Celebrated In: India in Spring Season
Celebrated By: Hindu (Hindu)
Festival of Colours, love and happiness: Holi
The whole nation is awaiting the happy and pleasant vibes that the colours of festival, Holi is about to bring. Holi is the festival of beautiful colours and happiness that predominantly celebrated in different parts of India. India is a land of festivals that is observed with lot of devotion and enthusiasm. Holi is a festival of fun and frolic, where people rejoice the occasion forgetting all the hatred and ego. This festival is a perfect example of love winning over ego.
How Holi is celebrated in India:
Basically, Holi festival is a two-day celebration. Every year it falls on Purnima, the full moon day, in the month of Falguna. The full moon day is observed with ‘Holika Dahan’, where the good wins over the evil. People gather large number of wood to make a bonfire. The ritual of Holika Dahan is performed by burning the bonfire that is lit for the purpose of a Puja (Prayer) in the night, one day before Holi. While burning it people revolve around the fire and vow to burn all the evils inside them with the commencement of the auspicious festival Holi. So Holi is the festival of rebirth and the beginnings. It is celebrated in the end of winter season and at the beginning of spring season.
People distribute sweets to their loved ones and neighbours on this auspicious occasion. The occasion holds a lot of significance among the masses as they sing, dance and put different vibrant colours on each other. The festival is celebrated irrespective of class, caste, creed or religion. People throw vibrant coloured powders on each other. They also mix the colours with water and with the help of a ‘Holi Pichakari’ they sprinkle coloured water on each other. Children put the coloured water inside the balloons and throw them on each other. The fun part is people set a competition on who is going to colour first and who is going to be coloured in the end. People either play Holi on the premises of temples or they play Holi on the streets.
Everybody looks same in complexion as they put on colours of Holi on them. It is almost important to recognize the person as they are painted in the vibrant colours of Holi.
Holi holds a spiritual significance:
Holi is celebrated with the Holika Dahan; by burning the demon Holika. Holika was the sister of the demon Hiranyakashyap. He thought Lord Vishnu as his enemy. But his little son Prahallad was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. This was not accepted by Hiranya kashyap. So he tried to kill his son many times in many ways, but did not succeed. Every time he was trying to kill him, Lord Vishnu came into his rescue. One day, Hiranyakashyap called his sister Holika and said her to kill Prahallad.
God have given Holika the powers of entering the fire without causing her any damage. So she made a bonfire and took Prahallad on her lap and sat on the fire. Lord Vishnu punished her for her evil motives. Holika died in the bonfire as the fire caught her. But Prahallad survived once again. Since then Holika dahan is done on Fullmooon day; the same day she tried to kill Prahallad. So Holi festival starts with the victory of good over the evil. In the bonfire of Holika dahan, people burn all the negativity and hatred inside their hearts. This ritual paves them the way to celebrate the colours of Holi on the next day forgetting all differences and dissimilarities.
Holi holds a spiritual significance as Lord Krishna (incarnation of Lord Vishnu), the founder of love and happiness, used to colour his love ‘Goddess Radha’ with the colours of Holi in ‘Dwapar Yug’. Krishna was dusky in complexion where as Radha has white complexion. Krishna becomes jealous of Radha always and asks his mother Yashoda why he is not fair. Out of jealousy he put colours of Holi on Radha to hide her fair complexion. Since then Holi festival came into existence and celebrated among all the people for having fun and frolic.
Famous Holi celebration In Mathura:
Holi is celebrated all over India, but the most insane and crazy celebrations are done in the birth place of Lord Krishna; Mathura. So Mathura is the main location, where one can experience the true essence of Holi festival. Holi in Mathura is a long celebration of 16 days, where each day of celebration holds a strong significance especially in Barsana, Vrindavan and all the Brij Bhumi.
The famous Holi celebrations in Mathura include Lathmar Holi, Ladoo Holi and Phoolon wali Holi.
Lathmar Holi is the famous Holi celebration in Mathura, where women beat their husbands with Laathis. As per the ritual, they do so to express their anger of the whole year towards their husbands. This ritual also signifies the love between husband and wife, where wife gets angry and beats her husband where as husband takes the responsibility to make her understand with his love.
Lathmar Holi came into existence as Lord Krishna came to Barsana, the village of Goddess Radha with his friends to colour Radha and her friends. When they succeeded in colouring Radha and her friends, they used to angry and beat them with Laathis. After that Krishana and his friends try to calm down their anger by expressing their deep love.
When a priest came to invite Nand lalla (Krishna) to play Holi in Barsana, he accepted the invitation and gave him laddoos (sweets) to eat. At that time the Gopis of Gokul painted the priest with the colours of Holi. The priest had no colours with him. So he threw laddoos on the Gopis.
This ritual is still practised in the famous Radha temple in Barsana. As soon as Krishna accepts the invitation in Gokul, the laddoos are showered in the temple premises. Few days before the festival all the residents of Barsana get busy in preparing Laddoos to celebrate the ritual of Laddoo Holi.
Similarly phoolon wali holi is celebrated on the day of Ekadasi. It is celebrated in the Banke Bihari Temple. It is a short celebration of 20-30 minutes, where the flowers are being spread all over the temple.