The Holi festival is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India. It is a celebration of religion and culture that goes beyond just throwing colors and drenching in the colored water.
Many people often celebrate Holi because of the activities done on that day. Holi festival is celebrated in the month of Phalguna according to the Hindu calendar.
It is celebrated because of the victory of good over evil. The festival is celebrated by the spraying of colors, and buying of sweet. Many people celebrate this amazing festival but do not know the legends and history behind its celebration.
In this article, we will be discussing the religious traditions and act behind the Holi festival. Let’s dive in.
How to celebrate the Holi festival
Holi is a Hindu festival celebrated since ancient times. It is celebrated to welcome the spring season and a new fresh start. The people believe they can act anyhow they like and throw away their culture during this festival because the gods turn a blind eye to the action during the festival.
It is also one of the times that extremely devoted Hindus do what they like. They also go to parties, enjoy people’s company while putting aside their religious rules.
The first day of Holi is celebrated by lighting a bonfire in the evening between 10 pm to midnight. This symbolizes the burning away of every bad thing and the giving of a colorful and bright future.
Holi festival is celebrated with the throwing of color powders in the air. People go from one place to another pouring color on everyone they meet. The celebration and poring of colors symbolize many things.
While some believe it’s a symbol of vibrant life, others believe it washing away sins. Some people believe washing off the color at the end of the festival means their commitments to a new life and cleansing from demons and evil deeds.
Which religion celebrates Holi?
The Holi festival is majorly celebrated by Hindus. The festival is very important to them and they believe it represents unity. Although the Holi festival is a Hindu tradition, it is celebrated all over the world in Indian communities.
Holi festival is mentioned in many Hindu ancient religion books. Hindu’s ancient temples also have sculptures of Holi on their walls.
The 16th-century temple in Hampi, the capital of Vijayanagar is one of the temples that have Holi scenes carved on its wall. Some of the scenes show princesses and their maids holding pichkaris and squirting colored water on each other to celebrate the Holi festival.
Many paintings from the 16th century have also shown the celebration of this festival. The festival also represents a day to bring people together in unity and celebrate in a big colorful group.
Why do we celebrate Holi?
Many people have this question in mind that why do we celebrate Holi. Holi festival is celebrated to honor the victory of good over evil. The history of Holi dates back to the story of a cruel ancient king in India named Hiranyakashipu. This king was angry at lord Vishnu for killing his younger brother and wants to take revenge.
Hiranyakashipu prayed for many years to gain power and was finally given a boon. This made him feel like a god and ask his people to worship him. Hiranyakashipu has a son who was devoted to Lord Vishnu. Prahlada refuses to obey his father and continues to serve lord Vishnu.
Hiranyakashipu was angry at his son and decided to kill him. He planned this evil with his sister Holika who was immune to fire. The plan was for Holika to carry Prahlada in her lapse and sit inside the fire.
Their plan failed as Prahlada was reciting the name of Lord Vishnu inside the fire and was safe. But Holika was burned into ashes. The victory of Prahlada signifies the end of good while the burning of Holika represents the burning of bad things.
Hiranyakashipu was later killed by Lord Vishnu but the death of Holika marks the beginning of the Holi celebration. These make many states in India light a bonfire in the evening of the first day of Holi to remember the end of evil deeds.
Celebration of colors became part of the Holi festival through the story of Lord Krishna. It was recorded that he used to put color on the face of the Hindu goddess Radha when they were dating.
Lord Krishna is also known to play with colors with his friends at Vrindavan and Gokul. They played Holi across the village and it later became a community event. This is why the Holi celebration at Vrindavan stands out among other places.
Holi is celebrated to welcome the spring season and say goodbye to the harsh winter season. Farmers also celebrate the festival because they harvest in this season and their stores are refilled with new crops.
Why is Holi celebrated outside India?
Holi festival is celebrated in other countries by the Hindu community to teach their children culture and tradition. It has also being adopted in some countries because of its entertainment.
they also believe it’s a time to come together in unity and look forward to a new and colorful future. Holi festival is now celebrated in South Africa, Malaysia, Spanish Fork, Canada, New York, Nepal, and other places in the world.
Drinks to try during Holi festival
If you love Bollywood movies, then you might have come across Thandai in Holi festival scenes in the movie. The drink is often taken with some nuts and spices depending on your preference.
Bhang is sometimes laced with the drink and it is one of the best drinks to taste during the Holi festival. It also offers medicinal benefits which include reduction of constipation, improves digestion, boosts the immune system, and many more.
Most importantly, Thandai is the best drink during the spring season to cool down the heat from the sun.
Lassi is one of the most popular drinks in North India. The drink is prepared with yogurt, water, and other ingredients. It can also be prepared sweet or sour depending on your preference and there are many flavors you can opt for.
Also read this: Festival of Colors: Holi