Holi – The color Festival
What can you say about the Holi Festival?
I would say much more than that.
It is a day of joy, pure joy.
It is that day when you would not want to stand apart but be a part of the crowd.
The exuberance and the fun is right on the street, and passing by you is a carnival full of colors. Would you not want to hop in?
Blue, green, yellow, red.
Pink, purple, cyan, indigo.
Gold, silver, orange, and cream.
For all the colors are real, and not a dream
On this day of Holi.
Holi festival brings joy, celebrations, the amalgamation of cultures, the crowds full of fun and laughter, houses smeared in colors, wet roads, singing and dancing men and women. Thumri is a very well known light romantic vocal genre often sung in Awadhi amongst people during the festival of Holi.
History of Holi Festival
The history of Holi is a long one.
- Time stops on this day, as people go back celebrating the eternal love between Radha and Krishna- the one that burned in their hearts till their ends.
- Prahlad’s devotion to Vishnu,
- Hiranyakashipu’s aversion and aggression in Prahlad’s devotion,
- Holika’s wickedness; all of it is remembered on this day. From the Evil to the Good, nothing is left out in the process of Holi.
Places you can visit if you really want to soak in the Power of the colors in Holi Festival are
- Shri Krishna Janmasthan Temple in Mathura, the birthplace of Shri Krishna
- Famous for Lathmar Holi- Barsana
- Adi Pushkar
- Dol Utsav of Shantiniketan, West Bengal
- Jagannath Temple, Puri.
- The elephant festival of Jaipur is worth watching
- Udaipur’s beautiful streets come alive during Holi.
- The Holi Cow Festival of Delhi
- Join the Taj Mahal in Agra during this festival
Interesting Facts about Holi
There are several interesting facts about Holi to note.
Holika’s death and Prahlad’s win drives the name Holi. Holika is responsible for spoiling the name of aunts in Indian history.
The holi story goes like this- Holika had been blessed by the God of Fire. Her special powers made her immune to death by Fire.
She was blessed with a Fire protection cloak, and she wrapped it around her body while sitting on a pyre with Prahlad on her lap. But unable to witness the death of an innocent devotee, Vishnu asked the Wind God to open the clock from Holika’s body. He did as was told and the cloak was made to fall on Prahlad’s body.
The God of Fire devoured Holika who fell into her ashes and Prahlad was saved from the attack. On the same day, Hiranyakashipu was attacked by a half Lion and a half-man Avatar of Vishnu- the Narasimha Avatar.
He had meditated long and had asked for a boon that he should never be killed by a man or a woman, neither by a beast, he should not be killed by the light of the day or by the night. So Narasimha was neither a man nor a beast, and Hiranyakashipu was killed neither in the night nor during the day.
- The Holi Story evolved being the first festival that brought equality among the population. This festival was popularised with an attempt to dissolve boundaries existing between people.
- Cannabis juice or Bhang is quite common in the population during this festival.
- A Chir (bamboo pole) is brought down during this day of Holi in Nepal.
- The festival of Holi is the national festival celebrated in 28 states of India.
- Holi becomes the brand ambassador of all festivals- where it says 7 billion people under different religions, follow different paths to reach the same goal, the unique message of Holi lies scattered on the streets of the country on this day.
- South Indians believe that Lora Kamdeva sacrificed his life to pull out Shivay from his deeply meditative state to rescue the world.
- Vrindavan, the land of the widows, celebrates Holi two days before the actual day of Holi from 2013 onwards.
- The festival of Holi is known by various names in different parts of the country.
- Bengal- Dol Jatra
- Uttarakhand- Khadi Holi
- Punjab- Hola Mohalla
- Goa- Shigmo Festival
- Manipur- Yaosang
- Kerala- Manjal Kuli
- Bihar- Phaguwa
- Assam- Phakuwa
- Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh- Rang Panchami
- Uttar Pradesh- Lathmar Holi, Phoolon Wali Holi Vrindavan.
During the Holi Festival, it was always a practice to take a warm water bath after playing with the colors. The water was usually warmed over the pyre lit for Holika.
Now, come those points which you need to consider for the Holi festival in modern times, some warnings you may want to keep in mind before plunging yourself into the pool or before being drenched in the tap waters smeared in color.
- Do not forget to moisturize your hair or they may choose to change their color to pink or green or blue without your consent.
- The skin may never recover for days if you have not applied oil or moisturizer. Do not forget the sunscreen and if possible use moisturizer than oil to prevent tan on the skin.
- The air might be laden with the chemicals and can cause gagging or breathlessness since the oxygen content of the air declines on this day.
Prahlad’s win, Krishna’s win, and our day-to-day small battles invite us to leave our hairs loose for just this one day when every corner of North India comes to a standstill on the day of the Holi festival. Holi 2020 could be the new beginning for your life into the paths of happiness and joy hidden deep within you.
The Festival of Holi is the day when it is not an uncommon sight to find cats, dogs and cows roaming around in pink, blue, green and purple hues or even the uncle in the scooter, the aunt in the autorickshaw are smeared in colors, splashed cars with color bubbles and water ball marks is a common sight during this day on the Indian roads.