Holi, one of India’s biggest holidays, is celebrated with zeal and merriment on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun, which corresponds to March on the Gregorian calendar.
It is a holiday that is celebrated under a variety of names, and individuals from diverse states may have varying customs. However, what makes it so distinct and exceptional is the atmosphere that pervades the nation and even the world, wherever it is celebrated.
What Is Holi?
It has been celebrated in India for centuries, with poetry going all the way back to the fourth century CE. It heralds the arrival of spring after a long winter and is symbolic of good triumphing over evil. It is observed in March, the month of Phalguna in the Hindu calendar. It will be held on March 18 in 2022.
Preparations For Holi
When it arrives, the whole nation dons a joyful appearance. Markets become hives of activity as frantic customers begin preparing for the event. Heaps of gulal and abeer in a variety of colors may be seen on the roadside in the days before the festival. Each year, Pichkaris with unique and trendy designs appear to entice youngsters who seek to collect them as Holi mementos and, of course, to deluge the whole town.
Women, too, begin early preparations for the Holi holiday by cooking large quantities of gujiya, mathri, and papri for the family and extended family. At this time of year, women in certain areas, particularly in the north, also produce papads and potato chips.
Significance of Holi
Holi, a Hindu holiday, is related to several stories. The first is the narrative of demon King Hiranyakashyap, who demanded homage from everyone in his realm save his devout son Prahlad, who became a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap desired the assassination of his son. He requested that his sister Holika approach a roaring fire with Prahlad on her lap since Holika had a blessing that rendered him impervious to fire.
According to legend, Prahlad was rescued by the Lord for his tremendous devotion, whereas evil-minded Holika was burned to ashes since her boon only worked when she entered the fire alone. Since then, on the night of the Holi festival, people build a bonfire called Holika to celebrate the triumph of good over evil as well as the triumph of devotion to god.
What Is Holika Dahan
On the eve of Holi, furthermore known as Chhoti or Small Holi, people assemble at significant crossroads and burn massive bonfires; this is known as Holika Dahan. Gujarat and Orissa also adhere to this custom. To express gratitude to Agni, the God of Fire, gram, and crop stalks are also presented with absolute humility to Agni. The ash leftover from this blaze is likewise regarded holy and is applied to the foreheads of believers. The ash, they think, shields them from bad energies.
How To Celebrate Holi
Children particularly like spraying colors on one another with their pichkaris and tossing water balloons at onlookers. Women and older folks create tolis and travel in colonies, applying colors and greeting one another. Other highlights of the day include singing, dancing to the beat of the dholak, and delectable Holi dishes.
FAQs About Holi
This ancient custom commemorates the end of winter and the victory of good over evil. Bonfires are lit, a colored powder called gulal is thrown, sweets are consumed, and traditional folk music is danced to. During the Holi celebrations, a guy dressed in the vibrant colors of Holi sprays the audience with a fistful of crimson powder.
In several regions of India, on the eve of the festival, enormous pyres are ignited to symbolize the expulsion of bad spirits. Individuals often toss wood, dry leaves, and twigs onto bonfires. On Holi, whole streets and cities are transformed into shades of red, green, and yellow as participants fling colored powder into the air and splash it on others.
When people first began playing Holi, the colors they used were created from plants such as Neem, Haldi, Bilva, and Palash (etc). The therapeutic impact of the joyful pouring and flinging of color powders derived from these natural sources is on the human body.
Holi draws its name from Holika, and each year, people recreate the scenario of ‘Holika being reduced to ashes’ to commemorate the triumph of good over evil. As the folklore illustrates, no one, no matter how powerful, can hurt a devoted believer. And anyone who would attempt to torment a genuine disciple of God would be crushed to ashes.
Now that you know everything about Holi, it’s time to get ready to celebrate this festival with a lot of pomp and love! For more blogs about popular Indian festivals, keep reading Seema!