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Hindus Around The World Prepare To Mark The Festival Of Holi

Preparations Under Way To Help Bring In The Spring And Take Part In Colourful Events

By Ashish PrabhuPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Image: DNP India

In March, Hindu's all around the world are preparing to celebrate Holi. This is a traditional Hindu festival which is celebrated to welcome Spring and celebrate love and new life. Families around the world who observe the Hindu religion traditionally hold religious ceremonies to bring in the brightness from the dark and cold of the winter months. For many people, Holi is a time to have fun and commemorate a colourful festival with dancing, singing and the throwing of powdered paint and colourful water.

This helps to symbolise the meaning of Holi as it is also known as the festival of colour so areas which celebrate the festival will normally be left brightly coloured and this will fade with time.

As Holi marks the beginning of Spring and the end of Winter, it is normally celebrated in March. It is around this time in the UK when we begin to see it getting brighter earlier in the morning and we start to have longer days and shorter nights. This helps to symbolise the beginning of a time when young animals are reborn and people are able to begin growing new crops and foods which will help to ensure that they have enough food for the seasons ahead.

This year Holi begins on March 8th and is celebrated every year on the date of the full moon. This usually marks the month of Phalguna which is seen in the Hindu calendar as the twelfth month of the year. This follows as the fifth month for Gujaratis. The holidays of Holi (15 Phalguna in Amanta System/30 Phalguna In Purnimanta System) and Maha Shivaratri (14th Phalguna in Purnimanta System) are observed in this month.

There are many stories which are told during Holi. This helps to mark and commemorate many of the messages and meanings which have been developed and learned through many years troy. The main celebration which is held is towards the Hindu God Krishna and the legend of Holika and Prahlad.

There are many different procedures and things people do to mark Holi. This helps to tell the story and pay respects to people's relatives. On the first night, people tend to light bonfires as well as throw roasting grains, popcorn, coconut and chickpeas on to them. Through out the festival, people run in to the streets and throw paint at each other for fun. This is seen as a ceremonial occasion so everyone gets involved to mark the festival and help give blessings to different family members.

Many people who take part in Holi believe that the different colours of paint people use when throwing it at others have different meanings. These usually tend to represent Krishna's mischievous nature when the stories suggest he threw handfuls of coloured water over his milk maids when he was a boy. This developed in to the practical jokes and games of Holi. There are many different stories and myths behind Holi. These include:

The name Holi comes from “Holika”, the sister of demon King “Hiranyakashyap” (refer: Hindu mythology).

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.


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