Holi, the festival of colours, is one of the oldest festivals that are celebrated in India. The bonfires that are lit are symbolic of holika, the demoniac who had the power to survive fire, but gets burnt when she tries to kill Bhakt Prahlad. The immense devotion of Prahlad towards lord Vishnu saves him from fire, so while holika gets burned to death, Prahlad comes out fire unscathed. This incident narrates the triumph of good over evil, and is the central theme of holi.
Holi Festival in Gujarat :
Falling on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna, Holi is a major Hindu festival and marks the agricultural season of the Rabi crop.On the eve of Holi, a bonfire decorated with flowers and fruits, and is lit with a fire brought from the temple of Mata. The people celebrate with colours on the next day. People offer raw mangoes, coconut, corn, toys made of sugar, khoya to the ‘Holika’ and apply tilak on each other and hug their dear ones.
A bonfire is lit in the main squares of the villages and colonies. People gather around the bonfire and celebrate the event with singing and dancing, which is symbolic of the victory of good over evil. Tribals of Gujarat celebrate Holi with great enthusiasm and also dance around the fire.Maiden girls from Gujarat use ashes left by the bonfire of the night before to create images of their goddess ‘Gauri’. On the next day, called Dhuleti, people play with colours, drenching each other’s with coloured water.
Holi is celebrated with great fanfare in the Indian state of Gujarat. In some places, there is a custom in the undivided Hindu families that the women of the families beat their brother-in-law with her sari rolled up into a rope in a mock rage as they try to drench them with colours, and in turn, the brothers-in-law bring sweetmeats to her in the evening, and cajole her.