As spring wind blows and winter bids farewell, a wonderful celebration of colors can be witnessed in Hindu Nations. The joyfulness of the festival is enhanced by vibrant colors. On this day people come together with their loved ones and put colors on each other. The ritual begins with the lighting of a bonfire one day ahead of Holi, and this process represents the victory of good over evil. The entire day people play with colors, sing, celebrate, dance and pay respect to each other.
According to ancient beliefs Holi, commemorates Lord Vishnu’s (Narasimha’s) victory over Hiranakashyap and his evil aunt Holika. Hiranyakashipu outlawed the use of the word “God” in his kingdom, but his own son Prahlad defied him and proceeded to worship Lord Vishnu. King Hiranyakashipu attempted to murder his own son Prahlad in a variety of ways, but he was unsuccessful. Finally, his sister Holika, who had been granted a boon that rendered her fireproof. Hiranyakashipu and Holika made the decision to transport Prahlad to Pyre one day. Prahlad was persuaded by Holika that she would shield him from flames. Holika, who was unaffected by flames, accompanied Prahlad into the pyre so that he might die. Still, thanks to Lord Vishnu’s mercy, Prahlad was spared from the flames, while Holika perished. People smeared the ashes over their heads and bodies the next day as a celebration of good triumphing over bad. It also represents the victory of good over evil. The festival also signifies and celebrates a good spring harvest.
The origin of paying with colors was believed to protect people from diseases while the seasons changed. During the ancient times the colors were made of Turmeric, Neem, Henna and other flower extracts, which acted as ayurvedic medicines. On Holi, people throw colored powder into the air and spray it on one another, turning whole streets and towns red, green, and yellow. Each color has a distinct connotation. For instance, the colors red represent love and fertility, while the color green represents new beginnings. As for modern times most of the colors are made with artificial chemicals which are quite harmful to the skin and the environment.
Holi commemorates the start of a new season, spring. The festival, which dates back to 17th century literature, praised agriculture, healthy spring harvests, and fertile land. It’s time to bid farewell to winter and welcome spring’s vibrant hues. It is also an opportunity for Hindus to put an end to problems and mend relationships during this period of “new beginnings.”
This restless and joyful day requires at least one day rest, in other words the city sleeps for a day after Holi and the roads still stay colorful for somedays while people wait for a year to celebrate it again.
Feature Image Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/lifestyle/spirituality/2020/mar/01/from-holi-to-diwali-every-festival-has-a-huge-secret-2109485.html