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Festival Of Joy? Festival Of Happiness? Festival of Excitement? Festival of colours? No, its more than it especially when we talk about India and then more about UP And Bihar. We welcome Holi ,we celebrate holi, we spread colour of happiness, joy, we share our happy moments, our sad moments and many more things to share. Especailly a meet and greet with our friends and relatives in dawn is too special, colouring them with abeer and gulal, eating sweets makes our day. From morning till night we enjoy holi. Coloured ourselves with different colours indicating the happiness, joy, sorrow, sadness of our live. It is the festival of love. The date of Holi is different every year in India! In most of India, Holi is celebrated at the end of winter, on the day after the full moon in March each year. On the eve of Holi, large bonfires are lit to mark occasion and to burn evil spirits. This is known as Holika Dahan.
Let me tell you how it all started, the real history of holi, why people start enjoying it as a festival?
Hiranyakashipu was a king in ancient India who was like a demon. He wanted to take revenge for the death of his younger brother who was killed by Lord Vishnu. So, to gain power, the king prayed for years. He was finally granted a boon. But with this Hiranyakashipu started considering himself God and asked his people to worship him like God. The cruel king has a young son named Prahalad, who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Prahalad had never obeyed his father’s order and kept on worshiping Lord Vishnu. The King was so hard hearted and decided to kill his own son, because he refused to worship him. He asked his sister ‘Holika’, who was immune to fire, to sit on a pyre of fire with Prahalad in her lap. Their plan was to burn Prahalad. But their plan did not go through as Prahalad who was reciting the name of Lord Vishnu throughout was safe, but Holika got burnt to ashes. The defeat of Holika signifies the burning of all that is bad. After this, Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyakashipu. But it is actually the death of Holika that is associated with Holi. Because of this, in some states of India like Bihar, a pyre in the form of bonfire is lit on the day before Holi day to remember the death of evil.
But how did colors become part of Holi? This date back to the period of Lord Krishna (reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Lord Krishna used to celebrate Holi with colors and hence popularized the same. He used to play Holi with his friends at Vrindavan and Gokul. They used to play pranks all across the village and thus made this a community event. That is why till date Holi celebrations at Vrindavan are unmatched.
Holi is a spring festival to say goodbye to winters. In some parts the celebrations are also associated with spring harvest. Farmers after seeing their stores being refilled with new crops celebrate Holi as a part of their happiness. Because of this, Holi is also known as ‘Vasant Mahotsava’ and ‘Kama Mahotsava’.
Day 1 – On full moon day (Holi Purnima) colored powder and water are arranged in small brass pots on a thali. The celebration begins with the eldest male member who sprinkles color on the members of his family.
Day 2- This is also known as ‘Puno’. On this day Holika’s images are burnt and people even light bonfires to remember the story of Holika and Prahalad. Mothers with their babies take five rounds of the bon- fire in a clockwise direction to seek the blessing of the God of fire.
Day 3- This day is known as ‘Parva’ and this is the last and final day of Holi celebrations. On this day colored powder and water is poured on each other. The deities of Radha and Krishna are worshipped and smeared with colors.
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