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Holi – “The Vibrant Festival of Unity and Concord”!!

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Holi is popularly known as “The Festival of Colors”. Undeniably, this lively and colorful festival is the one of the most ‘fun-filled festivals in India. In essence, Holi is a festival that brings in pure delight, amusement, play, dance, music and, yes, lots of vivid colors!! Every year, the Holi festival in jaipur is celebrated after the full moon day in the beginning of March to thank God for the good fertility and yield from the land. The fresh crops from the spring harvest restock the stores in every house. Perhaps, such large quantities justify the chaotic cheerfulness at the time of Holi. The festival is also celebrated in some other names. They are: the “Kama Mahotsava” and the “Vasant Mahotsava”. During Holi, some strange practices (which could be non-acceptable during some other times) that are followed by people are completely acceptable. Some of the Holi practices such as spraying colored water on the people who pass by, soaking friends in a mud-filled pool in the middle of mockery and amusement, getting intoxicated on “bhang” are absolutely acceptable. If truth be told, during Holi, one can escape by simply saying: – “Come on, it’s Holi today!!”

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What is the Moral behind the Holi festival?

The grand celebration of Holi can be considered as a festivity of “Colors of harmony and Brotherhood”. In essence, this colorful festival is a great chance to overlook all kinds of discrepancies and indulge in complete pleasure and absolute fun. The festival of Holi has been customarily celebrated with great “strength of mind” without any differences in cast, faith, race, color, sex or status. It is believed that sprinkling colored water or colored powder on each other would shatter all the unnecessary hurdles and walls of inequity in order to prove that all people in this world are equal and thereby re-assuring worldwide brotherhood.

History of Holi:

There are so many stories behind the famous Holi celebration. Some of the popular tales are listed below.

The Tale of Prahalad

holiThe festival of Hoil is connected to the fable of “King Hiranyakashipu”. This fable exemplifies the triumph of good over wickedness. King Hiranyakashipu, a strong-minded monarch anticipated unlimited (supreme) power in order to make all his citizens to worship him as the God. When the king’s desire was revealed, ‘Prahlad’, the son of King Hiranyakashipu refused to obey his father’s arrogant orders. Being a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, Prahlad believed that Lord Vishnu was the inimitable God. The conceited King was furious by Prahlad’s defiance and decided to punish him with a harsh punishment. So, the king requested his sister ‘Holika’ to help him. As indicated in the old tales, Holika was resistant to fire and had a unique power of not getting burnt by the fire. Hence, the King requested Holika to sit down in the middle of a beacon with Prahlad on her lap assuming that the flames could gulp down Prahlad leaving Holika behind. However, the pure devotion of Prahalad towards Lord Vishnu saved him. On the other hand, Holika was completely burnt into ashes. In reference to this old fable, gigantic beacons are lit on the Holi day, particularly in Bihar state and also in other states of North India.

The tale of Lord Krishna and Radha

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Also, Holi is celebrated in the reminiscence of the eternal love of Lord Krishna & Radha. In Hindu legends, Lord Krishna has been portrayed as a lover in his adolescence. Also, it is believed that his cheerful, playful fervor of originated the spring festival of Holi. The festival of Holi is considered as the festivity of the love of Krishna and Radha, an affectionate and teasing scene that is filled with lots of love and vivid color. These panoramas have been imprisoned and commemorated in the Holi songs. Also, the festival of Holi is an indication of the luminous, warm and fine-looking days of spring season.

The tale of Kamadeva

Often, it is considered that it was on Holi day that “Lord Shiva” opened his 3rd eye and burned “Kamadeva”, the God of love to bereavement. As a result, a lot of people worship ‘Lord Kamadeva’ on the day of Holi. They worship Lord Kamadeva by offering a concoction of sandalwood paste and mango flower buds.

Original Method of preparing bright Holi Colors

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The bright and vivacious colors of Holi are known as the “Gulal”. In ancient times ‘Gulal’ were prepared at home. They were made either from the “Palash” tree which is also called “the fire of the woods” or from the “Tesu” flowers. These intense red or profound orange color flowers were collected from the woods and were spread out on the mats and kept under the sun in order to dry them up. Then, the dried flowers are ground into fine powder. After that, the powder was mixed with water to create a beautiful ‘saffron-red’ colorant. This color along with the “Aabir” that was produced from the all-natural tinted talc was widely used as the popular Holi colors. These colored powders were considered good for the skin as they were made with complete natural ingredients and definitely not like the chemical pigments that are used these days.

How is Holi celebrated on all the 3 days ?

Day 1 celebration of Holi : The full moon day known as the “Holi Purnima” is the 1st day of Holi festival. A traditional platter, called “Thali” is filled with tinted powders and the colored water is also filled in a petite brass vessel, called “Lota”. The eldest member (man) of the family will start the revels by sprinkling vivacious colors and powders on each member of the family. After that, the younger people of the family follow the Holi rituals.

Day 2 celebration of Holi : The 2nd day of the Holi celebration is known as the “Puno”. On this day, the images of Holika are burnt in accordance with the old fable of Prahlad and his affection towards Lord Vishnu. In Indian villages, people celebrate the 2nd day of Holi by lighting up giant beacons in the evening as a part of the rural community festivity. Locals will assemble near the bonfire and sing pleasant folk songs.

Day 3 Celebration of Holi : The 3rd day is the most energetic day of the Holi celebration. This day is called as the “Parva”. On the third day of Holi, men, women, youth and children will visit each other’s house. They throw tinted powders named ‘Gulal’ and ‘Aabir’ into the air and they throw the colored powders on friends and family. They also daub the colored powders on each other’s faces & bodies. In addition, people fill water balloons and the “Pichkaris”, the huge (syringe-like) hand-pumps with colors and spray the colored water on other people whereas youth offer their respects to elder people by sprinkling some colors on their feet. In addition, colored powders are also applied on the faces of the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha as a part of the Holi celebration.

Conclusion:

Simply put, the festival of Holi temporarily wards off all the insignificant differences that are associated with the social background and race. People surrender to an unalloyed multicolored revolt. On Holi day, people will exchange their wishes to each other and the eldest member of the family will hand out money and sweets to the younger people. After that, people happily join in a frantic dance to the energetic beat of the drums.

Let’s Celebrate Holi to endorse Unity, harmony and accord among people all around the world!!!

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