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Stories Behind Holi Celebration

Significance of Holi Festival

Holi is the one of the biggest festival in India..There r lots of stories behind why we celebrate Holi

1. Holika and Prahlad

There was once a king by the name of Hiranyakashyap who won over the kingdom of earth. He was so egoistic that he commanded everybody in his kingdom to worship only him. But to his great disappointment, his son, Prahlad became a very intense devotee of Lord Narayana and refused to worship his father. Hiranyakashyap tried several ways to kill his son Prahlad but Lord Vishnu saved him every time. Finally, he asked his sister, "Holika" to enter a dazzling fire with Prahlad in her lap. For, Hiranyakashyap knew that Holika had a blessing, whereby, she could enter the fire unharmed.

Faithlessly, Holika influenced young Prahlad to sit in her lap and she herself took her seat in a dazzling fire. The story has it that Holika had to pay the price of her sinister desire by her life. Holika was not aware that the blessing worked only when she entered the fire alone. Prahlad, who kept chanting the name of Lord Naarayana all this while, came out unharmed, as the lord blessed him for his extreme devotion. Thus, Holi derives its name from Holika. And, is celebrated as a festival of victory of good over evil.

Holi is also celebrated as the triumph of a devotee.

2. Radha-Krishna

The story goes that as a child, Krishna was extremely jealous of Radha's fair complexion since he himself was very dark.One day, Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about the injustice of nature which made Radha so fair and he so dark. To conciliate the crying young Krishna, the mother asked him to go and colour Radha's face in whichever colour he wanted. In a mischievous mood, naughty Krishna listened the advice of mother Yashoda and applied color on Radha's face, making her one like himself.

The lovable prank of Krishna where he applied color on Radha and other gopis using water jets called pichkaris gained acceptance and popularity. So much so that it evolved as a tradition and later, a full-fledged festival. Till now, use of colors and pichkaris is used in HOLI. Lovers long to apply color on their beloveds face and express their affection for each other.

This festival celebrate each year all over India, particularly in Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana and Nandgaon.

3. Kaamadeva

The Story has it that when Lord Shiva's wife Sati committed herself to fire due to disgrace shown by her father Daksha to Shiva, Lord Shiva became extremely sad. He gave up his worldly duties and went into deep meditation.

Meanwhile, the daughter of the mountains, Parvati started meditating to acquire Shiva as her husband. Moreover, since Shiva was least interested in the affairs of the world complications began to generate in matters of the world which made all the other Gods concerned and afraid.

The other gods then seeked the help of Lord Kamadeva, the god of love and passion to bring Shiva back to his original self. Kamadeva knew that he might have to suffer the consequences of doing this, but he accepted to shoot his arrow on Shiva for the sake of the world.

As planned Kamdeva shot his love arrow on Shiva while he was in meditation. This made Shiva extremely angry and he opened his third eye - reducing Kamdeva to ashes. However, Kamdeva arrow had the desired effect and Lord Shiva married Parvati.

A short while after this, Kamdeva's wife, Rati pleaded Lord Shiva and said this was all the plan of the other gods and asked him to kindly revive Kamdeva. Lord Shiva gladly accepted to do so.Thus the incident had a happy ending for all.

The Celebrations It is believed that Lord Shiva burned Kamdeva on the day of Holi.

South indian people worship Kaamadeva-the Love-god for his extreme sacrifice on the day of Holi. Kamdeva is depicted with his bow of sugar cane having the string of a line of humming bees and his arrow-shafts are topped with passion that pierce the heart.

4. Dhundhi

It is believed that there was once an Ogress called Dhundhi in the kingdom of Raghu. The Ogress used to specially trouble little children who became fed-up of her. Dhundhi, had a blessing from Lord Shiva that she would not be killed by gods, men nor suffer from arms nor from heat, cold or rain. These blessing which made her almost invincible but she also had a weak point. She was also cursed by Lord Shiva that she would be in danger from boys going about crazy.

Deeply troubled by the Ogress, the King of Raghu consulted his priest. Giving the solution, the priest said that on Phalguna 15, the season of cold vanishes and summer starts. Boys with bits of wood in their hands may go out of their house, collect a heap of wood and grass, set it on fire with mantras, clap their hands, go around the fire thrice, laugh, sing and by their noise, laughter, the Ogress would die.

The story has it that on the day of Holi, village boys displayed their united might and chased Dhundhi away by attack suddenly and without warning of shouts, abuses and pranks. It is for this reason that young boys are allowed to use rude words on the day of Holi without anybody taking offence.

5. Pootana

Yet another legend says that there was an Ogress known as Pootana. Lord Krishna's devil uncle Kansa seeked the help of Pootana to kill baby Krishna by feeding him poisonous milk.

Pootana masked herself as a simple and sacred woman and faithlessly fed baby Krishna with her poisoned milk. Lord Krishna, however, sucked her blood which revealed the monster behind that sacred woman and laid her to death.

On the night before Holi, there is a practice to burn an effigy of Pootana - the ogress who nearly killed baby Krishna. The tradition is symbolic of victory of god over evil forces.

India is a country of different religion, different cast.

Wish u all fabulous and colorful HOLI!!!!!

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