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About Holi

Holi denotes trumpth of truth over evil :

It conveys the massage of Universal Brotherhood.

Holi - The Festival of Color

Holi – the festival of color is marked as the opening festival in Hindu calendar, falls on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun. People enjoy themselves playing with several colors and celebrate the whole day with much pump and gaiety.

Originally Holi was regarded to be the festival to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land. There are several legends and stories behind Holi. A popular legend says that Holi is remembered for the sacrifice of Holika who burnt herself in fire on this day.

Holi is therefore regarded one of the most ancient festivals of the Aryans who finds an honored mention in our old Sanskrit texts like Dashakumar Charit and Garud Puran. Even the play "Ratnavali" written by Harshdev states a delightful description of Holi as a festival. In those days this very festival was celebrated as "Vasantotsav". Latter everybody started calling it "MADANOTSAV".

Celebration of Holi festival is characterized by performing Holi puja as per Hindu tradition. Dhuleti, which falls day after Holi Puja, is considered to be the actual festival of colors. Children and youngsters vie with each other use fast and sticky colors to celebrate Holi. It is all fun and joy for them

Legends :
Legends of king Hiranyakashyapu : Hiranyakashyapu was the strongest demon of his times; he was considered to be the winner of all God’s whomsoever he fought with became a loser at the end of the battle. So he ordered everybody that everybody should obey him and worship him instead of Almighty. He in his family had one sister named Hollika and one son named Pralhad, who was a great devotee of Lord Naarayana (God Vishnu). However, Pralhad had disobeyed his father’s order of not treating Lord Naarayana as God.

Thus, Hiranyakashyapu discussed this matter with her sister who had the boon granted to her that; Fire will not do any harm to her body no matter what the situation is. Latter, she took the responsibility to burn Pralhad by placing him on her legs and sitting on fire. She did exactly the same and guess what? Prahalad came out from the fire unharmed. As ‘he’ had his faith on God he continuously chanted Vishnu mantras instead fire catch hold of Holika who was granted the so called boon. Since that day people light bourn fire in temples and celebrate Holi on the death of the demon.

Legend of Radha-Krishna : Krishna, being the mischievous child of Yashuda, was a prankster and was also the creator of many legends for himself. He once asked his mother - why is Radha fair and I am Dark? Mother Yashuda replied to him saying – If you are so much jealous of Radha’s color than go and put dark colors on her and she will also turn dark as you so. Lord Krishna went ahead and did the same. Since then each lover usually puts color on his/her beloved to pay homage to Lord Krishna.

Legend on Pootana : When the female demon called Pootana tried to kill boy Krishna, by giving him her poisoned nipples to suck. The miracle boy Krishna is said to have sucked her nipples so intensely that he drained the demon of her life.

Hence, the biggest celebration of Holi takes place at Mathura where this incident happened with Krishna. After the death of demoness Pootana, people of Mathura till date celebrates this festival in the evening by lighting bourn fire.

Celebration :
Holi commences about ten days before the full moon of the month called Phalgun (February-March); but it is usually observed for the last three or four days, terminating with the full moon.

Along with Holi, spring season also arrives which is marked as the auspicious season for the Hindus. In this season, all the ‘tesu’ and other trees are filled with sweet smelling flowers. They all proclaim the glory and everlasting beauty of God and inspire you with hope, joy and a new life and leave you with the thought to find out yourself that; who is the actual creator behind them. Holi is known by the name of "Kamadahana" in South India, which refers to the day on which Kamadev (Cupid) was burnt by Lord Shiva (as told above in legends of holi). In North India, a tradition is followed on the eve of Holi- huge bundles of woods are accumulated and burnt at night mainly in temples. On the other day, people play Holi (colorful) joyfully with colored water. Almost everywhere one can hear the shouts and laughter of people shouting "Holi-hai! Holi-hai!"

People gathered in the streets and pump colored water over the body and clothes even to the strangers who pass by, no matter whether he/she is rich or poor. There is no restriction on this day. People compose and sing special Holi songs (famous bollywood songs) to mark this occasion.

During Holi festival, people clean up their houses by burning all dirty articles in and around the house in the fire. According to them, this practice destroys disease-breeding bacteria and the sanitary condition of the locality is also improved. During the festival boys also dance about in the streets and play practical jokes with the passers-by.

Holi is aptly called the festival of color and joy. Its spirit is uniquely Indian, colorful, exotic, happiness and full of energy. Holi is celebrated by everybody. People prepare special recipes on Holi day. Before few days they start cooking (preparing) many delicacies for this day namely gujjia, papri and kanji ke vade.

There are some necessary customs attached to this festival, where firstly, Hindu’s invite their sons-in-law and their families for a meal on Holi. When the meal is over, it is necessary to give the sons-in-law, what is known as a 'pyala' - a crisp note of any denomination from rupees five to rupees five hundred is offered along with a glass of drink.

Secondly, Married daughters on the other hand; are given what is called 'kothli' by their mother-in-law. Other custom is performed by the new bride along with the children of the family. Here the new bride is supposed to play a prank on the older couples of the family, where the bride somehow tempts them so that they enter the room and she can lock them in. Then she demands a present for setting them free from the closed room. The bride is supposed to sing a song specially composed by her on this happy occasion, in which (song) she demands her ransom.


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