Holi Festival

Topics: Holi, Hinduism, Hiranyakashipu Pages: 3 (777 words) Published: April 21, 2011

The Holi celebration is most commonly celebrated by the Hindu faith and is unique to its kind. It was a little out of the norm form for me because this type of thing isn’t what I have experienced ever in my life. There was a variety of colors and music that was played throughout the experience. The Hindu people allowed guests to enter their temple, without shoes, and dance and worship along with them to their music.

The day that Holi is celebrated is known as the Dhuli Vandana in Sanskrit, it is celebrated by people throwing colored powder and colored water at each other. As part of their worship experience they have bonfires that are lit on the eve of the festival, also known as Holika Dahan or burning of Holika. The Hindu people believe that Holika was a Demoness in Hindu mythology who was burnt to death with the help of God Brahma by Prahlad. This conflict suggests the victory of good over evil.

At the end of the winter season on the day of the last full moon of the lunar month Phalguna Holi is celebrated. Historians also believe that Holi was celebrated by all Aryans but more so in the Eastern part of India. It is said that Holi existed several centuries before Christ. However, the meaning of the festival is believed to have changed over the years. Earlier it was a special rite performed by married women for the happiness and well-being of their families and the full moon (Raka) was worshiped.

The actual word “Holi” means “burning” though there are many legends to decipher the actual meaning of the word. Some legends suggest that “Hiranyakashyap wanted everybody in his kingdom to worship only him but to his great disappointment, his son, Prahlad became an ardent devotee of Lord Naarayana. Hiaranyakashyap commanded his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap. Holika had an [advantage] whereby she could enter fire without any damage on herself. However, she was not aware that [her advantage] worked only when she enters the...
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