The festival of Holi can be regarded as a celebration of the Colors of Unity & Brotherhood – an opportunity to forget all differences and indulge in unadulterated fun. It has traditionally been celebrated in high spirit without any distinction of cast, creed, color, race, status or sex. It is one occasion when sprinkling colored powder (‘gulal’) or colored water on each other breaks all barriers of discrimination so that everyone looks the same and universal brotherhood is reaffirmed. This is one simple reason to participate in this colorful festival.
Let’s learn more about its history and significance…
What is ‘Phagwah’?
‘Phagwah’ is derived from the name of the Hindu month ‘Phalgun’, because it is on the full moon in the month of Phalgun that Holi is celebrated. The month of Phalgun ushers
Meaning of ‘Holi’
‘Holi’ comes from the word ‘hola’, meaning to offer oblation or prayer to the Almighty as Thanksgiving for good harvest. Holi is celebrated every year to remind people that those who love God shall be saved and they who torture the devotee of God shall be reduced to ashes a la the mythical character Holika.
The Legend of Holika
Holi is also associated with the Puranic story of Holika, the sister of demon-king Hiranyakashipu. The demon-king punished his son, Prahlad in a variety of ways to denounce Lord Narayana. He failed in all his attempts. Finally, he asked his sister Holika to take Prahlad in her lap and enter a blazing fire. Holika had a boon to remain unburned even inside fire. Holika did her brother’s bidding. However, Holika’s boon ended by this act of supreme sin against the Lord’s devotee and was burnt to ashes. But Prahlad came out unharmed.
Holi is also associated with the Divine Dance known as Raaslila staged by Lord Krishna for the benefit of his devotees of Vrindavan commonly known as Gopis.
Holi in Mathura-Vrindavan
People from all corners of
Celebrations Continue for a Week
With an immensely strong bonding with Lord Krishna, people of
Of immense interest for the tourist is the celebrations which take place at the famous
Another interesting place for Holi celebrations is Gulal-Kund in Braj; a beautiful little lake near Govardhan mountain. Here, the festival is commemorated on a more regular basis. Pilgrims can see the re-enactments of Holi throughout the year at this lake. Local boys, acting in the Krishna-Lila drama troupes re-enact the scenes of Holi for the pilgrims.
So much is the passion of the people here, that they throng these temples every day and get drenched in coloured water…all in the name of the Lord they love so much.
The tradition of playing colours on Holi draws its roots from a legend of Radha and
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