The Hindu Festival of Colors Brings Together Color, Religion and Happiness
Today, March 17, the Hindu celebrate the Holi Festival or the Hindu Festival of Colors. Each year, the spring festival takes place on a different date, as it is celebrated on the last day with full moon in the Hindu lunar year.
The Holi Festival is a celebration of color, love and the triumph of good over evil. This is a festival which brings all people together, no matter of gender, age or social rank.
The Hindu legends tell the story of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, who was made indestructible by a boon he has earned somehow. He became evil, arrogant and he believed himself God demanding everyone to obey him. Still, his son, Prahlada, refused to obey him and remained devoted to Vishnu. Infuriated, Hiranyakashipu tried to kill his son several times but failed each time.
One day, Prahlada’s sister, Holika, who was protected by a cloak and made her immune to fire, tricked her brother into sitting on a pyre with her. Unexpectedly, the cloak flew from Holika and covered Prahlada. Holika burned to death, while her brother survived. At that moment Vishnu appeared and killed Hiranyakashipu. And so, the bonfire reminds people of the victory of good over evil.
During the Hindu Festival of Color, people throw at each other colored powder and liquids, dance and have parties. The festival can become quite riotous as the social rules are relaxed this day. People also drink bhang, which is an intoxicating drink made from the cannabis plant. On the eve of Holi, Holika bonfires are built to burn the evil spirits, sing, pray and dance. During this day you can get away with almost everything simply by saying “bura na mano holi hai,” or “don’t mind, it is Holi.”
This is a beautiful festival, and if you don’t mind getting wet and painted in various colors, you should have great fun. Besides the wild nature of the festival, there is also the calm part when family members get together, decorate their homes, eat special foods and share gifts. The Holi Festival is one of the most loved and spirited in the whole Hindu calendar.
Happy Holi !