India is known for its vibrant and fascinating festivals. From the festival of lights to the celebration of Eid, one will find how unique and exciting each celebration brings. Among them, Holi always stands out. When one visits India in march, one will know why India is known as the land of colors. You will find shades of blue, yellow, pink, and red all around the streets, houses, and workplaces, and strangers coming and smearing colors on you, exclaiming, "bura na mano holi hai." let's first know the history behind this vibrant festival.
There are various legendary stories behind it. Among them, the tales of Krishna and Radha and the legend of Holika and Prahlad are the famous ones.
Vishnu Purana, written by Sage Parāśara, tells us about the legendary story of Prahlada and his devoted worship of God Vishnu. Purana tells us that the demon king Hiranyakashipu, who believed he was immortal, forced his subjects to worship him as a god. However, his son Prahlada was a true devotee of lord Vishnu and refused to worship him. The demon king was exasperated and sentenced his son to brutal damnation. After failing numerous attempts to kill him, he schemed with his demoness sister Holika and developed a plan to kill Prahlad. Now Holika had a cloak that protected her from fire. She tricked Prahlada into sitting on a pyre with her exposing him to fire, and defended herself with the veil. But lord Vishnu made the cloak cover the boy, telling the demoness to fire. Subsequently, Vishnu appeared in an avatar as half-man and half-Lion and killed the demon king. And thus, we see bonfires in the early mornings of holi act of the burning of Holika, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.
According to another myth, Lord Krishna was worried about his blue skin tone as the demoness Putana poisoned him with her breast milk. He was anxious about whether Radha and her friends would ever like him. However, his mother asked him to approach Radha and smear her face with any color he wanted. This occasion turned into Holi- the festival of colors.
This festival is celebrated by all Indians, Irrespective of their diverse nature. However, the region in India celebrates in various manners. For instance, in Barasana, women bet up the men chatting 'Sri Radha' or 'Sri Krishna.' In Maharashtra, men climb on top of each other to form a pyramid to break (Matki Phod) the buttermilk hung on top. The one who breaks is called holi king of the year. And in Punjab, Hola Mohalla is celebrated on the day after holi. Holi is called Basanta Utsav or the spring festival in Asam and west Bengal. Widows and women in Vrindavan cover themself in colors on holi. The rituals and customs may differ across the regions, but what unites them is the spirit of this festival.
Holi is a time when families, friends, and communities can get together without concern for caste or ethnicity. However, how much this holds, in reality, is debatable. Here are a few tips for you to enjoy this fest to the fullest;
- Have fun with your friends, relatives, neighbors, and many others to make this fest big and fun.
- Try delicious traditional Indian holi foods - Puran Poli, Dahi Vada, Gujia or Ghughra, Papri Chaat, Malpua, and many others. Remember to try thandi, a traditional drink flavored with nuts and spices that often has some herbs that might make you feel dizzy.
- Try using organic colors while playing. Adding toy guns, pichkari, and water balloons will add that 'extra spice' to your celebration.
- And make sure to dance and sing to the beats of the dholak (a traditional hand instrument). One can also arrange DJ and make it more exciting,
- Adding to the fun, try the Matki Phod traditional pot breaking by forming a pyramid to reach the top.
- Apply oil to your body and hair to remove the color easily.
- Last but not least, enjoy it to your fullest, talk to strangers, play with them, call your long-lost friend, and have fun, forgetting about stress.
Holi is now globally enjoyed by whereas parts of the world. So what's the wait? Grab your passes and enjoy the nearby holi event.
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