What is Holi?
Holi is a festival celebrated by the Hindu who mostly live in the Indian sub-continent of South East Asia that includes countries like Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and other countries. But nowadays due to the trend of emigration of Hindus in different parts of the world, different Hindus are seen observing the festival Holi. Even some people of other religion who have a close bond with Hindus or those tourists who visit Hindu countries during Holi are seen enjoying Holi with the locals.
According to Hindu scripture Bhagavata Purana, Holi is celebrated on the occasion of the demolition of the demoness Holika by Lord Vishnu. Holika was the sister of Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu thought he was invincible and immortal. He thought he was god and ordered everyone to believe him as a god. He would kill anyone who didn’t follow him as the god. Hiranyakashipu had a son named Prahlad who didn’t follow his father as a god. Due to that reason, Prahlad was attempted to kill by his own father Hiranyakashipu. On the other hand, Prahlad worshipped Lord Vishnu. Holika had a special power that she didn’t get burned from fire after wearing a special garment. So Hiranyakashipu made a plan to kill Prahlad by keeping Prahlad in the lap of Holika and burning Prahlad to fire. But the special garment covered Prahlad and Holika burned in the fire while Prahlad was left unburned. It is believed that it was the strong faith of Prahlad in Vishnu which caused the garment to cover Prahlad. Later Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Narsingha and killed Hiranyakashipu with his claws by placing him in his lap. So the people were free from the demoness Holika and demon Hiranyakashipu and they celebrated the occasion by smearing the ash of Holika over each other. This is how the festival Holi was originated.
Every year around March the people celebrate the death of Holika by smearing colors the face of their family, friends, and relatives. The festival is celebrated for 2 days. On the first day, people gather and conduct bonfire at the night time and perform other rituals too. While at the second-day people meet different relatives, family, friends and smear colors in their faces by saying “Happy Holi” some even fill water balloons with colored water and throw at other people while some use a device called “pichkari” and throw colored water at other people. They even cook delicious meals and enjoy with other peoples. Some even sing and dance with each other.
Every festival reunites the family members and Holi does the same. Holi, Its not all about fun. It also helps the people to unite together, share their feelings, a way to remind religious history and soon. It also reminds people that its the end of winter and beginning of spring. It provides coordination among people and provide new energy among youngsters and people and motivate them to involve in an energetic work. It’s a way to forget the sad days of the past and start new motivated days.
The best part of Holi is that people of every economic blocks and age groups come outside and play together with co-ordination. To break a nutshell, Holi is one of the greatest festival of the Hindus, as it unites all the members and promotes social harmony among the people. The people feel refreshed and can continue their lives in a new way. Thus this is how the festival of colors maintains the social integrity and unity in a family society and a community.