Holi Essay- History, Spiritual Significance, Facts

Holi Essay: India is a land of cultural diversity that has various states, religions, caste, creed, cultures, tradition, and festivals. Every year or we can say every month a festival is celebrated in India.

Holi is one of the major festivals of Hindus and Sikhs celebrated with great enthusiasm in India and Nepal. Holi is a national Holiday in India. It is celebrated as the victory of goodness over shrewdness. It is the time of the year when people forget all the bad experiences, grudges and cherish the festivity of this colorful festival.

Holi

People throw colors and drench each other with colors.  Holi festival lasts for two days and people enjoy it with sweets, fun and lots of color and water. It is a spring festival that starts in the night of “Purnima” (full moon). It is celebrated in the month of Phalguna (during spring season) according to the Hindu calendar which falls somewhere at the end of February and in the month of April.

Essay on Holi Festival

It is a two days celebration where the first evening is known as Choti Holi or “Holika Dahan” and the second day is called as Dhulandi or Rang wali Holi.

History of Holi

Every Indian festival has a deep history and so is with Holi. There are few legends which tell the history of Holi.

The legend of Prahalad

There is a very famous legend that tells that why is Holi celebrated. It is associated with the legend of Hiranyakashyap and his son Prahalad.

According to Hindu mythology, there was a demon king (Asura) called as Hiranyakashyap who earned a boon from Lord Brahma. He became arrogant and announced himself God and demanded that only he should be worshiped.

He had a son Prahalad who was ardently devoted to Lord Vishnu and disagreed with his father. The tyrant king was a hater of Lord Vishnu and therefore he tried various punishments and tricks to change his (Prahalad’s) mind but all in vain.

Finally, he decided to kill him and for that, he took a favor from his sister Holika. Holika was immune to fire because of a boon. She took Prahalad and sit on a pyre that was set into fire. Prahalad was so calm and pious sitting on the lap of her Aunt. After sometime Holika burnt into ashes and Prahlad was not even signed. His devotion and faith in Lord Vishnu saved him. Later on, Lord Vishnu took the avatar of Narshimha (Half Man and Half Lion) and killed Hirankashyap and restored Dharma.

Since then Holi is celebrated in the honor of Prahalad and Lord Vishnu as a symbol of the triumph of good over evil.

The legend of Lord Krishna

Another legend related to this celebration is associated with Lord Krishna.

In his childhood, Lord Krishna was poisoned by Putna (she-demon) and this is believed to a reason behind the dark skin of Lord Krishna. When Krishna grew up he used to visit Barsana (Birthplace of Radha) where he used to color the face of Radha and Gopis (other Cowgirls) in a playful manner as they had fair skin.

Ever since Holi is marked as the demise of “Putana” by Lord Krishna and commemorates the divinity of love of Radha and Krishna for each other. This is the reason Holi is also called the “festival of Love”.

Spiritual Significance of Holi Festival

A maximum number of the festivals that are celebrated in India have a spiritual significance. Though Holi is a fun festival at the same, it has a spiritual side too.

Holi is a religious festival and therefore, it is understood that it will have a religious importance. Holi is celebrated with great fervor across India as it is linked with Divinity.

The legend of Prahalad and Lord Krishna clearly tells the spiritual significance of this colorful festivity. Apart from these, the legend of Lord Shiva who conquers the God of love, lust and desires “Kaamdeva” and burnt him into ashes with his third eye.

This is the reason the holy fire (bonfire) on the night of Choti Holi (day 1) connotes the Holika and destruction of lust. Holi in its spiritual and purest form gives a message to rise and grew above all the evils with the help of knowledge and wisdom.

Holi is a fun festival that brings your friends and families and even enemies together. People start preparing for Holi a week before as they have to prepare a staple sweet “Gujiya” that is consumed a lot during this festival. However, there are lots of other Indian delicacies that are prepared and consumed in Holi but Gujiya has a great significance.

How to Celebrate Holi?

Start the celebration by collecting a stack of wood and preparing a pile for Holika bonfire. On the evening of Choti Holi gather around the Holika and light the firewood after completing the ritual and prayers. This signifies “Holika Dahan” the victory of good over bad. Now play music and celebrate this victory by dancing and chanting mantras around the Holika.

The next day i.e. on Dulandi put on some old clothes and get ready with different colors, colored water and pichakaree (water guns). Gather into open areas like grounds, parks or streets and smear colors on the faces of your friends and wish them Happy Holi. Children armed with water guns and water balloon and enjoying every moment of this festivity looks adorable.

Use natural and good quality of colors as synthetic colors may be harmful. “Abeer” or “Gulal” are the best options. Dance and cherish the celebration with some Holi music or dance on the beat of Dholak.

Visit the houses of your relatives and friends, play with colors, share sweets and wishes and enjoy every moment.

The more element of this festival that takes the fun to another level is “Thandai”. It is a staple drink made from Cannabis leaves flavored with various nuts. It is common in this festival and might make you feel dizzy as it is prepared from intoxicated Cannabis leaves.

Holi is the festival that gives the message that we are one and we should live with love and harmony.

Holi Facts

All the Indian festivals are interesting and fascinating as they are full of joy, food, deep history and most importantly all give a message of love and harmony.

Here are some of the interesting facts about Holi-

  • Holi in Braj/Brij is the most famous Holi celebration in Tourists from all over the world especially come to enjoy this celebration of color. Braj Holi is so exciting because it the place associated with Lord Krishna where he was born, spent his childhood, grew, and played Holi with Radha and Gopis (Cowgirls).

“Lathmar Holi” of Barsana and “Phoolo ki Holi” in Gulal Kund are some of the major attractions of this celebration here. “Lathmar Holi” is where women playfully beat men with sticks. The Holi celebration is started a few days before the actual date of Holi in Braj.

  • Nepal is the other Hindu nation that celebrates Holi with the same enthusiasm as it is celebrated in India. The Holi celebration in Nepal lasts for a week.
  • It symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
  • Each color that is used in Holi have different meaning like blue is for Lord Krishna and Red is for Love etc.
  • The popular phrase or saying that you can hear from everyone during Holi celebration is “Bura Na Mano- Holi Hai” which means “do not offend/mind its Holi”
  • Apart from India and Nepal- the two Hindu nations, Holy is also celebrated in Fiji, Guyana, Mauritius, The Philippines, Trinidad and Tobacco, Pakistan etc by Indian Diaspora. Now it has spread to various other countries and is being celebrated by different communities.
  • No specific date is marked for the celebration of Holi as it is celebrated on the cycle of the moon and as per the Hindu calendar.

Holi is a festival that teaches us to forget the social discrimination and celebrate this auspicious with showering colors of love and peace over each other. It is the time of frolic and fun, playing with colors, spreading smiles, eating, celebrating and enjoying together the different colors of life. The warmth of this colorful festival brings oneness on the hearts and gives a message of love.

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