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Holi the festival of colors

Holi is celebrated on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Falguna. This festival celebrates spring. Holi is one of the least religious of Hindu holidays. During Holi, people attend a public bonfire, and spray friends and family with colors in the form of powders and water.

History and meaning of Holi:


This festival is celebrated all over India. Actually, Holi is an agricultural festival, which celebrates the arrival of spring. It is a festival that everyone irrespective of social and economic status celebrate together. There are many reasons why Holi is celebrated. In Sanskrit language, fried cereals are called 'Holka'. Holikotsav is named after it.
Holi is celebrated in the memory of Prahlad's victory over his father's sister named 'Holika'. Prahalad's father asked his sister Holika (she had a boon that fire couldn't burn her) to sit in the burning fire with Prahlad in her lap. But the opposite happened, Prahlad survived the fire but Holika was charred to death. Thus 'holi' is celebrated to mark the victory of virtue over evil.
Another account is involving Lord Shiva. Shiva was meditating in solitude deeply. Then Madana (god of love) decides to test Shiva's resolve and appeared to him in the form of a beautiful damsel. But Shiva recognizes Madana and in a fit of anger burns him with his third eye and reduces him to ashes. This is sometimes given as the reference for Holi's bonfire.
The festival of Holi is also associated with the everlasting love between Lord Krishna and Radha. According to the legend, little Krishna asked his mother Yashoda, why Radha was fair and he so dark. Yashoda then told him to apply colour on Radha's face and see how her complexion would change. So the new reference to the festival also started.
Holi rituals and customs: : Holi is celebrated over two days. This festival is associated with a loosening of social restrictions normally associated with caste, sex, status and age. Holi is thus known to bridge social gaps and bring people together. It is also known for the loosening of social norms and licentious merrymaking and jovial behavior. On the evening of Holi, a public bonfire is held, signifying the burning of Holika.
The main ritual of Holi is to throw and apply colored water and powders on friends and family. Thus the name, "Festival of Colors." In Bengal, Holi has the Dolayatra (Swing Festival), according to which, images of god are placed on specially decorated platforms and people take turns swinging on them. Men and women dance and sing songs as they spray colored water at eachother.