Celebrate Holi Festival During India Travel
Posted on March 3, 2016
If you want to celebrate your spring vacation, India travels provides you an opportunity to explore and enjoy a festive season. When winter ends and spring enters, people in India are celebrating Holi also known as a festival of colors or the festival of sharing love. It is originally a Hindu religious festival but becomes popular among non Hindus and in many parts of South Asia as well as outside Asia. In the past it was only celebrated in India and Nepal but in recent years the festival is celebrated in Europe and North America also.
Holi celebrations begin from Holika bonfire when people gather, sing and dance. This bonfire is celebrated with fire crackers. There is a mythology behind the celebration. Prahalada, Hiranyakashipu’s own son, was a follower of Vishnu. As an arrogant king, his father called himself God, and demanded that everyone worship only him. But his son refused to worship him. Instead of worshipping his father he started to worship God Vishnu. Infuriated father subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments. But his son continued to worship Vishnu. Eventually his sister Holika, Prahalada’s aunt, sat on a pyre with his nephew. Holika was blessed a shawl which made her immune to injury from fire. As the fire roared, the shawl flew from Holika and encased Prahlada. As a result, Holika burned, Prahlada survived. Hearing it, his father, was unable to control his anger and smashed a pillar with his mace. There was a tumultuous sound, and Lord Vishnu appeared as Lord Narasimha and killed Hiranyakashipu. The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil.
The next day is of all carnival of colors, where everyone plays, chase and color each other with dry colored powder and colored water. Some are carrying colored water guns and some are trying water fight with colored water balloons. Everyone is full of joy and happiness irrespective of their caste creed and religion. Friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders are celebrating the festival which fills a new energy in their minds and soul. The fun frolic festival happens in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Many groups are carrying drums with other musical instruments, go from place to place singing and dancing. People are visiting their family, friends and foes to throw color powders on each other. The atmosphere is full of laugh and gossip. Finally people are sharing Holi delicacies, food and drinks. Some drinks are intoxicating. For example, Bhang, an intoxicating ingredient made from cannabis leaves, is mixed into milk and sweets and consumed by many.
The festival is celebrated at the approach of the vernal equinox, on the Full Moon. The festival date varies every year, as per the Hindu calendar it typically comes in March. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships, and is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest. This year Holi is celebrated on 23 and 24 March. Make a booking with us to enjoy this festival.
By Chandrahas Chandra Singh