Holi is a festival of colour & is
celebrated all over India. It is also celebrated by Indians residing out
of India. This festival comes on the full moon day of Phagan - a Hindu
month. This festival bring new hope for all the people as it marks the
end of chilled winter days and the beginning of the summer. People
forget their enmity and throw away their worries. Every nook and corner
presents atypically colourful sight.
Everywhere people - young or old are drenched with different colours
and water which comes from everywhere, there are balloons bursting and
long piston squirting coloured water. People in small groups are seen
singing, dancing and throwing colors on each other.
According to legend Hirankashyap was a very powerful Devil. In his
fight against the Gods he had defeated the Gods and because of this he
became very egoistic and had issued an order that no one should pray to
God or even take the name of God. Due to fear people started praying
him. His son Pralhad was a true devotee of God. He didn't obey his
father's order. Hirankashyap got angry on him and order for the most
rigorous punishments to him. But this did no harm to Pralhad.
Hirankashyap had a sister by the name of Holika. She had been granted a
boon that fire will do no harm to her. Hirankashyap ordered Holika to
take Pralhad on her lap and sit on a bed of fire. Holika was burnt in
the fire and Pralhad survived with no harm done to him.
As a remembrance to that event people celebrate Holi by burning wood
and pray to Goddess Holi for their well being.
Holi is also associated with the immortal love of Krishna and Radha .
Holi is celebrated all over India, but is more predominant in North
Celebrations start a week earlier than rest of India. Men of Nandagaon
(place where Lord Krishna grew up) raid Barsana (place where Radha grew
up) with hopes of raising their flag over Shri Radhikaji's temple. They
receive a thunderous welcome as the women of Barsana greet them with
long wooden sticks. The men are soundly beaten as they attempt to rush
through town to reach the relative safety of Shri Radhikaji's temple.
Men are well padded as they are not allowed to retaliate. In this mock
battle the men try their best not to be captured. Unlucky captives can
be forcefully lead away, thrashed and dressed in female attire before
being made to dance!!
In short the celebration of Holi bears witness to a feeling of oneness
and sense of brother-hood and creates a colourful atmosphere .