Holi is a popular ancient Hindu festival, originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is celebrated predominantly in India and Nepal, but has also spread to other areas of Asia and parts of the Western world through the diaspora from the Indian subcontinent. Holi is popularly known as the Indian “festival of spring”, the “festival of colours”, or the “festival of love”.
The festival signifies the arrival of spring, the end of winter, the blossoming of love, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. The festival also celebrates the beginning of a good spring harvest season. It lasts for a night and a day, starting on the evening of the Purnima (Full Moon day) falling in the Vikram Samvat Calendar, in the Hindu calendar month of Phalgun, which falls around middle of March in the Gregorian calendar.
Holi, which is one of the most celebrated festivals makes people celebrate the rhythm of ecstasy and utter elation.This occasion is a spring festival of colors which was originally celebrated in the countries of Nepal and India and later on mesmerized a million countries all over the world.
Days before the festival people start gathering wood and combustible materials for the bonfire in parks, community centers, near temples and other open spaces. On top of the pyre is an effigy to signify Holika who tricked Prahalad into the fire. Inside homes, people stock up on pigments, food, party drinks and festive seasonal foods such as gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other regional delicacies.
Style and Attire:-
On the eve of the festival, a ritualistic bonfire is lit which is called Kacy Dahan along with prayers. On the main day, scented water of different ayurvedic colors made out of medicinal herbs, either in liquid or powdered form are thrown and applied on each other, as a symbol of fun and joy.
Holi Festival brings a lot of fun and enjoyment for people in India and abroad. Special Holi spirit and uniqueness is quite apparent from Holi festivities all around. Many colorful and vivid activities develops special importance for Holi and its celebration. People merrily follow all Holi traditions and rituals. Holi celebrations are not only confined to performance of rituals but also there are so many fun-filled activities which makes Holi worth memorable.
It would not be an exaggeration if one says that FUN is the other name of this festival of colours called Holi. For, the very motive of celebrating the festival is to have fun. There are no prayers for this day and no sermons are said. The only norm that is followed is, “follow no norms and have as much fun as you want”.
The festival is celebrated at a time when the people are generally feeling laid back and lazy as the weather is neither too hot and nor too cold. This makes it an appropriate time to have a little fun and frolic. Holi gives them a chance to do so and people make the best out of this opportunity.
Colours are the most joyous part of the Holi celebrations. They add life and vitality to the festival making it most vibrant of all.
Spirit of Holi:-
The sight of Holi is so beautiful to watch; as the entire atmosphere gets filled with the clouds of colours…And, as if to match with the cheerful mood of the people nature itself wears its best and most colourful clothes.