Holi is also known as the Festival of Colours and is one of India’s grandest and most popular celebrations. This large festival is celebrated in many cities and rural areas throughout India, so there are plenty of opportunities for fun and excitement.
The Holi festival traditionally celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is associated with many legends, including the story of Holika. Many people in India believe that this holiday shows that the devotion of Hindu people can augment the power of Lord Vishnu. This celebration also honours Lord Krishna, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu.
In addition to its religious aspects, Holi also celebrates the end of winter and the arrival of spring. Holi is also known as the Festival of Colors. The holiday is officially celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Phalguna, but it is observed on different dates in some areas of India.
Indian people participate in many celebratory activities to have fun and show their devotion for Lord Vishnu during Holi:
Throwing Color: One of the most iconic activities of Holi is the throwing of colored water and powder in the streets of India’s cities. This is an exciting activity that is used to show devotion and respect to deities, friends, and family members.
Worship the Idol of Radah: Radha is a Hindu goddess and the lover of Lord Krishna. According to traditional stories, Radah was the first woman to be showered with color as a show of love. To show respect for Radah, many people sing Holi songs and perform plays near the goddess’ idol.
Bonfires: To celebrate the triumph of good over evil during the story of Holika and Prahlad, many people build large bonfires on the eve of Holi. It is believed that these fires scare evil spirits by reminding them of Holika’s demise. The burning of the bonfires is a joyous activity. Many people use this occasion to dance, sing, and socialize with their friends and family members. This activity is known as Holika Dahan.
Consumption of Bhang: Many festival-goers enjoy Holi by consuming bhang, a treat that is made from cannabis paste. This is traditional treat that is intended to help people relax during the festival.
The festivities of Holi begin close to midnight on the night before Holi with bonfires being lit. Prior to the bonfires, it is traditionally the job of men and boys to collect fallen wood and leaves to burn in the bonfires as a part of the symbol of the end of winter. Some of this tradition is changing today with forest trees unfortunately being cut down for burning.
The colours of Holi are very special and add to the vibrancy of the day. In the past, the colours that were used on people’s skin were natural but many of them now are man-made and some even of dangerous chemicals leaving some people with skin inflammations. During the festivities of Holi, people throw or smear scented, colourful powders over each other.