To start with, Happy Women’s Day!!! to all the lovely ladies out there.
What better topic than Holi this week. Being celebrated on 20th March this year, it is celebrated on the last day of Phalguna month of the lunar calendar i.e. at the end of winter. Holi, the Indian festival of colours, is well known through out the world. So I am not writing more about the way it is celebrated, I am diggin’ into H for History a little.
As with history, there are multiple stories surrounding the festival. All of them invariably on the theme of victory of good over evil and onset of new season spring, the season of love. I am writing one of them here.
Long ago there lived a king named Hiranyakashapu who had forbidden his subjects to worship anybody other than him. But, as fate had it, his very own son Prahlad was an ardent worshipper of Lord Vishnu. He decided to seek his sister Holika’s help as she had a boon that she could enter the fire and come out unscathed. She coaxed Prahlad, the King’s son, to sit on her lap and entered the fire. Prahlad kept chanting the Lords name and came out unhurt but Holika unaware that the boon works only when she enters the fire alone got burnt in the fire.
The festival gets the name “Holi” from Holika. This marks the triumph of good over evil, the victory of a true devotee. Even today people burn the effigies of Holika(Holika dahan) and huge bonfires are lit to mark the festival. People also offer grams and stalks from the harvest to ‘Agni Devta’ (God of Fire). Lord Krishna (reincarnation of Lord Vishnu) seem to have started the trend of colours by applying the colour on Radha and the other Gopikas.
Whatever be the reason, all of us love to play with the colours and have unlimited fun on this day. Enjoy maadi…Holi Hai!!!!
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