other families and wish all family members which include aged parents who mostly prefer to stay away. Here you are greeted with traditional sweets like Gujiya and ladoos and again colours are applied on each other. In our colony people gather around late afternoon in the garden and sing songs on traditional dholak’s and some even drink the intoxicating Bhang. This is the day to let yourself loose and enjoy. Wishing you all a wonderful day and lots of love. Neetaji
Holi s the most colourful festival celebrated in India. It is celebrated as harvest festival as well as welcome-festival for the spring season in India.
Why Celebrate Holi?
The festival of Holi can be regarded as a celebration of the Colors of Unity & Brotherhood – an opportunity to forget all differences and indulge in unadulterated fun. It has traditionally been celebrated in high spirit without any distinction of cast, creed, color, race, status or sex. It is one occasion when sprinkling colored powder (‘gulal’) or colored water on each other breaks all barriers of discrimination so that everyone looks the same and universal brotherhood is reaffirmed. This is one simple reason to participate in this colorful festival. Holi is celebrated on the full moon in the month of Phalgun. The month of Phalgun ushers India in Spring when seeds sprout, flowers bloom and the country rises from winter’s slumber.
Meaning of ‘Holi’
‘Holi’ comes from the word ‘hola’, meaning to offer oblation or prayer to the Almighty as Thanksgiving for good harvest. Holi is celebrated every year to remind people that those who love God shall be saved and they who torture the devotee of God shall be reduced to ashes a la the mythical character Holika.
The Legend of Holika
Holi is also associated with the Puranic story of Holika, the sister of demon-king Hiranyakashipu. The demon-king punished his son, Prahlad in a variety of ways to denounce Lord Narayana. He failed in all his attempts. Finally, he asked his sister Holika to take Prahlad in her lap and enter a blazing fire. Holika had a boon to remain unburned even inside fire. Holika did her brother’s bidding. However, Holika’s boon ended by this act of supreme sin against the Lord’s devotee and was burnt to ashes. But Prahlad came out unharmed.
The Krishna Connection
Holi is also associated with the Divine Dance known as Raaslila staged by Lord Krishna for the benefit of his devotees of Vrindavan commonly known as Gopis.
Holi Poojan and Katha
This is one of the most exuberant festivals and also the most colorful. It heralds the advent of spring and the end of winters. It is celebrated by throwing colored water and powder at each other. On the eve of Holi, bonfires are built to symbolize the destruction of the evil demon Holika. The tradition of the Holi is that even the enemies turn friends on Holi and forget any feeling of hardship that may be present.
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