Holi Festival: History, Significance, Celebrations, Quotes and Messages
|Happy Holi. Photo: The Quint|
What is Holi?
Holi has been celebrated in the Indian subcontinent for centuries, with poems documenting celebrations dating back to the 4th century CE. It marks the beginning of spring after a long winter, symbolic of the triumph of good over evil. It is celebrated in March, corresponding to the Hindu calendar month of Phalguna. In 2020, Holi begins March 10.
There are varying accounts of Holi’s origin mentioned in several works of ancient Indian literature. According to one popular version of the story, an evil king became so powerful that he forced his subjects to worship him as their god. But to the king’s ire, his son Prahlada continued to be an ardent devotee of the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu. The angry king plotted with his sister, Holika, to kill his son. Holika, who was immune to fire, tricked Prahlada to sit in a pyre with her. When the pyre was lit, the boy’s devotion to Lord Vishnu helped him walk away unscathed while Holika, from whom the festival derives its name, was burned to death despite her immunity, as reported by Time.
Holi this year: Day, date and timing
This year Holi is on Monday, March 29, 2021.
Holika Dahan on Sunday, March 28, 2021, and holika Dahan muhurta is from 18:37 to 20:56. (Duration: 02 hours 20 mins)
Purnima Tithi Begins - 03:27 am on March 28, 2021
Purnima Tithi Ends - 12:17 am on March 29, 2021
As per Hindu scriptures Holika Dahan, also known as Holika Deepak or Chhoti Holi, should be done during Pradosh Kaal (which starts after sunset) while Purnimasi Tithi is prevailing.
Holi: Significance of Holika Dahan
Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika Dahan where people gather, perform religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil be destroyed the way Holika, the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was killed in the fire. Hiranyakashyap had a son, Prahlad.
Prahlad was the greatest devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap wanted to kill his son, so he called his sister, Holika. She had a magic robe. This robe had the power to save the wearer from burning in fire. Hiranyakashyap ordered his sister to sit on a burning fire along with Prahlad.
He thought that his sister would not be harmed by the fire because of the magic robe and Prahlad would be burnt to death. But the result was the opposite of what the evil demon king planned. Thus Prahlad came out of the burning fire safely and Holika was burnt to death. It is celebrated with colours to mark the victory of virtue and goodness over evil.
Holi rituals in Braj regions - Mathura, Vrindavan, Gowardhan, Gokul, Nandagaon and Barsana - are the most famous one. The traditional Holi festivity in Barsana Lathmar Holi is world-famous, according to Indiatoday.
There are a number of legends associated with Holi with one attributed to Vishnu and another to Krishna. Most places that are associated with Lord Krishna celebrate Holi with great pomp. These regions, known as Braj, include Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana. Celebrations here go on for as long as 16 days. The Lathimar Holi in Barsana is famous for its unique ritual of women hitting men with sticks while they shield themselves.
On Holi, anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders, they all take part in the smearing of colours, dancing and singing and eating. People would even visit friends and families and share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. On this day, some would indulge in customary drinks like bhang (made from cannabis), which is intoxicating, as India cited.
On the eve of the festival, large pyres are lit in many parts of India to signify the burning of evil spirits. People often throw wood, dried leaves and twigs into bonfires.
On the day of Holi, entire streets and towns turn red, green and yellow as people throw colored powder into the air and splash them on others. Each color carries a meaning. Red, for example, symbolizes love and fertility while green stands for new beginnings. People also splash water on each other in celebration. Water guns are used to squirt water, while balloons filled with colored water are also flung from rooftops. Later in the day, families gather together for festive meals. It is also common to distribute sweets among neighbors and friends.
Holi and religious tensions in India
Despite having roots in Hinduism, Holi has been celebrated across all religious communities in India. It is not uncommon to see Hindus and Muslims open up their homes to each other for religious festivities.
This year’s Holi festivities come in the wake of mounting religious tensions and some of the worst religious violence India has seen in years. A controversial citizenship law invoked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has triggered nationwide protests and deadly clashes across the country.
As a festival, Holi has always been about breaking boundaries. While it is often seen as a colorful festival, Sippy, the religion professor, says it “has often involved much more violent forms of letting loose.” She points to past incidents of sexual assault and harassment during Holi celebrations.
“Even though Holi can be a wonderful, celebratory spring festival, it is now just one reason for the vulnerable to feel terrified,” she adds. “We are already seeing whole new levels of horrific communal violence in India and there isn’t any space for letting loose at this moment.”
