Known as the “Festival of Colours,” Holi is probably one of the oldest festivals celebrated in India. Every year, it is celebrated on a full moon in the month of March. It is one of the very first festivals in a calendar year as well, so people look forward to Holi with a lot of curiosity. From bright and vibrant colours everywhere to lip-smacking delicacies and an atmosphere of merrymaking, Holi brings with itself the advent of the spring season and the end of winters.
The festival has its roots hidden deep inside Hindu mythology. The festival, which is a celebration of happiness and is said to bring good luck and joy to everyone’s lives, is related to the story of Prahalad and his aunt Holika. A long time ago, there used to be a demon king called Hiranyakashyap. He was Prahalad’s father and Holika’s brother. It is said that Hiranyakashyap was a very arrogant ruler as he had been given a boon that no one, be it a person, god or animal, could ever kill him. Moreover, he could not be killed by any weapon, neither in the day nor night.
He had, therefore, asked his subjects to worship him instead of God. On the other hand, Prahalad, his son, was a great worshipper of Lord Vishnu, which did not sit well with the demon king. Holika, his sister, had a blessing that she could not be burnt in the fire. Therefore, Hiranyakashyap asked Holika to burn Prahalad.
Eventually, she took Prahalad in her lap and sat in fire. However, the fire burned Holika but Prahalad escaped the fire unhurt. Soon enough, Lord Vishnu, in the form of Narasimha came and tore the evil king into pieces. This event, also known as “Holika Dahan” marks the victory of good over evil.
In modern times, a day before Holi, people burn their misdeeds and get rid of evils by burning Holika, making a fire out of wood, grass and cow dung.
The festival of Holi also marks the beginning of the harvest season. People all around the country smear gulaal and abir on one another. Children also enjoy this festival a lot and celebrate it by splashing colourful water on everybody. This is a festival which teaches us to do well in our lives and to live in peace and harmony with one another.