Holi

Holiday

Next Sunday, 25 February 2024

Holi is the Hindu festival of colours that smbolizes the vibrant colours of the oncoming Spring season and consequently the end of Winter. According to the Hindu calendar, it begins on the full moon night of Phalguna. This corresponds to March 25, 2024

People joyfully throw colours on each other on this day. This festival holds much significance for Hindus as it commemorates the beautiful bond between Krishna and Radha and also the victory of good over evil.

Holi typically lasts for two days. It is a gazetted holiday so schools and businesses remain closed.

A woman playing Holi

Holi Celebration in India

People all over India celebrate the Festival of Colours with a lot of vigour and enthusiasm. The celebration and rituals might vary from place to place. 

  • The first day or the day before Holi, also known as Holika Dahan, and Choti Holi, is marked by a bonfire. It will take place on March 24 in 2024. 
  • People joyfully engage in the tradition of splashing vibrant colors, occasionally blending them with water, as part of a celebratory ritual. Beware of water guns, and water balloons as mischievous kids attack strangers day and night on streets. 
  • Sweets are an indispendable part of the Holi celebration. Barfis, Gujiya, Malpua, Thandai are some of the sweets typically consumed on this day. 
  • On Holi, people visit their family, friends and loved ones. 

The Legendary Tales behind Holi

The Tale of the Evil King Hiranyakashipu

There was once a proud and wicked King called King Hiranyakashipu. He considered himself the supreme God and commanded his subjects to obey him and only him. 

However, he had a son called Prahlad who was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. One day, the King called him son and asked:

"Now, my son, you are very clever. But what is the most important thing you have learned at school?"

To this, Prahlad replied:

" That you are the King. But Lord Vishnu is God, and he is greater than everyone"

This angered King Hiranyakashipu. Despire commanding him to worship him only, Prahlad bluntly refused. Thus, the King decided to punish him. 

He tried a lot of things- throwing him off the cliff, throwing him in front of a giant elephant, and a pit filled with poisonous snakes. However, Prahlad couldn't be killed as Lord Vishnu protected him every time. The soliders even tried to kill him with their swords but of no use.

Left with no option, King Hiranyakashipu asked his witch sister Holika to do something. Holika hatched an evil plan in order to kill Prahlad. 

She lit a huge bonfire in front of the palace and asked Prahlad to walk with her in the fire. Holika was blessed with immunity to fire, never to be consumed by its flames. She decided to leave Prahlad in the fire. However, this backfired as Lord Vishnu protected him while Holika burnt. 

Prahlad became invincible in the fire

After that, Lord Vishnu took the form of half a lion and half a human called Narasimha to kill the evil King Hiranyakashipu. Thus, Holi symbolises the victory of good over evil. 

The Story of Lord Krishna and Radha

There is another tale about Lord Krishna that is remembered by his worshippers on this day. 

On one particular day in Spring, Krishna was walking with his beloved Radha and the other gopis. In a mischievious attempt, he threw some colors on Radha. She in turn threw some colors playfully on him. This turned into a whole game between Krishna, Radha and the other gopis. This day came to be known as Holi.

Krishna and Radha playing Holi

The Tale of Shiva and Parvati

There is another Hindu mythological story linked to Holi. It is said that Goddess Parvati fell in love with Lord Shiva. Kama, the God of Love, decided to help them. 

However, when God Kama tried to shoot his arrow of love, Lord Shiva activated his third eye of destruction and burnt Kama to ashes. Later, Goddess Parvati revived him and this day is celebrated as Holi. 

You might like to read about Diwali next. 

Holi
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Holi - Next years

Thursday, 13 February 2025

Monday, 02 February 2026

Sunday, 21 February 2027

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