Let's know about the festival of Holika

The festival of Holi, popularly known as the 'Festival of Colours', is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Falgun. Colors and water are thrown at each other amidst loud music and drums. Like other festivals of India, Holi also signifies the victory of good over evil. According to ancient mythology, the story of Hiranyakashipu is associated with the festival of Holi.

Hiranyakashipu was a king of ancient India who was like a demon. He wanted to avenge the death of his younger brother who was killed by Lord Vishnu. So he prayed for years to make himself strong. Eventually he got a boon. But because of this Hiranyakashipu started considering himself as a god and started asking people to worship himself like a god.

This evil king had a son named Prahlad and he was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. Prahlad never obeyed his father and continued to worship Lord Vishnu. Angered by the son not worshiping him, the king decided to kill his son. He asked his sister Holika to take Prahlad in her lap and sit in the fire because Holika could not burn in the fire. His plan was to burn Prahlad. But his plan could not succeed as Prahlad kept taking the name of Lord Vishnu all the time and survived but Holika was burnt to ashes. This necklace of Holika symbolizes the destruction of evil. After this Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyakashipu, hence the festival of Holi is associated with the story of Holika's death. Due to this, Holi is lit a day before Holi in some states of India as a symbol of the end of evil.

But how did colors become a part of Holi?

The story goes back to the time of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Lord Krishna used to celebrate Holi with colours, hence the festival of Holi became popular as colours. He used to celebrate Holi with his companions in Vrindavan and Gokul. They used to do jokes all over the village. Even today, Holi is not celebrated anywhere like Vrindavan.Holi is the festival of spring and with its arrival the winters end. In some parts, this festival is also associated with the ripening of spring crops. Farmers celebrate Holi in the joy of producing a good crop. Holi is also called 'Vasant Mahotsav' or 'Kama Mahotsav'.

Holi is an ancient festival :- Holi is one of the ancient Hindu festivals and is being celebrated since many centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ. The description of Holi is also found in Jaimini's Purvamimamsa Sutra and Kathak Grahya Sutra. Holi idols are also made on the walls of temples of ancient India. One such temple from the 16th century is in Hampi, the capital of Vijayanagara. There are many Holi scenes in this temple in which the prince, princess along with their slaves are applying colors on each other. Many medieval paintings, such as Ahmednagar paintings from the 16th century, Mewar paintings, miniatures of Bundi, all can be seen celebrating Holi in different ways.

Colors of holi :- Earlier the colors of Holi were made from the flowers of Tesu or Palash and they were called Gulal. Those colors were very good for the skin as they did not contain any chemicals. But over time the definition of colors changed. In today's time people use harsh chemicals in the name of colour. Due to these bad colors, many people have stopped playing Holi. We should celebrate this old festival in its true form


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