Significance of Holi Festival
Understand the significance of the festival of Holi…
Holi, the festival of colours is synonymous with Gulal and Abir. Learn about the stories that are associated with Holi and significance of Holi celebration.
Holi is one of the most vibrant festivals that are celebrated with immense fervour in the whole of India. It is a major festival that is celebrated with unbridled joy. The fun and frolic that is associated with Holi is unmatched with any other festival across the world. Holi is celebrated as a mark of the arrival of spring season and therefore is a festival of gaiety that is celebrated with colours. It is thus a celebration of relentless enthusiasm, joy and hope amongst people who cut across all sections of the society.
Significance of Holi
Holi gets us close to our religion and our mythology as it is essentially the celebration of various legends associated with the festival.
Foremost is the legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap. The legend says there once lived a devil and powerful king, Hiranyakshyap who considered himself a god and wanted everybody to worship him. To his great ire, his son, Prahlad began to worship, Lord Vishnu. To get rid of his son, Hiranyakshyap asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap, as she had a boon to enter fire unscathed. Legend has it that Prahlad was saved for his extreme devotion for the lord while Holika paid a price for her sinister desire. The tradition of burning Holika or the 'Holika dahan' comes mainly from this legend.
Holi also celebrates the legend of Radha and Krishna which describes the extreme delight, Krishna took in applying colour on Radha and other gopis. This prank of Krishna later, became a trend and a part of the Holi festivities.
Mythology also states that Holi is the celebration of death of Ogress Pootana who tried to kill infant, Krishna by feeding poisonous milk to it.
Another legend of Holi which is extremely popular in Southern India is that of Lord Shiva and Kaamadeva. According to the legend, people in south celebrate the sacrifice of Lord of Passion Kaamadeva who risked his life to revoke Lord Shiva from meditation and save the world.
Also, popular is the legend of Ogress Dhundhi who used to trouble children in the kingdom of Raghu and was ultimately chased away by the pranks of the children on the day of Holi. Showing their belief in the legend, children till date play pranks and hurl abuses at the time of Holika Dahan.
Celebration of the various legends associated with Holi reassure the people of the power of the truth as the moral of all these legends is the ultimate victory of good over evil. The legend of Hiranyakashyap and Prahlad also points to the fact that extreme devotion to god pays as god always takes his true devotee in his shelter.
All these legends help the people to follow a good conduct in their lives and believe in the virtue of being truthful. This is extremely important in the modern day society when so many people resort to evil practices for small gains and torture one who is honest. Holi helps the people to believe in the virtue of being truthful and honest and also to fight away the evil.
Besides, holi is celebrated at a time of the year when the fields are in full bloom and people are expecting a good harvest. This gives a people a good reason to rejoice, make merry and submerge themselves in the spirit of Holi.
Social SignificanceSocial Significance
Holi helps to bring the society together and strengthen the secular fabric of our country. For, the festival is celebrated by non-Hindus also as everybody like to be a part of such a colouful and joyous festival.
Also, the tradition of the Holi is that even the enemies turn friends on Holi and forget any feeling of hardship that may be present. Besides, on this day people do not differentiate between the rich and poor and everybody celebrate the festival together with a spirit of bonhomie and brotherhood.
In the evening people visit friends and relatives and exchange gifts, sweets and greetings. This helps in revatalising relationships and strengthening emotional bonds between people.
It is interesting to note that the festival of Holi is significant for our lives and body in many other ways than providing joy and fun.
We also need to thank our forefathers who started the trend of celebrating Holi at such a scientifically accurate time. And, also for incorporating so much fun in the festival.
As Holi comes at a time of the year when people have a tendency to feel sleepy and lazy. This is natural for the body to experiences some tardiness due to the change from the cold to the heat in the atmosphere. To counteract this tardiness of the body, people sing loudly or even speak loudly. Their movements are brisk and their music is loud. All of this helps to rejuvenate the system of the human body.
The true meaning of the festival of Holi
If you want the festival of Holi to be a truly spiritual experience, then ideally, the preparation for this festival should start from Maha Shivaratri onwards, which is usually celebrated a couple of weeks or so before Holi. Contrary to what many believe, Holi is not simply about getting rid of the waste and negative from our lives and homes. In fact, the significance of Holi is much more than this. In Puarans, it is mentioned that people used to fix up the period between Holi to Diwali as a time for achieving and setting their goals and aims. This obviously meant that people, around this time, also started working on their shortcomings and weaknesses. Holi, in short, is a pledge day, when you accept and thus, take stock of your mistakes, and promise yourself to not repeat them. Holi is not about mindlessly throwing colours at others or shouting and creating nuisance, as many do, but is about uprooting the negativity from your life.