Every Indian regardless of their age, religion, caste, or color looks forward to the festival of colors. Holi brings that unique upbeat and jovial mood among people of all age groups every year without fail and this year is no different either. From enjoying a delicious gujiya together to absolutely besmirch each other with colors, Holi cannot be close enough for most people. If you ask me, I’d say Holi is the favorite festival of Indians.
I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t celebrated Holi at least once in their life, but do you know why it is celebrated? Holi is an ancient Hindu festival that’s celebrated by non-Hindus as well all around the country. Holi heralds the arrival of spring after winter. People see Holi as a day of spreading happiness and love. Holi is also celebrated to commemorate the victory of all things good over evil.
Different legends are associated with Holi in different parts of the world. The most famous legend is the one of Hiranyakashipu - the king of Asuras, and his son Prahlada who chose to stand up against the evil and destruction his father unleashed. King Hiranyakashipu tried to murder his son multiple times but Lord Vishnu protected his devotee.
Finally, Holika, Hiranyakashipu’s sister tricked Prahlada into sitting on a pyre with her while protecting herself with a cloak. As the fire blazed, the cloak flew from Holika’s body and encased Prahlada thus saving his life following which Lord Vishnu appeared in the avatar of Narasimha and killed the evil King.
This is the beginning of the ritual Holika Dahan, where people perform rituals in front of a bonfire praying for their inner evil to be destroyed, just as Holika was killed in the fire.
India being the diverse country it is, celebrates Holi in different ways in different parts of the country. In Barsana, Uttar Pradesh, Holi is celebrated as Lathmar Holi where women beat up men with sticks while chanting “Sri Radhey” or “Sri Krishna”. In West Bengal and Assam, Holi is known as Basanta Utsav or Spring Festival. While Holi is celebrated in Maharashtra as Matki Phod (breaking the pot), in Vrindavan, it is celebrated by widows and estranged women immersing themselves in colors on Holi.
Even though the customs and rituals of Holi are different throughout the country, the best thing is that people forget their differences and come together in the spirit of this festival of colors.
The world is still recovering from the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic. As hundreds of thousands of people across the nation get ready to welcome Holi on March 29, health experts are concerned that Holi could become a potential “super spreader”. The warning comes at a crucial time when Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana, and Jammu & Kashmir have reported a surge in the number of active cases in recent days.
HomeTriangle wishes everyone a very happy Holi. Everyone at HomeTriangle wish you a year filled with happiness and prosperity. Happy Holi!!