Happy Holi: Wishes, Messages, Quotes
Wishing You A Colorful Day A Colorful Life.”Color Your Mind With Positivism & Happiness. Happy Holi 2021
“Playing more drinking less, loving more thinking less. This Holi spread the colors of positivity & motivation all around you.”― Happy Holi 2021
“Let the colors of Holi spread the message of peace and happiness in the life of all.” ― Happy Holi 2021
“A true and caring relation doesn’t have to speak loud; just a soft message is enough to express the heartiest feelings. Enjoy the festival of Holi with lots of fun and Blessings.” ― Happy Holi 2021
“May this Holi bring the ultimate colors of happiness in your life and excite you for the next adventure in your life. Happy Holi 2021”
“Wishing you good health and prosperity. May God shower his blessings on you on the auspicious occasion of Holi.” ― Happy Holi
“This 2021 Holi may bring lots and lots of colorful seasons and days in your life filled with plenty of happiness and love. Wish you a very Happy Holi”
“With the hope that your life is framed with all the colors of rainbow making your life happy, I am sending out the happiest colors to you. Happy Holi”
“It’s the time to unwind, de-stress and to make a bond with sweets, thandai and colors. Happy Holi 2021”
“The more the color, the more the sweets, and the happier you be. Happy Holi”
“Colors of Holi symbolize the colors of love, trust, and understanding between one another. So play with the colors and may the air be filled with love. Happy Holi”
“Make merry with colors on Holi and the rest of the days with the colors of love. Happy Holi”
“Forgive your haters and ill-wishers and remember those who are near & dear to you with splashing colors. Happy Holi”
“The colors we play with touch not only our face but our heart too, by making us filled with happiness and joy. Happy Holi”
“Colors up your life with this Holi. Happy Holi to you all.” ― Happy Holi
“Life is the most colorful festival, and enjoy all the days with full of happiness.” ― Happy Holi
“Wishing you and your family a fabulous Holi. May the festival bring excitement in your life.” ― Wish you a very Happy Holi
“Burn all negativity & bring all positivity in life. Celebrate this Holi with vibrant colors.” ― Happy Holi
“A beautiful butterfly carries with is a colorful wish from a rainbow, just to inform you, there is no one like you in the world, you are the reason for colors in my life.” ― Wish you a Happy Holi
“Bright colors, water balloons, lavish gujiyas, and melodious songs are the ingredients of perfect Holi.” Wish you a very happy and wonderful Holi
“May God gift you all the colors of life, colors of joy, colors of happiness, colors of friendship, colors of love and all other colors you want to paint in your life.” ― Happy Holi
“Holi is the time to celebrate the most beautiful feeling called love. Let’s take a dip in the water of love.” ― Happy Holi
“May God paint your life with the beautiful colors of a rainbow, and you become as colorful as a blooming flower.” ― Happy Holi 2021
“Just like a red rose that fills the world with beauty & fragrance. You have made my life so beautiful by being in it. On Holi, the festival of colors & joy I wanna say thank you for all the love & smiles you’ve brought to my life.” ― Happy Holi
May God gift you all the colors of life, colors of joy, colors of happiness, colors of friendship, colors of love and all other colors you want to paint in your life. ” ― Happy Holi
“My world is beautiful because of you and I wish to spend the rest of my life loving you. ”― HAPPY HOLI MY SWEETHEART
“I wish that the colors of romance and love, colors of happiness and joy, colors of smiles and affection get deeper and darker with each and every day of our life.” Happy Holi My Love
“All the colors of Holi remind me of your smile. I hope you will enjoy this Holi with a smile.” ― Happy Holi 2021
“Take out the evil from you and digest the color of peace in yourself this Holi, to spread the color of love everywhere.” ― Happy Holi 2021
“Let’s celebrate the color of our beautiful relationship. Wish you and your family a colorful Holi”
“May all the joys of life become shades of red, green, purple & blue wishing you and your family… ― Happy Holi…..”
“On this joyous day, I am sending you my warm wishes. May fun-filled exciting moments be always with you. Happy Holi”
Let’s get dipped in hues of love and trust in this festival of Holi. And rejoice this day. Happy Holi to all”
“Holi is the festival of colors. I wish with all my colors that it brings more colors to your life. ”― Wishing you and your family a fabulous Holi.
“I Wish You To Have a Colorful and Joy able Holi…May the Color of Happiness Fulfill Your Life’s Journey Throughout The Life.” ― Happy Holi
“Peace from white, Power from red, Knowledge from yellow, Development from green, Love from pink. May this Holi add all the colors in your life. Happy Holi”
“A true and caring relation doesn’t have to speak loud, so I am sending you out a box of lovely colors and tasty sweets. Wish you a very Happy Holi my love. ”
“May God paint the canvas of your life with the most beautiful colors. May he Sprinkle Peace, luck, Success and Joy at every Step, Happy Holi my beloved.”
Happy Holi 2021 Cards
|Photo: The Queen 2019|
|Play of Colors |
Great excitement can be seen in people on the next day when it is actually the time for the play of colors. Shops and offices remain closed for the day and people get all the time to get crazy and whacky. Bright colors of gulal and abeer fill the air and people take turns in pouring color water over each other.
Children take special delight in spraying colors on one another with their pichkaris and throwing water balloons and passers-by. Women and senior citizens form groups called tolis and move in colonies – applying colors and exchanging greetings. Songs, dance on the rhythm of dholak and mouthwatering Holi delicacies are the other highlights of the day.
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