Every year, thousands of Hindus participate in the festival Holi. The festival has many purposes. First and foremost, it celebrates the beginning of the new season, spring. Originally, it was a festival that commemorated good harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colors and saying farewell to winter. It also has a religious purpose, commemorating events present in Hindu mythology. Although it is the least religious holiday, it is probably one of the most exhilarating ones in existence. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw colored powder at each other, and celebrate wildly.
Holika Dahan, (Chhoti Holi) :
On the eve of Holi, Holika Dahan takes place. Effigy of Holika, the devil minded sister of demon King Hiranyakashyap is placed in the wood and burnt. For, Holika tried to kill Hiranyakashyap’s son Prahlad, an ardent devotee of Lord Naarayana. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil and also the triumph of a true devotee.
The legend on King Hiranyakashipu is one of the explanations Hindus look back to. The King condemned his son, Prahlad, from worshipping the god Vishnu. However, he continued to pray to him. Filled with anger, the King made a challenge to his son. He was to sit on a pyre along with his aunt Holika, believed to be unharmed by fire. The son accepted the challenge, praying to Vishnu to protect him. As the fire began, Holika was burnt to a crisp but Prahlad lived and was unharmed. This burning of Holika is the reason why Holi exist
Holi celebration takes place with lot of joy and verve throughout the country. The enthusiasm of the people reaches its peak and matches with the nature which is in full bounty at the time of Holi.
Holi is being celebrated in Indian since time immemorial but the popularity of Holi celebrations seems to be rising with every passing year. As no other festival gives so much liberty to the people to let their hair loose and enjoy their hidden crazy self. Over the years, Holi has become an important festival in many regions wherever Indian diaspora had found its roots, be it in Africa, North America, Europe or closer to home in South Asia