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HOLI – The festival of Colours

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Holi is considered as one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India and it is celebrated in almost every part of the country. It is also sometimes called as the “festival of love” as on this day people get to unite together forgetting all resentments and all types of bad feeling towards each other. The great Indian festival lasts for a day and a night, which starts in the evening of Purnima or the Full Moon Day in the month of Falgun. It is celebrated with the name Holika Dahan or Choti Holi on the first evening of the festival and the following day is called Holi. In different parts of the country, it is known with different names.

History of Holi

Holi is celebrated in the most dignified manner in the state of Bengal. At Vishwa Bharti University, founded by Rabindranath Tagore founded the tradition of celebrating Holi as 'Basant Utsav' or 'Spring Festival'.The word Holi has its origin from “Holika” the demonic sister of King Hiranyakashipu. The king through years of ardent devotion had earned a boon that made him immeasurably strong. This invincibility enhanced his arrogance and started demanding everyone to address him as God. But, his son Prahlad, continued with his unabated devotion to Lord Vishnu. This irritated the king to such an extent that he subjected his son to cruel punishments, but none had any effect on Prahlad since Lord Vishnu protected him each time. Finally, Holika decided to help her brother out. She tricked him into entering a huge burning pyre with her, first ensuring she was clad in a fire-proof shawl. As the story goes, she burned herself to death in the fire and Prahlad escapade unhurt. Lord Vishnu appears and kills King Hiranyakashipu. Thus Holi commemorates the victory of good over evil and the day after Holika was burned in the bonfire began to be celebrated as Holi.

General Information

This festival begins with Colouring of the bonfire on Holi eve. Next day, people play Holi with different types of colours, abirs, and gulals. They greet each other with Shubh Holi i.e. Happy Holi and send warm wishes of the festival. Kids and adults come out of their house and smear each other with bright shades of gulal. Colouful waters are sprinkled on people and kids are found playing with pichkari and water balloons. People exchange sweets, Thandai, and snacks among neighbours and friends. Popular Holi sweets are Gujiya, Ladoo, Burfi and Imarti etc. Indian festive celebration is incomplete without delicious sweets. People also dance in the beats of Holi songs and popular folk's music. Exchange of holy gifts, snack hampers, dry fruits and greeting cards are also found.

Holi celebrated various part of India Some Are

1.Holi in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
2.Holi in Bengal
3.Holi in Vrindavan
4.Punjab & Himachal Pradesh

What is Holi

Holi is mainly celebrated in India and Nepal with the millions of Hindus coming together on the last full moon day of the lunar month (February / March). Holi is Colour Of Festival.

What is eaten during Holi?

In the midst of these colouring games are savored the mouth watering holi specialties like gujiya, malpuas, mathri, Puran Poli, dahi badass etc and downed with glasses full of thandai. The food most closely associated with the festival is Indian sweets, which come in a range of colours and flavours. The celebration, however, features various rich savoury and sweet dishes, and while eating out is popular, families will mostly prepare food at home for when guests arrive to exchange gifts and watch fireworks.

How is Holi celebrated?

Playing with colours, The second day of Holi is called Rangwali Holi, Dhulandi, Dhulandi, Phagwah or Badi Holi. This is the day when people apply colours to one another, party and enjoy. Children and youngsters play in groups with dry colours called abir or gulal, pichkaris (water guns), water balloons filled with coloured solutions and other creative things. You might even find groups of people with drums and other musical instruments on streets, dancing and singing their way from one place to another. Entire country wears a festive look when it is time for Holi celebration. Market places get abuzz with activity as frenzied shoppers start making preparations for the festival. Heaps of various hues of gulal and beer can be seen on the roadside days before the festival. Pichkaris in innovative and modern design to come up every year to lure the children who wish to collect them as Holi memorabilia and of course, to drench everybody in the town.
The tradition of It is said that as a child, Sri Krishna was envious of Radha’s fair complexion, so when he complained about this to his mother, Yashodha, she playfully told him that he could color Radha’s face with whatever color he liked, which he did. Holi also celebrates their love for each other with the color Gulaal (red).


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Birla Ghat, Haridwar
April 10, 2021