When it comes to festivals and celebration, India and its countrymen are second to none. The uniqueness is not in just the festivals, but also in the way they are celebrated. Every festival of India, I repeat, each and every festival of India swathes the country in beautiful lights our vivid colours. Every light and colour have its own significance for every festival. And one such amazing and interesting festival is the very special, festival of Holi.
Holi is the Indian spring festival of colours. As per the Hindu Calendar, it is celebrated on the Phalgun Poornima (Full Moon) which as per the English calendar may come in the month of February or March. As most Indian festivals Holi is celebrated as a triumph of good over bad.
The main theme of the festival is to apply bright radiant colours to one and other symbolizing elimination of social inequality.
There are numerous legends and stories surrounding this festival but one that stands out is the burning of the demoness Holika. She was the sister of King Hiranyakashipu and aunt of Prahlad. Prahlad was a true devotee of Lord Vishnu and his devotion was not appreciated by his father. In a feat of anger, he decided to end Prahlad’s life and instructed Holika to take little Prahlad on her lap and sit on a stack of wood. Thereafter the King instructed his men to set fire to the stack. Holika would not be burnt as she had a special garment that protected her against fire. But owing to his devotion, Prahlad was least affected by the fire and it was Holika who perished.
Hence at the eve of Holi there is bonfire which signifies the scorching of all that is evil.
Rang Panchami- Day of colours:
The next day is celebrated with colours and water being applied and thrown at each other as a way of celebrating the victory of the virtuous. Gulaal (pink coloured powder) being the predominant colour while the primary colours follow suit.
No Indian festival is complete without a special treat. Thandai a kind of milk smoothie mixed with bhang leaves is the main attraction for adults as it is said to give you a kick.
Holi is one festival where a little mischief is forgiven as the tagline itself says ‘bura na mano Holi hai!’. Having said that, every individual needs to take care that every celebration is for enjoyment and not for exploiting someone’s peace of mind.