Holi is a Hindu festival widely celebrated in India and other countries where large Hindu communities live. Holi is also called as “Festival of Colors.” Like every festival in India, various myths, legends, and traditions are linked with Holi too. Playing with colors, water guns, and involving in Holi special feasts, is what most of us connect with Holi celebrations.
The celebration is also known as the Spring Festival, as it marks the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the month, which usually coincides with the end of February or the beginning of March. The celebration consists primarily of throwing bright colored powders and colored water to each other, as a symbol of happiness for the arrival of spring, trying to emulate the cheerful colors of the flowers that will be born during the next season.
The arrival of spring means rejuvenation, new beginnings and everything in life that is hopeful, nature and people likewise join in the celebrations, throwing away the dullness of winter and rejoice in the colors and liveliness of spring. It is a moment of joy, fun, music, and dance, but above all spiritual, because during the day before the festival, bonfires are lit to commemorate the triumph of “good” versus “evil.”
According to mythology, Hiranyakashipu was the king of demons and had gained the blessing of immortality from Lord Brahma. As his power and ego rose, he began opposing to people’s faith in the divine power and demanded that they worship him rather.
Hiranyakashipu’s son Prahlada was a believer of Lord Vishnu. To destroy his son belief, he tried many ways but failed. Eventually, the king decided to kill his son, asked him to pray Lord Vishnu to come and save him. Lord Vishnu saved Prahlada from his father and killed him in Ugra Narasimha avathara (descent) because of the king immortality.
According to other mythology, Lord Shiva nearly ended the world when he heard about Goddess Sati’s self-immolation. After restrained from his anger, he abandoned all his duties went into deep meditation. The balance of the world took the hit with his absence and wife Sati reborn as Goddess Parvati to try and win Lord Shiva’s heart again and wake him up from his trance.
When Goddess Parvati faltered in her efforts, she requested Kamadeva, the god of love to help her. When Kamadeva disturbed Lord Shiva by love arrow, he opened his third eye in anger that reduced Kamadeva into ashes. Later, when Lord Shiva realized his mistake, he bestowed Kamadev immortality in invisible form. It is said that it was all happened on the day of Holi that Kamadev had to sacrifice himself for the good of all beings.
In Mathura, Holi is celebrated in remembrance of the eternal love of Radha and Krishna. when he was young, the god Krishna, of dark complexion, was in love with the gopi Radha, who had fair skin. Krishna used to complain to his mother, Yashoda, of that injustice of nature. One day, Yashoda told him to paint Radha’s face the color he wanted, so the naughty Krishna threw colored powder to his beloved and to other gopis who were with her. Thus introduced the colorful festival of Holi. Owing to this history, the festival of Holi, even today retains its essence of naughtiness, smearing colors on your loved ones and playing gags on each other.
Synthetic colors contain chemicals which can be toxic to your health. Please use plant-based dyes, and it is also easy to clean. Play Safe and Happy Holi!
All India Blogging wishes everyone a very Happy and Colourful Holi.