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Date: 13th March, 2017

Variety and color are synonymous with Indian beliefs, culture, and deep-rooted customs. A country that is drenched with many traditions and addles all with its kaleidoscopic rendezvous, India is a land of myriad festivals and one such symbolic festival is ‘Holi’. It is a festival of colors that rejoices the triumph of good over evil. Celebrated every year in the Hindu month of Phalgun (March), Holi marks the arrival of spring, symbolizes vivid colors. The festival is celebrated with great zest and a fun way to cool off the heat wave. A festival of myriad colors, scrumptious dishes like Gujhias, Holi gives us a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our relationship and drenched deeply into the colors of love and affection.

Legends of Holi

The legend of Holika and Prahlad
Akin to other Hindu festivals, Holi also has a story of its past that reflect the heritage and culture of ancient India. The most popular legend narrates that a demon king named Hirnakashyap forced all the people of his kingdom to worship him rather than Gods. Nevertheless, his son Prahlad was worshipping Lord Vishnu and this made his father enraged. Hirnakashyap had thrown his son, but Lord Vishnu saved Prahlad’s life.

As a last resort, Hirnakashyap took the help of his sister. She had a boon that made her unaffected to fire. She picked up Prahlad and sat in the fire, but by the grace of God, Prahlad was safe and Holika burnt to death. Since that day, Holi is celebrated to mark the death of Holika.

The Legend of Radha Krishna
Young Krishna was extremely envious of Radha’s fair skin tone. One day, He said to his mother Yashoda that why Radha is extremely fair and young Krishna started crying. To appease him, she said go and apply color of his choice on Radha’s face. In a playful mood, mischievous Krishna applied dark colors on the face of Radha.

Customs and Traditions Related to Holi

Lightning of bonfire marks the starting of Holi. On the eve of Holi, people flocked in an open area and light bonfires, which is made of wood, twigs and dry leaves. It is said that lightning of bonfire symbolizes the victory of good over evil.

Matka ceremony is also organized in places like Vrindavan and Mathura. In this traditional ceremony, a big pot, which is made up of clay is filled with butter milk. After this, the pot is tied at a high height and then young boys form pyramid to break the pot.

People on Holi carried out processions. In this, people who are completely soaked in vivid colors roam around their colonies. They gift Gujiya and Thandai at each doorstep and sing Holi songs.

The next morning of Holi is known as Dhulendi and the day begins with Puja performed at home. People greet each other, apply colors and celebrate the day with great gusto. Lip slacking dishes like papad and gujias are prepared on Holi and served to relatives and friends.