Holi is More than a Color Festival
The day after the last full moon of phalgun, the last month of the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Holi in India. This falls normally around beginning the month of March in the English calendar.
The origin of the Holi festival dates back to the time of Krishna, reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. Krishna in his childhood used to tease the gopis (the young ladies) in his town of Gokul by putting colored water or color powder on them. It became a sort of play between them all and they all would dance and laugh doing this together. Holi celebrated as Krishna and Gopi is epic.
The other origin story is that of Holika and Prahalad. This is a story of victory of good over evil and in which Holika burns in the fire and Prahalad- devotee of Lord Vishnu is unharmed. Watch the full story here:
Traditionally, in Gujarat it’s a two-day celebration. The first day is Holi , when the bonfire is lit as people go around the fire to pray and thank God for the victory of good over evil. Many folks throw in a coconut in the fire to roast and eat it later as “Prasad”.
The second day is known as Dhuleti in the state of Gujarat and this is the day of the colors. There is playful celebration between friends, sister in laws (Bhabhi) and devars, brother in law (jijaji) and Sali. People use color powder, water guns known as Pitchkaari. There is lots of dancing and shouting and loud music along with delicious foods. Beware of the kind of colors you use as many are filled with harmful chemicals.
Scientific reason behind all of this is:
Lighting the fire – Holi destroys many unwanted creatures, bacterias and other impurities lingering around from dark winter days. As this festival falls between winter and spring. Originally the colors used were made of turmeric, saffron, sandalwood, rose, beets and other medicinal herbs and flowers. These have many Ayurvedic properties and antibacterial, antiseptic benefits.
The Western world has embraced this festival as well. Many places nowadays have color runs which allows everyone to enjoy the dancing, running and getting messy with colors. Coldplay’s hymn for the weekend in 2016 also depicts the festival of Holi.
Want to know more of what to wear, what to eat, what to do and why we do it? Also how to host a Holi Party of your own? Click this link to get your free PDF of “Its’ all about Holi.”