And the festival of colours is here again. Yes, it’s ‘Holi Hai!’, one of the most joyful festivals celebrated among Hindus in fagun season. Though it’s an Indian festival with time it has spread to other parts of the world.
As mentioned in Puranas and ancient Hindu ritual books there was a boy named Prahalad, son of demon Hiranyakashyap and Kayudhu. Prahalad was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, on the other hand, his father was an evil who once received a boon that he could not be killed by any human or animal, neither on land nor in the air nor in the water, neither in the day not at night, neither outdoor nor indoor. He considered himself as the foremost and the powerful and wanted everyone to bow before him. His son refuses to do so as he was a true devotee of Lord Vishnu and considered him as the only God and creator of the world. Hiranyakashyap tried many attempts to kill his son. Once he called his sister Holika, who was granted a boon of being fireproof. She took Prahalad in her lap and sat on a pyre. Prahalad continuously reciting Narad’s chant thus Lord Vishnu saved Prahalad and Holika was burned alive. Then Lord Vishnu formed the incarnation of Narasimha who was neither a human nor an animal emerged from the pillar. He took Hiranyakashyap on his thighs and killed him with his sharp nails at the threshold at dusk and thereby breaking Hiranyakashyap’s boon of being immortal. This event was marked in history as the victory over evil and since then Holi is celebrated.
There is another history of Holi related to Lord Krishna. Once Krishna complained his mother Yashoda of being dark in complexion and was jealous of Radha’s fairness. Yoshoda mockingly suggested him to stain some colours on Radha’s face and change her complexion to whatever colour he wants. Krishna took it seriously and did the same. Since then the festival of colours popularised among folks. The Holi of Braj, Vrindavan, Barsana, and Mathura is famous all over the world.
Holi in Different regions :
India is a vast nation with lots of diversity. It’s every corner witnesses a different culture and custom. Likewise, Holi is also celebrated in a unique way in different regions.
Braj ki Holi
Braj’s Holi is associated with Lord Krishna’s life. Being jealous of Radha’s fair complexion, Krishna went to Barasana and smeared colours on Radha’s face and others. Eventually, they playfully beat him with a stick and thereby popularised the Lath-Maar holi.
Vrindavan ki Holi
Vrindavan, where Krishna grew up known for its most joyous Holi. The celebration of Holi starts a week before the actual date. The Banke Bihari Temple hosts the occasion and people celebrate it with full enthusiasm playing with gulals, rang, flowers, water and grooving to the tune of Bhajans completely lost in devotion of Lord Krishna. In my opinion, it is the best place to spend your spring season.
Colours and Music
Wait! Isn’t the joy incomplete without music. Holi comes with a surprise package as well and that is several folk songs based on Holi. The songs mainly describe the history and how almighty plays Holi with their loved ones which will surely force you to groove on its tune. The song “holi khele raghuveera awadh mein” describes the holi in Ayodhya between Lord Ram and Maa Sita is popular in the Purvanchal and also spread over a wide region. Every state has its own folk song for Holi, like Gair in Rajasthan, Chaiti and Hori in Bhojpuri speaking region.
Holi is the festival of colours, togetherness, love, equality which teaches us the joy of victory over evil. Defeating all differences, envy and establishing peace, love, and unity. It’s about being a little more notorious and a bit more caring and loving.
Comment down how you enjoyed your festival.