Holi is known as the festival of colours. It is one of the most important festivals in India. Holi is celebrated each year with zeal and enthusiasm in the month of March by followers of the Hindu religion. Those who celebrate this festival, wait for it every year eagerly to play with colours and have delectable dishes.
Holi is about celebrating happiness with friends and family. People forget their troubles and indulge in this festival to celebrate brotherhood. In other words, we forget our enmities and get into the festival spirit. Holi is called the festival of colours because people play with colours and apply them to each other’s faces to get coloured in the essence of the festival.
History of Holi
The Hindu religion believes there was a devil king named Hiranyakashyap long ago. He had a son named Prahlad and a sister called Holika. It is believed that the devil king had blessings of Lord Brahma. This blessing meant no man, animal or weapon could kill him. This blessing turned into a curse for him as he became very arrogant. He ordered his kingdom to worship him instead of God, not sparing his own son.
Following this, all the people began worshipping him except for his son, Prahlad. Prahlad refused to worship his father instead of God as he was a true believer of Lord Vishnu. Upon seeing his disobedience, the devil king planned with his sister to kill Prahlad. He made her sit in the fire with his son on the lap, where Holika got burned and Prahlad came out safe. This indicated he was protected by his Lord because of his devotion. Thus, people started celebrating Holi as the victory of good over evil.
The Celebration of Holi
People celebrate Holi with utmost fervour and enthusiasm, especially in North India. One day before Holi, people conduct a ritual called ‘Holika Dahan’. In this ritual, people pile heaps of wood in public areas to burn. It symbolizes the burning of evil powers revising the story of Holika and King Hiranyakashyap. Furthermore, they gather around the Holika to seek blessings and offer their devotion to God.
The next day is probably the most colourful day in India. People get up in the morning and offer pooja to God. Then, they dress up in white clothes and play with colours. They splash water on one another. Children run around splashing water colours using water guns. Similarly, even the adults become children on this day. They rub colour on each other’s faces and immerse themselves in water.
In the evening, they bathe and dress up nicely to visit their friends and family. They dance throughout the day and drink a special drink called the ‘bhaang’. People of all ages relish holi’s special delicacy ‘gujiya’ ardently.
In short, Holi spreads love and brotherhood. It brings harmony and happiness in the country. Holi symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. This colourful festival unites people and removes all sorts of negativity from life.
Essay on Holi in English
An Introduction of Holi
Holi is the festival of colours which is celebrated not only in India but all across the world. It is also a festival of unity as it brings people together to celebrate a festival regardless of caste, ethnicity or religion. Holi is celebrated for two days in India on the full moon day in March. People celebrate “Holika Dahan” on the first day by gathering around and burning piles of wood and cow dung, and singing bhajans related to Holi.
Then on the next day, people of all ages gather together to play with colours called “gulal” and coloured water called “Dulahandi”. People feast together and eat special sweets made for the day called “gujiya” and serve “thandaai” or cold drinks and “bhaang”. But Holi should be played carefully. The gulal used should be prepared organically as chemical gulal may cause irritation to the skin and wherever it comes in contact. People should be aware of their surroundings while playing Holi and be careful not to cause harm to anyone.
In some places in India, Holi is celebrated for five days as well. Holi is a national Holiday and all educational institutions and offices are closed on this day.
Holi as a celebration of the victory of Good over Evil
There is a mythological story associated with the celebration of Holi. It is said that a cruel king named Hiranyakashipu was blessed by Brahma that no human or animal could kill him on the ground at home or outside. But he was a torturous king and wanted everyone in his kingdom to worst him as a god, and so he ordered the execution of his only son Prahlad by his sister Holika by inciting fire because he was a faithful devotee of Lord Vishnu and Holika was blessed that she wouldn’t be touched by fire.
It is said that it so happened that on the day of this heinous act, Holika sat on a pile of burning woods with Prahlad on her lap but instead of Prahlad getting burnt, he was saved by Lord Vishnu and Holika turned into ashes. Then Lord Vishnu turned himself into a half-animal, half deity form and killed Hiranyakashipu by tearing his stomach apart. Hence, the celebration of Holi has been a mark of triumph of Good over Evil.
This is also a reason for the burning of woods on Choti Holi is called “Holika Dahan”.
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
In Which Month of the Year is Holi Celebrated?
Holi is celebrated in the month of March on a full moon day.
What does Holi Symbolize?
Holi symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
How did This Festival of Holi Originate?
Holi originated from the Hindu mythology legend of evil and arrogant king Hiranyakashyap who thought himself to be all-powerful. He wanted everyone to worship him but his own son Prahlad went against his wishes and worshiped Lord Vishnu. He wanted to kill Prahlad with the help of his sister Holika in the fire, but Prahlad was saved and Holika was burnt into ashes. Lord Vishnu took the form of Narsingh and killed Hiranyakashyap. Hence, to commemorate this victory of good over evil, Holi was celebrated.
What Special Kind of Drink and Sweets are Made on this Occasion?
A special drink called Bhang or Thandaai and a special sweet, Gujiya is made on this occasion.
How is Holi celebrated in India?
Holi is celebrated over two main days, the first day is called “Choti Holi” when Holika is burnt by setting up a fire using wood at night and the second day is the day when people celebrate using colours known as “gulal”.
On Choti Holi, people burn old clothes and sing Holi bhajans around the fire. It is considered to be an auspicious fire.
On the day of actual Holi, people gather together and celebrate using gulals and coloured water pichkaris by throwing and playing with each other. Sweets called “gujiya” and cold refreshments called “thandaai” are served to celebrate togetherness. People also enjoy different delicacies from various places and feast together.
In some places, mostly villages, people celebrate Holi for five days. Holi is declared to be a national Holiday.
Why is Holi a celebration of unity?
Holi is the celebration of colours and people celebrate Holi together in India and abroad regardless of caste, creed, gender, religion or race. Holi brings together people and spreads happiness, love and fraternity. This is why Holi is called a festival of unity.
When is Holi celebrated?
Holi is celebrated every year on the full moon day in the month of March. Since it is spring at this time of the year, the day is also known as “Vasant Purnima”.
What does Holi symbolize?
Holi symbolises togetherness, love, unity and the triumph of Good over Evil. It is the festival of colours hence it also symbolises fun, joy and happiness in people. To know more about the festival of Holi, visit Vedantu’s website or app and log in for free resources on the topic. Download them and get access from anywhere in the world.
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