Saturday, March 19, 2016

Hindu Festivals Part VI HOLI

Holi (pronunciation: /ˈhl/Sanskritहोली Holī) is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of sharing love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.
It is primarily observed in IndiaNepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. In recent years the festival has spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours
Significance of Holi Festival

One of the major festivals of India, Holi is celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun which is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar.

Holi festival is celebrated with various names and people of different states might be following different traditions. But, what makes Holi so unique and special is the spirit of it which remains the same throughout the country and even across the globe, wherever it is celebrated. 


Season of Bloom
Everybody gets delighted at the arrival of Holi as the season itself is so gay. Holi is also called the Spring Festival - as it marks the arrival of spring the season of hope and joy. The gloom of the winter goes as Holi promises of bright summer days. Nature too, it seems rejoices at the arrival of Holi and wears its best clothes. Fields get filled with crops promising a good harvest to the farmers and flowers bloom colouring the surroundings and filling fragrance in the air. 


How the festival is celebrated?

Holika dahan Days before the festival people start gathering wood and combustible materials for the bonfire in parks, community centers, near temples and other open spaces.


On the eve of Holi, typically at or after sunset, the pyre is lit, signifying Holika Dahan. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. People sing and dance around the fire.

Play with colours
Holi frolic and celebrations begin the morning after the Holika bonfire. There is no tradition of holding puja (prayer), and the day is for partying and pure enjoyment. Children and young people form groups armed with dry colours, coloured solution, the means to fill and spray others with coloured solution (pichkaris), water balloons filled with coloured water, and other creative means to colour their targets.
Traditionally, washable natural plant-derived colours such as turmeric, neem, dhak, and kumkum were used, but water-based commercial pigments are increasingly used. All colours are used. Everyone in open areas such as streets and parks is game, but inside homes or at doorways only dry powder is used to smear each other's face. People throw colours and get their targets completely coloured up. It is like a water fight, but with coloured water. People take delight in spraying coloured water on each other. By late morning, everyone looks like a canvas of colours. This is why Holi is given the name "Festival of Colours".
Legends
A Hindu festival, Holi has various legends associated with it. The foremost is the legend of demon King Hiranyakashyap who demanded everybody in his kingdom to worship him but his pious son, Prahlad became a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap wanted his son to be killed. He asked his sister Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap as Holika had a boon which made he immune to fire. Story goes that Prahlad was saved by lord himself for his extreme devotion and evil minded Holika was burnt to ashes, for her boon worked only when she entered the fire alone.

Since that time, people light a bonfire, called Holika on the eve of Holi festival and celebrate the victory of good over evil and also the triumph of devotion to god. Children take special delight in the tradition and this has another legend attached to it. It says that there was once an ogress Dhundhi who used to trouble children in the kingdom of Prithu. She was chased away by children on the day of Holi. Therefore, children are allowed to play pranks at the time of 'Holika Dahan'. 
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi
            http://www.holifestival.org/holi-festival.html
        


3 comments:

  1. Very insightful. Thanks for sharing sir 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Archana Kapoor for your nice comments

      Delete
  2. wow very nice..posttt
    www.shayariimages2017.com

    ReplyDelete