Happy Holi Day
Posted by pellison on Mar 25, 2013
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.
The Holi festival may be celebrated with various names and people of different states might be following different traditions. What makes Holi so unique and special is the spirit of it which remains the same throughout the country and around world.
The entire country of India wears a festive look when it comes time for Holi celebration. Market places get abuzz with activity as frenzied shoppers start making preparations for the festival. Heaps of various hues of gulaal and abir powder can be seen on the roadside days before the festival. Pichkaris in innovative and modern design too come up every year to lure the children who wish to collect them as Holi memorabilia and of course, to drench everybody in the town.
Holi is also called the Spring Festival – as it marks the arrival of spring and of hope and joy. The gloom of the winter goes as Holi promises of bright summer days ahead.
The Hindu festival Holi has various legends associated with it. The foremost is the legend of the demon King Hiranyakashyap who demanded everybody in his kingdom worship him. However, his pious son, Prahlad became a devotee of Lord Vishnu. As a result, 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 her immune to fire. The story goes on to say that Prahlad was saved by Lord Vishnu himself for his extreme devotion and evil minded Holika was burnt to ashes, for as it turns out, 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. 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’.
Great excitement can be seen in people on the next day when it is actually the time for the play of colors. Shops and offices remain closed for the day and people get all the time to get crazy and whacky. Bright colors of gulal and abeer fill the air and people take turns in pouring colored water over each other. Children take special delight in spraying colors on one another with their pichkaris and throwing water balloons at passers by. Women and senior citizens form groups called tolis and move in colonies – applying colors and exchanging greetings. Songs, dance on the rhythm of dholak and mouthwatering Holi delicacies are the other highlights of the day.
After a funfilled and exciting day, evenings are spent in reflection when people meet friends and relatives and exchange sweets and festive greetings.
To all our friends that celebrate Holi and to those who simply want to celebrate the spring in a colorful way… Happy Holi day to you all!
Your friends at One World Rhythm – Celebrating the Rhythm of One!