Holi is one of the major festivals celebrated with great joy and zest throughout the length and breadth of the country. The festival also known as the festival of colors typically occurs on the full moon day of the Hindu month, Phalgun, which is the month of March as per the English calendar.

Holi Festival of Colors :

The Holi Festival is known by different names in different regions of the country. In the eastern regions of the country, in West Bengal and Orrisa it is celebrated as Dol Yatra. In Rajasthan it is known as Gangaur and in Punjab it is known as Hola Mohalla. Although, the festival is known by different names, it is celebrated with equal spirit.

The Holi festival marks the onset of the spring season. It also indicates the harvest season, farmers through the country welcome the festive season and offer a prayer to god to thank for the rich harvest and pray for fertile soil for the next season.

Days before the start of the holi festival the entire county is abuzz with festive spirit. The market place is busy with several activities, people shop for new clothes and sweets. Heaps of colors of different hues is raked up on stall all over the market.

The holi festival celebrations start with the burning of the bonfire on the night before the festival. Legend has it that the bonfire is lit to symbolize the victory of good over evil. According to the story Hiranyakashyap, the wicked King tried to kill his own son Pralhad by setting him on the fire by making him sit on the lap of his sister Holika, who was immune to fire. However, Holika was burned to ash while Pralhad came out unscathed. This age old tradition is still followed even in today’s modern times.

The next day people smear their faces with colors and indulge in sweet treat and Bhang a special drink made on this day.

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Holi the Color Festival :

Colors play a significant role in everyday life. Colors are spread everywhere around a person all through his life. But the true meaning of colors can only be seen during the festival of Holi. Holi is the festival of colors and is celebrated all over India with great enthusiasm.

The importance of the festival lies in the fact that during the festival, people forget all their differences and celebrate Holi with brotherhood.

Festivals are an important part of Indian culture and Holi being an important Hindu festival has its own significance. The festival of Holi is connected to Lord Krishna and is celebrated with utmost zeal in parts of Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana and other places related with birth of Lord Krishna. There are basically 2 types of Holi celebrated each year. One is the choti Holi and is also known as Holika Dahan, on this day bonfires are lit at various places as a symbol of burning away the evil.

Holika Dahan is celebrated because according to old myths it was on this day that Prahlad, devotee of Lord Vishnu escaped near death and Holika the evil got burned in fire. On the following day of Holika Dahan, Holi is celebrated in which people apply colors on each other’s faces. The celebration of Holi starts even 1 month before the festival and children throw water balloons and spray colors. On the day of Holi family members, neighbor and friends and relatives all gather to throw Gullal (colored powder) on each other.

It is celebrated at the end of the winter season (mid of March) and marks the beginning of summer season. The festival of Holi is a colorful event and it helps in bringing people close to each other and sends a message of love and peace to all.

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