Holi: The Festival of Colours

Celebrations and festivals add color to life and the festival of colors, holy is never an exception. Moreover it represents the triumph of virtue over the vice. This is a religious festival of Hindus and besides India; Holi is celebrated in Pakistan and Nepal. Since the festival is as per Hindu calendar which is based on the solar cycles, the dates do vary with years. Usually Holi comes by the end of winter season and on last day of full moon in the Lunar month which normally is the later February or the earlier march.

In almost every part of the country, Holi is celebrated two days. The customs of the festival too is really attractive and the situation creatures a feel of pleasure and relief. Colored powder and water is thrown on each other and a bonfire is held. This occasion is most importantly characterized by the loosening of almost every social restriction. People enjoy and celebrate with no discrimination on the basis of sex, age, status or caste. Even in this noisy celebration where people fill the atmosphere with joy and excitement, there always remains a murmur of harmony.

The belief in regard of this festival is further more interesting. It is believed that once there lived a king named Hiranyakashipu and he treated himself as God. He demanded people to start worshiping him. But his own son, Prahalada was devotee of lord Vishnu which was a great insult for the king. The cruel king decided to kill Prahalada but all his attempts went in vain. Finally his sister Holika was assigned the task. She had a blessing that she will not be burned in fire. Prahalada was made to sit on the lap of Holika and fire was set on them. But to the astonishment of all, it was not Prahalada but Holika who was burned to death. And Holi is celebrated in the remembrance of this incident.

Holi is celebrated before spring season as the weather changes during this season and the human body becomes more prone to viral fever and other diseases. The natural colored powders thrown are made of medically beneficial bilya, haldi, neem and kunkum usually. And throwing these colors on each other will surely do favor by reducing the risk of these diseases. This is just the scientific part regarding virtue of the custom and is in no way connected with mythology.

Holi is celebrated with full zeal and vigor and the festival of colors has been adding charm and color to the life of man over centuries.

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