Holi is a popular & among the biggest Hindu festivals celebrated by people all over the country with utmost fun, thrill & excitement. Known as the “Festival of Colors”, it is a series of celebrations that take place over two days; the night before is celebrated as “Holika Dahan” following the main day of“Dhulandi”.
The festival of colors marks the arrival of spring and denotes the victory of good over evil. With the vibrancy of colors, the most awaited festival of Holi 2023 is finally here. It involves people visiting their relatives & friends, enjoying lighting bonfires, playing with colors, exchanging sweets, and having lots of fun together.
Let’s read about the festival in detail:
When is Holi 2023? The festival of Holi is observed on the Phalguna Purnima (full-moon night) every year as per the Hindu calendar.
This year, people will celebrate Holi on Wednesday 8th, March during the night before, ie. Holika Dahan falls on Tuesday 7th, March.
There are several beliefs & mythological conceptions behind the Holi festival celebration.
One popular belief revolves around a demon named Hiranyakashipu, who considered himself a god and demanded everybody in his kingdom worship him. But his son, Prahlad, was a true worshipper of Lord Vishnu. So, King Hiranyakashipu seeks help from his sister Holika to murder his son Prahlad. Holika was blessed with being unharmed by the fire.
In an attempt to kill Prahlad, Holika sat in the fire, wearing a cloak with Prahlad in her lap. However, instead of Prahlad, Holika burned to ashes. Later, king Hiranyakashipu was killed by Lord Vishnu and made Prahlad the king.
Since then, people have been celebrating the day by lighting a bonfire, known as Holika on the night of the Holi festival to reconsider the victory of good over evil.
The reason why Holi is called the festival of colors is related to Lord Krishna, who once applied color to his beloved Radha mischievously to make her like himself. No wonder you can witness the massive & bursting celebration of Holi in Mathura, Vrindavan, and Barsana. Colors also mark the celebration of spring's arrival.
Another popular belief deals with the story of lord Kamadeva who shot arrows of flowers at Lord Shiva to take him out of his meditation. This made Lord Shiva outraged and he burned the Kamadeva into ashes. This upset Rati, the wife of Kamadeva, who did penance for forty days after which Lord Shiva blessed Kamadeva with his life. This is why the Holi 2023 is celebrated after forty days of Vasant Panchmi.
Holi is a much-awaited Hindu festival celebrated with great fun, zeal & enthusiasm.
The night before the festival, people gather and light a bonfire by setting up huge piles of wood on fire, symbolizing the burning of Holika.
The next day, people dress in white clothes and apply colored powder on each other's faces. They dance, sing songs, or even throw water balloons & colored water. People roam around in colonies in groups, locally known as “Tolis' ', and sprinkle colors on locals on their way. Special sweets called “Gujiyas” are made in every household to mark the Holi festival.
Celebrations of Holi are incomplete without drinking a special milk-based drink called “Thandai”, filled with different nuts. People enjoy the whole day and the entire streets turn colorful. Kids use water guns to throw colored water. Later in the day, families get together for a delicious meal.
Holi festival is observed across several states of the country. Some of them are here as follows:
Braj is known for its world-famous Holi celebrations in the memory of Lord Krishna, with its areas of Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, and Barsana. It is believed that Lord Krishna used to cry to his mother, Yashoda, for being dark and Radha, for being fair. So, his mother advised him to smear colors on Radha, giving birth to Braj Holi.
People celebrate Lathmar Holi here, where sticks are used to dance & enjoy. Celebrations at Banke Bihari temple are world famous, where Lord Krishna is believed to dress in white and throw Gulal on his devotees.
Here, Holi is celebrated in the Kumaon region of Uttrakhand in the form of Kumaoni Holi. It is a two-month celebration that starts on Basant Panchmi with a series of festivities - Baithki Holi, the Khari Holi, and the Mahila Holi. People gather together, sing hymns, and play harmonium and tabla.
The Holi festival is celebrated with great fun in Goa as Shigmotsav. During the day, Konkani Hindus dress in their most vibrant attire & flags and visit Konkani temples. The day marks the abstinence from various intoxicants like meat, alcohol, etc. The celebrations take place for 9 days, including Holika Pujan & Dahan, Dhulvad, Halduni, etc.
The festival of Holi 2023 commemorates the victory of good over evil and the divine love of Radha & Krishna. It is a significant Hindu festival that is celebrated every year to emphasize the fact that truth & loyalty always stay a step ahead and triumph in the end. On this day, people eliminate hatred, jealousy & criticism by applying color to each other's faces. It promotes friendship and brotherhood in society.
Now you know that Holi is one of the most popular & vibrant Hindu festivals celebrated in different regions of India. It puts an end to winter days and welcomes spring's arrival. It also highlights the winning of good over evil. People shower each other with colors and exchange Holi festival wishes. So, a very Happy Holi to all of you.
1. Is Holi a public holiday in India?
Holi is a public holiday in countries in different states of India including Gujarat, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Assam, etc.
2. What is the main object of Holi?
Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates spring and spreads love, & brotherhood. People visit their relatives, shower colors on each other, and exchange delicacies.
3. What things need to keep in mind in Holi celebrations?
Avoid applying colors near the eyes, nose, and open wounds. Keep the skin fully covered and don’t use chemical-coloured powders. Also, don’t throw colors on animals.