Holi is a popular Hindu Festival celebrated most commonly in India that is also known as the Festival of Colors. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the changing of the seasons from winter to spring. This year, it falls on March 28 to March 29, 2021. Holi, the festival of colours, marks the arrival of happiness and prosperity in Indian families and has evolved into a worldwide celebration of love, friendship, and youth.
The Festival of Holi celebrated by throwing handfuls of coloured powder at each other and getting drenched in water, resulting in a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours.
Why is the Holi Bonfire the Day Before the Festival?
The main celebration of ‘rangwali Holi’ or Holi of Colours is preceded by ‘Holika Dahan’ or the Burning of Holi the night before the main festival, where people gather around a bonfire. The Holi bonfire is known as Holika Dahan where the burning pyre symbolizes the burning of Holika, the devil.
Popular Tales about Holi
- Like many Hindu festivals, Holi is connected to popular cultural legends, with this particular festival evolving from the story of a king named Hiranyakashipu. According to Hindu mythology, Hiranyakashipu thought he was immortal and deserved to be treated as a god. The king’s son, Prahlad, was devoted to God Vishnu and refused to treat his father like a God in the way he wanted. Ultimately, Hiranyakashipu was killed by God Vishnu who appeared in a half-lion – half-man form to kill the king. This is why Holi celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
- Another Hindu story associated with the celebration of Holi is that of Krishna and Radha. Krishna is one of the incarnations of the God Vishnu who is always pictured with blue skin. The story goes: His skin turned blue as a baby, and when Krishna fell in love with Radha, he was worried the feelings would not be reciprocated because of his skin. So Krishna allows Radha to put colours on him to break the barriers of the colours, which is why part of the tradition for the Festival of Colors is applying colour to one another’s skin.
How Holi is Celebrated in Different Parts of India?
From North to South India and West to East India, Holi is celebrated with great enthusiasm and in a full traditional way. Every state has it’s a popular and unique way to celebrate Holi.
- Lathmar Holi ( Mathura, Uttar Pradesh)
- Brij ki Holi ( Mathura, Uttar Pradesh)
- Rang Panchami (Maharashtra)
- Royal Holi (Rajasthan)
- Hola Mohalla (Punjab)
- Phaguwa (Bihar)
- Yaosang (Manipur)
- Ukuli aka Manjal Kuli (Kerala)
Precautions to Take While Playing Holi
The festival is celebrated by applying colours to one another and while we are in full swing with festive fervor, we might forget that this can damage our skin and hair as well. Along with all the fun, it is necessary to take care of your skin and hair properly.
Opt for Natural Colours: Using synthetic or permanent colours can damage your skin and hair, so it is advised to choose natural colours which are gentle on your skin. If you are unable to buy natural colours, at least make sure you purchase your colour packets from a quality seller.
Protect your Face and Hair: Apply cream to your face and oil your hair properly before playing with colours. This will ensure the colour doesn’t stick to your hair or skin and can be washed off later with ease.
People with Skin Allergies Should Avoid Gulal: If you have skin allergies, it is best to avoid the colour celebration altogether. Instead, you can indulge in other non-colour celebrations such as lunch or the preceding Holika Dahan bonfire.
Spread happiness and brotherhood as much as you can. The motive of these festivals is to create harmony and peace among the people. So play safe and eco-friendly Holi, HAPPY HOLI!!