Holi festival is one of the most popular festivals in the country. Almost all the states of India celebrate Holi. Holi festival is the festival of colors which denotes celebration of the victory of good over the evil. It is a welcome to the spring season and invites people to come together, celebrate and forget the fights and differences. There are various mythological, cultural and social reasons to celebrate Holi.
1. Holika Dahan
Holi festival is celebrated for two days. The mythology behind Holi describes the victory of good over evil. Once there was a demon king named Hiranyakshipu. He went to the Himalayas to perform severe penance for many years.
Lord Brahma was pleased by his penance and asked him for a blessing. He asked that let death does not come to me either by man or beast, nor devil, nor god shall cause my death by day or by night with steel or stone or wood, indoors or outdoors, or earth or in the sky. Grant me undisputed lordship over the world.
After getting these powers from Lord Bramha, he started considering himself a God and asked people to worship him. But his own son was a devotee of Lord Krishna. He tried many ways to kill his son Pralhad but he was not able to kill him
Hiranyakashipu’s sister Holika, had a blessing that fire could not burn her. So, she asked her brother to burn a fire and she will sit under the fire with Pralhad. Hiranyakashipu allowed his sister to do that and sister went into the fire with Pralhad. Pralhad prayed to Lord Vishnu and Lord Vishnu saved him from the fire. Instead of Pralhad, Holika died in that fire.
Hence every year to kill the devil, collecting wood the fire is burned and it is considered as the victory of good over evil. The second day is celebrated with colors known as Dhulendi.
Image source: livehindustan.com
2. Lord Narasimha killed demon Hiranyakasipu
After Holika Dahan, Hiranyakasipu was angry and asked Pralhad, “You say there is a being superior to me but where is He? If He is present everywhere, then why is He not present in this pillar you see before you? Do you think He is there in this pillar?” “Yes,” Prahlada answered, “He is there”. Hiranyakasipu’s rage flared more and more. He took up his sword, got up from his royal throne, and with great anger struck his fist against the column. Then from within the very pillar that he had singled out came a wonderful half-man, the half-lion form never before seen.
The Lord’s shape was to a great degree fearsome in light of his furious eyes, which looked like molten gold; His sparkling mane, which extended the measurements of his frightful face; his savage teeth; and his dangerously sharp tongue. Lord Narasimha at that point continued to fight with the wasp-like Hiranyakasipu.
Finally, at twilight, Lord Narasimha caught Hiranyakasipu and set him in His lap on the entryway of the gathering corridor. As he started tearing the evil spirit to pieces with his many, numerous hands, Lord Narsimha’s mouth and mane progressed toward becoming sprinkled with drops of blood. His wild eyes, loaded with outrage, were difficult to take a gander at.
Lord Narasimha removed Hiranyakasipu’s heart lastly tossed him aside and pulverized a multitude of Hiranyakasipu’s dedicated followers. By his supernatural cunning, Lord Nrsimhadeva could execute Hiranyakasipu without repudiating any of Lord Brahma’s invocations.
Hence the day is celebrated by using abeer gulal (natural colored powder).
3. Lord Krishna celebrated with Radha
According to the people of Mathura and Vrindavan Lord Krishna and Radha has a deep connection with Holi. Once Lord Krishna was sad over his dark complexion and wondered why Radha was so fair. So, his mother Yashoda, playfully suggested that he can smear color on Radha’s face and change her complexion to any color he wanted. Fascinated by the idea, Krishna proceeded to do so and thus, introduced the festival of colors.
The Holi of Braj, Barsana, Mathura, and Virandavan is famous all over the world. It is celebrated till Rangapanchami and dedicated to the divine love of Lord Krishna and Radha.
4. A welcome to a spring season
Holi festival takes place in the month of March. In this month the cold disappears and heat starts in India which indicates the arrival of Spring season. Most of the times people get a bit lazy when the climate changes.
This festival increases exuberance level of people and rejuvenates them. Many delicious dishes add more enthusiasm while playing Holi. Bhang (edible preparation of cannabis) escalates the spirit of Holi.
5. Gathering of family and friends
People of the country celebrate differently in different states of India but most important thing is that it ensures gathering of people. Kids, adults and even old age people, everyone participates to celebrate the colors. Use of Natural colors, flowers, etc, makes Holi festival even more beautiful. In some part of the Uttar Pradesh that people play lathmar Holi with sticks.
Holi festival encourages the bonding and friendships between people. People come together, forget their worries, tensions, and enjoy the festival to the fullest.
Holi is a festival of India but it inspires the people from all around the world. Many foreigners come to celebrate the festival of colors and the victory of good over evil. So, Be safe, play with natural colors, do not drink too much Bhang, let the colors bring happiness in your life. Happy Holi!