Holi is one of the most popular festivals in India which everybody waits for. Every year this festival comes in the month of Falgun and us also referred as the festival of colors. This year Holi is going to be celebrated on Wednesday 20th March . So let's understand few facts and rituals of this auspicious festival.
When is Holi celebrated ?
Holi confirms the closing of the winter season. As per the Hindu calendar, Holi is celebrated on the last full moon day or Purnima in the month of Falgun. It comes in the month of February-March as per the English calendar. On this festival people play with colors and share happiness.
If we talk about 2019 then it is going to be celebrated on 20th and 21st March. The beginning of Holika Dahan is at 20:57 and it continues till 00:28 am.
The Story of Holi
As per the Hindu legends, the demon king Hiranyakashipu and his sister Holika were given the boon of being immortal and that no one in the universe could kill him. His own son Prahlada was a true devotee of God Vishnu and out of angst,Hiranyakashipu tried to kill his son but failed. Finally, he seeked rescue under his sister, Holika. He ordered his son Prahlada to sit in the lap of Holika on the fire. Miraculously, Prahlada was saved by Lord Vishnu while Holika was burned into ashes. Thus, Holi is a symbol of the 'good' over the 'bad'.
Holi also remembers the love and romance that existed between God Krishna and Radha. There are quite a few tales that speak about the various 'ras-leelas' that took place in the cities of Mathura and Vrindavan between Krishna and Radha during Holi.
It is considered that on this day Lord Shiva annihilated Kamadeva, the God of love.
Rituals of Holi
On Holi, people play with colours and water, applying 'gulal' on each other's face. These colours are generally made with natural components that include neem, kumkum, turmeric and flower extracts.
Large bonfires are lit in the evening and cow dung cakes, wood, ghee, milk and coconuts are burned into the fire for worship. This is also called as Holika Dahan.
Everyone dance, sing and feast with their families and friends and in agricultural background, Holi is also symbol for a new harvest season - Rabi.
Fairs such as 'Holi Melas' are held in different cities in Uttar Pradesh and some another parts of North India.
In Bengal, Holi is celebrated as Doljatra in which young girls dressed up in white and saffron clothes, decorated with garlands and flowers, sing and dance to folk songs. During this festival, perfumed colour powder known as 'abir' are scattered all around that is an symbol of joy and happiness. Special sweets like malpua, kheer and basanti sandesh are cooked on this occasion.
In the regions of Karnataka, the folk dance style 'Bedara vesha' native to Holi is performed with enthusiasm.
While in Tamil Nadu, Holi is celebrated as Panguni Uthram. It is a belief that on this day Rama-Sita, Shiva-Parvati and Muruga-Devsena got married. Also Mahalakshmi Jayanthi is celebrated that remebers the incarnation of Mahalakshmi from an ocean of milk.
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