Holi Festival Story And Its Significance
Holi Festival, Holi Celebrations, Holi Festival significance, Holi Festival history, Why do we celebrate Holi
Holi is the most colourful festival celebrated by Indians. It is a festival of colours, It is celebrated as harvest festival(good harvests and fertility of the land) as well as welcome festival for the spring season in India.
History And Significance Of Holi Festival
A number of mythological stories are associated with this festival of colours. Holi is celebrated during the month of Phalgun(February – March) as per the Hindu calendar. The festival normally falls a day after the Phalgun Purnima or full moon day. Although people in almost all parts of India celebrate this festival, the celebrations vary according to regional influences, rituals and traditions.
History Of Holi Festival
Holi Story based on Prahlada and Demon Holika
Young Prahlada was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu but this was detested by his arrogant father, Hirnakashyipu, who was the king of the land. The father constantly sought for ways to eliminate his son and each time he failed miserably. But this only hardened his stance.
Now, the king had a sister named Holika who was immune to fire. So, she took young Prahlada and entered into fire. Legend has it that Prahlada came out of the fire without any burns but Holika was consumed by the fire. Huge bonfires that are burnt on the day prior to Holi symbolize this event from mythology.
Holi Legend based on Krishna and Radha
Holi is also associated with the evergreen love of Krishna and Radha. Krishna was jealous of Radha’s fair color and asked mother Yashoda for the reason for Radha’s fair color. Yashoda jokingly said if you are so jealous change her complexion by smearing color. Naughty young Krishna was waiting for an idea for a prank and did exactly as his mother suggested.
For Krishna devotees, the festival is spread over two weeks. The most important events are held at Vrindavan, Mathura, Barsnar and Nandgaon.
Holi Story based on Kamdev and Lord Shiva
Another important Holi legend is associated with Kamdev, the god of love. After the death of Sati, Lord Shiva took to severe meditation. Sati took rebirth as Parvati and tried to impress Lord Shiva. When her feminine charms failed, she took the help of Kamdev. Not knowing the seriousness of Lord Shiva’s meditation, Kamdev used his arrow of love on Shiva. The infuriated Shiva opened his third eye and turned Kamdev into ashes. This happened on the Holi day.
Holi Story based on Demon Dhundi
Another myth revolves around the demon Dhundi. She had received several boons through intense penance. Soon, she became arrogant and started killing children and eating them. But once Lord Shiva cursed her that she will be helpless before the pranks of young boys. One day a few boys in an intoxicated state took on her and started hurling abuses. The pranks of the boys increased as time went by and she could no longer tolerate it. Finally, she ran away from the area.
Message Behind Holi Festival Celebration
Holi celebration is an opportunity to forget all differences and indulge in fun. Holi Festival brings Unity & Brotherhood and is celebrated in high spirit without any distinction of cast, creed, color, race, status or Gender.being a Hindu festival, Sikhs, Muslim, Christians and Jains join the festivities bringing in almost the whole nation together.On this day people visit friends and relatives to wish each other.
Music and dancing is an integral part of Holi celebrations. The revelry associated with Holi is said to rejuvenate the mind and the body. At the time of burning the “Holika Dahan” people dance around the fire. This is said to kill harmful bacteria present in our body. People also clean their homes and get rid of old clothes by burning it in the Holika Dahan.
Cultural Significance of Holi Festival
Celebration of the various legends associated with Holi reassure the people of the power of the truth as the moral of all these legends is the ultimate victory of good over evil. The legend of Hiranyakashyap and Prahlad also points to the fact that extreme devotion to god pays as god always takes his true devotee in his shelter.
All these legends help the people to follow a good conduct in their lives and believe in the virtue of being truthful. This is extremely important in the modern day society when so many people resort to evil practices for small gains and torture one who is honest. Holi helps the people to believe in the virtue of being truthful and honest and also to fight away the evil.
Besides, holi is celebrated at a time of the year when the fields are in full bloom and people are expecting a good harvest. This gives a people a good reason to rejoice, make merry and submerge themselves in the spirit of Holi.
How is Holi Festival Celebrated?
Holi celebrations start on the night of the full moon with the burning of Holika on the eve of Holi. Bonfires are lit which symbolises the destruction of Holika. People dance and sing around the fire making it a fun filled evening.
The following morning people throw colors, colored water and “Gulal” on each other. Men attempt to tease women by getting them drenched in colored water. Children enjoy the festival by throwing water filled balloons.
Care to be taken while playing Holi
In old days people made use of natural colours extracted from flowers for playing Holi. Today artificial colours containing harsh and harmful chemicals are used during the festival of colours. A couple of undesirable practices like consuming “Bhang” and “Alcohol” have also become a part of Holi festivities in many parts of the country.
Note: Artificial colours used in playing Holi may be harmful to skin and eyes so be careful, Happy and Safe Holi