Holi is considered as one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India and it is celebrated in almost every part of the country. It is also sometimes called as the “festival of love” as on this day people get to unite together forgetting all resentments and all types of bad feeling towards each other. The great Indian festival lasts for a day and a night, which starts in the evening of Purnima or the Full Moon Day in the month of Falgun. It is celebrated with the name Holika Dahan or Choti Holi on first evening of the festival and the following day is called Holi. In different parts of the country it is known with different names.
At some places Holi parties are also organised where the colour and water flows endlessly. Till everybody becomes one like nature in the season of HOLI-FULL OF COLORS AND LIFE.
Significance of Different Colors
Red – Purity
Green – Vitality
Blue – Calm and sedateness
Yellow – Pious feeling
The City Palace is the most popular tourist attraction in Rajasthan. On the day of Holika Dahan, the current custodian of the Mewar dynasty lights the bonfire. It is the celebration of the victory of good over evil.
On first day bonfires are lit after sunset at Holika Dahan. Main Holi day when people play with colors is always next day of Holika Dahan or Holi bonfire. Next day in the morning people play Holi with dry and wet colors. People are more willing and comfortable to play Holi with dry colored powders which are known as Gulal. However many people feel that Holi celebrations are incomplete without wet colors. Wet color is applied on the face and is made on the spot by mixing little amount of water with dry colored powder. More enthusiastic Holi folk mix dry colored powder in full bucket of water to drench complete body in wet color.
There are some snacks and sweets made for Holi, that are a must and traditionally made in North India. Can you imagine Holi without Thandai or Gujiya?
- Gujiya is a popular and traditional North Indian sweet of a crisp, flaky pastry filled with a sweet khoya (evaporated milk solids) and dry fruits stuffing.
- Thandai is a traditional cooling drink, popular in the northern parts of India. It is made with a mix of nuts, seeds and a few spices.
HISTORY OF HOLI
Holi gets its name from Holika, demon king Hiranyakashyap’s sister. Hiranyakashyap had got a boon from Lord Vishnu that he would not be killed by man or animal, at day or night, inside or outside, above or on the ground. So Hiranyakashyap said that only he should be worshipped, not God. His own son, Prahlad continued to worship Lord Vishnu. This made his father angry. He asked Prahlad to jump from a mountain, but he remained unhurt. Even when Hiranyakashyap made Prahlad jump in a well, he was unharmed. Hiranyakashyap tried to poison Prahlad. The poison turned to nectar in Prahlad’s mouth. Then, Hiranyakashya ordered that wild elephants should trample Prahlad, but he was not hurt. Next, Prahlad was put in a room with poisonous, angry snakes, but still nothing happened to him. Finally, Hollka made Prahlad sit on a pyre with her. She was protected by a shawl that kept her from being burnt. The shawl flew from her to Prahlad. So, Holika burned, Prahlad was safe. Lord Vishnu appeared as half-man, half-lion and killed Hiranyakashyap at dusk, on his porch steps. A Holika bonfire is lit every year to remind us of the victory of good over evil. Holi is celebrated on the day after the bonfire.