Holi is a colourfull festive celebration in India. A symbol of triumph of good over evil. Holi marks the onset of spring and is also celebrated to show gratitude for a good harvest. In North of India Holi is day marked to bury the age old grievances and mark a new beginning. Many foes are turned to friends on this auspicious day.
Holi is marked as a two day fest. It starts the night prior to the main celebration with choti (little) Holi, when extensive fire is charred on lanes as an image of Holika dahan (consuming of the demoness Holika) representative to the triumph of good over malice. The following day individuals play with hues and in night visit each other reciprocate wishes and mithais. The custom of visiting companions and relatives proceeds for over seven days.
In the ancient eras there was a ruler, Hiranyakashyap, his sister, Holika and child, Prahlad. Prahlad was an Essence of God and profoundly committed to God. This kind of son’s commitment did not go down with the father Hiranyakashyap. He was a powerful king. He wanted be venerated by everybody including his very own child as a God. It was not acknowledged by his own son Prahlad and he kept revering God. His dad was furious with him and wanted to slaughter him by consuming in the flame. He asked sister Holika to have Prahlad in her lap and sit in the flame (as Holika was booned by the God to never get consumed by the flame). Holika did as such yet sadly she kicked the bucket in the flame and Prahlad was spared by the Lord. This legend had started the Holi festivity.
Just day before vivid Holi celebration, individuals put smoulder a load of woods and cow excrement cakes in the night which symbolises the burning of Holika. A few people pursue the exceptional custom of consuming the waste of ‘sarson ubtan’ back rub of every relative in the Holika expecting that it will expel every one of the evil eyes and disasters from house and body and convey joy and happiness to home.
On the eve of Holi, a large bonfire, termed as Holika dahan, is lit. People gather around the fire known as Choti Holi and offer prayers for the prosperity and longevity of their near ones.
UTTAR PRADESSH: lATHMAR HOLI
Women get the festive opportunity to cane the men with sticks. Women here are empowered with lathis or canes and men have shields for defence on this festival. This act is done in humour. It’s believed that Lord Krishna went to Radha’s Village to play the colourful festival of Holi however the women folk there chased him away with lathis. Such a celebration is still practiced in regions such as Vrindavan, Mathura, Nandgaon and Barsana of Uttar Pradesh.
HOLI@ REST OF THE WORLD
Holi is celebrated with great pomp and show in the Caribbean countries. Here Holi is called as Phagua. Indians were transported under the British Raj to serve in their other colonies as Plantation workers and were called as Coolies. These workers mainly belonged to states of Bihar and UP. Phagua is a national holiday in Guiana. Other African nations also celebrate Holi.
In Bihar Holi is called Phagua. This term and the name got carried across the Indian Ocean in different African and Caribbean colonies.
In short Holi currently is about Colours, gujiyas and fun.
BOLLYWOOD AND HOLI:
From the legendary Amitabh Bachan film songs as Rang Barse to Ranbir Kapoor’s Balam Pichkari, the Hindi film industry celebrates this occasion with a lot of fanfare. Many celebrities host big scale Holi Party for their near and dear ones.
From Rajesh Khanna to the very recent Varun Dhawan era, Holi songs are mischievous in nature. Majority of these songs are men chasing their heroines and women objecting to being colored. But there is no stopping the Hindi Hero. Bollywood surely normalises harassment of young girls. They Understand No as consent in the Indian continent.
Children throw water filled balloons at each other. There is sprinkle of water colours everywhere. Children enjoy the maximum during Holi. Kids fill their buckets with water. They get up early for the preparations. They gang up and plan their targets like PUB G. Kids everywhere are running around with colors and their water guns / pistols .
This festival cements the ties of brotherhood, friendship and love. Old enemies become friends. People try to forgive people from their past and improve their relationships.
“ Bura Na Mano Holi Hai”. Don’t mind this is Holi.
Kindly celebrate and not offend the others.
It’s supposed to be fulfilled for all. Including young girls and women. So play with your friends and family. Stop harassing others. Don’t colour those who object to it. Last year many hostlers in LSR women’s college complained about condom filled balloons. Is this the idea of Holi celebration acceptable?
So enjoy the real spirit of the festival and kill your own demons.
Happy and Safe Holi.