Holi, the festival of colour, is now celebrated all over the world, where people throw and smear coloured powder on each other. Holi involves a cheerful casting of coloured powder on friends, family and every passerby with each colour symbolising a particular sentiment.
The festival signifies the arrival of spring and, for many Hindus, the triumph of good over evil. Over the years, the level of cheerfulness and celebration has come to include the throwing of eggs and raw tomatoes, fizzing colour mixes in water, coloured water balloon fights and more. Some households prepare Bhang or Thandai, a cold milk based drink prepared with ground marijuana leaves mixed with almonds and spices.
Celebrated all over the country, Holi is a particularly entertaining and fun experiencing festival.
Some cities in India celebrate Holi in all its glory with loud and elaborate jollification.
In Delhi, everyone finds themselves as a target of coloured water balloons as soon as you step foot on a street or road.
A few days before the festival, families stock up with colour and prepare festive refreshments. The true charm of Holi is that age is no barrier when it comes to sharing and enjoying.
Each Holi colour signifies a special and different emotion that exceeds the brightly coloured faces of people to a community, equality and oneness. Aidigitek
• Red: Purity
• Orange: Endurance
• Purple: Magic
• Blue: Calmness
• Green: Vitality
• Yellow: Happiness
• Pink: Love
Holi is a great way to meet people and enjoy, learn the true culture and have great fun.
While the first night is usually dedicated to solemn rituals, it’s on the second day when the actual celebrations begin.
There are varying regions of the festival’s origins but it has been celebrated in the Indian subcontinent for ages.
One of the popular stories concerns the Hindu deity Vishnu and his devotee Prahlada. According to one genre of this story, Prahlada was the son of an evil king named Hiranyakashipu, who demanded that everyone should worship only him. Prahlada refused to worship his father and continued to pray to Vishnu. Holika, King Hiranyakashipu’s sister, grew angry and decided to kill him. She had been blessed by the gods previously so that she would not be harmed by fire, so she tricked Prahlada into sitting on her lap while she sat in a fire.
Prahlada survived because he prayed to Vishnu, while Holika perished. Holi, the name of the festival, is derived from the name Holika.
Another story is of the god Krishna’s love for Radha. Krishna’s skin was dark blue because a female demon had tried to kill him when he was a baby, and Krishna was worried that Radha wouldn’t like him for his appearance.
His mother, Yashoda, playfully suggested that he smear some brightly coloured powder on Radha’s face. After Krishna did this, Radha fell in love with him and they were later married.
Covid-19 and Holi
Celebrations in 2020 were muted because of the social nature of the festival as in holi people gather to smear coloured powder on each other. This year will be no different, state governments in various parts of India have banned public celebrations during Holi, while some state governments have limited the public gatherings.
The Uttar Pradesh government released a guideline’s set asking senior citizens and other vulnerable groups to stay away from celebrations and said no gatherings will be allowed without prior administrative permission.