The word Holi has its origin from “Holika” the demonic sister of King Hiranyakashipu. The king through years of ardent devotion had earned a boon that made him immeasurably strong. This invincibility enhanced his arrogance and started demanding everyone to address him as God. But, his son Prahlad, continued with his unabated devotion to Lord Vishnu. This irritated the king to such an extent that he subjected his son to cruel punishments, but none had any effect on Prahlad since Lord Vishnu protected him each time. Finally, Holika decided to help her brother out. She tricked him into entering a huge burning pyre with her, first ensuring she was clad in a fire-proof shawl. As the story goes, she burned herself to death in the fire and Prahlad escaped unhurt. Lord Vishnu appears and kills King Hiranyakashipu. Thus Holi commemorates the victory of good over evil and the day after Holika was burned in the bonfire began to be celebrated as Holi.
There is a slightly different version of history associated with Holi. It is said that Lord Krishna, owing to his bluish skin complexion was skeptical about whether the beautiful Radha and her gopikas will find him attractive. His mother, Rukmini, fed up of this incessant insecurity finally convinces him to approach her and cover her in any colour he likes. Lord Krishna does exactly that and since that day, Holi is commemorated as the festival of love!
Followers of Lord Krishna in Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, play ‘Lath-mar Holi’ where women and men dress up in their traditional attires and play with long bamboo sticks and shields for a fun-filled Holi.
The name Holi comes from “Holika”, the sister of demon King “Hiranyakashyap”.
The festival of Holi is celebrated for at least 16 days in the Brag region of India where Krishna was born.
Legend has that the evil king – Hiranyakashyap – forbade his son Prahlad from worshiping one of the Hindu gods – Lord Vishnu. However, Prahlad worshiped Vishnu despite his father’s denial.
Other legend behind the origin of Holi is that Lord Krishna as a baby was poisoned by the breast milk of Putana and thus he developed the characteristic blue color of his skin. Krishna was not sure if fair skinned Radha and other girls would like him. Thus he approached Radha and colored her face in some colors. Radha accepted Krishna despite the blue color of his skin and since that day the festival of Holi is celebrated.
Holi marks the passing of winter and beginning of spring. It is celebrated after the full moon in the month of ‘Phalguna’ which generally falls between February and March. The exact date of the festival is determined by the Hindu Calendar and its arrival varies on the Gregorian calendar.
Holi is basically famous all around the world for its water balloons, water guns and dry-powdered Gulaal fights, and the most important dancing and other playful activities after drinking Bhang Thandai.
Natural colors are derived from indigo, sunflower and marigold flowers.
It is celebrated after the full moon in the month of ‘Phalguna’ which generally falls between February and March.
India has long been plagued by superstitions and untouchability. Holi was the first festival which started preaching the message of equality and brotherhood in the society.
The Spanish festival ‘La Tomatina’ is very similar to our Indian Holi festival, the only difference being that the colors are replaced by the ripe tomatoes.
Check your Holi knowlegde with these interesting questions!
|Q.1||The festival of Holi marks the end of winter and the beginning of _________.|
Did you get the correct answer??
|Q.2||Holika was ________.|
|a)||King Hiranyakashipu's daughter|
|b)||King Daksha's daughter|
|c)||King Hiranyakashipu's sister|
|d)||King Daksha's sister|
This was not that difficult, right?
|Q.3||Holi is called Phaguwa in which language?|
Are you sure you can handle next questions?
|Q.4||According to a Holi legend from Eastern India, Lord Shiva reduced this mischievous god to ashes.|
Did you know that?
|Q.5||In which part of India is the Lath-mar or the stick-beating Holi played?|
|b)||Mathura and Vrindavan|
That was an awesome question! Wasn't it?
|Q.6||Scenes of Holi centred around Radha and Krishna have been a favourite theme of Mughal miniature paintings. Under which emperor did this style of painting start?|
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|Q.7||The following image is from Holi Celebration from a city in Rajasthan. Name the city.|
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