Bonfire, colours, and dancing people all around, Holi is indeed one of the beautiful celebrations of India.
It is a festival of joy, best celebrated on the streets, with family and friends as well as strangers.
Yes, you got it right; in fact this is one of the festival of colour’s unique selling proposition – You can approach a complete stranger on the street and smear him with colour, but he won’t be offended.
No surprise that it’s called the festival of joy. You see colored faces everywhere, smeared with shades of red, blue, green and silver. You just can’t ignore that happy grin behind those masked faces.
It is a festival that slowly takes you into its grip and no matter how much you relent initially, at last it is most likely that you would end up dancing and playing with colours, and spreading joy of course.
But apart from the joy and fun, there is more to the Holi than what meets the eye. It represents the true essence of Indian culture – friendship, brotherhood, and joy.
Let is dive deep into the festival of colours and enrich ourselves with information.
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Why do we celebrate Holi?
It’s is difficult to find an India who hasn’t heard about Prahlada and his his father, the demon king ‘Hirankashyap’.
As it is known that Prahlada was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, which irked and annoyed his father Hirankashyap, for obvious reasons.
No matter how hard the demon king tried, by all means, he just couldn’t get Hirankashyap, let go his devotion to Vishnu. He subjected his own son to relentless tortures, yet he failed in his objective.
At last Hirankashyap conceived a devious plan with his sister ‘Holika’. He asked her to sit on a burning pyre with Prahlada. He thought to burn Prahlada, knowing that Holika had a boon that she could not be harmed by fire, and she would escape harmless.
Well, the day came, a large pyre was burned and Holika entered into it with Prahlada in her lap. But what happened next, only reiterates the Hindu philosophy of Truth ever Triumphs or the victory of good over evil.
As soon as Holika was seated on the pyre with Prahlada in her lap, Lord Vishnu appeared all of a sudden and snatched Prahlada form the furious fire.
Holika was on the other hand started to feel the heat and burn, without realizing that the boon was only applicable when she enter the fire alone. She was burned to ashes as evil always does.
This is actually why we burn Holika on the night before Holi. But there is another more scientifically justifiable reason for this as well.
Holi – Celebrating the arrival of spring
Holi marks the arrival of spring after long and arduous winter. It is the time when days start getting warmer and trees begin to grow new leaves.
It is like mother earth removing old clothes and getting new ones. Green becomes the colour of prominence. The weather too is pleasant, neither too hot nor too cold – one of my personal favorites.
Holi also marks the beginning of the spring harvest season, when the crops from the fields are gathered and sold for money. No wonder that it is also a time for the farmers to celebrate their harvest and the benefits.
When is Holi celebrated?
Going by the Hindu calendar, Holi is celebrated in the month of ‘Phalgun’ which is the twelfth month of the year.
As per the Gregorian calendar, it falls in the months of March-April. Another significant point to be noted is that Holika Dahan is celebrated on a Full Moon Day followed by Holi the next day.
Here is a calendar of Holi for the next 10 years. It will leave you in anticipation of endless joy and happiness.
When is Holi 2021?
May God bless you with love and happiness around Holi in all these coming years.