Significant of Holi : Holi Greetings & Pictures

Holi, the festival of colors serves to be the most amazing and fun filled festivals celebrated by the Hindus. It is the festival which brings mirth and joy, fun, dance and music, colors and delicacies together. Dunking your friends in colored water pools, getting intoxicated with bhang and squirting colored water on each other is all acceptable on this festival. Indeed, you can get away with anything just by saying “Bura na maano, Holi hai”.

Origins

There is in fact no actual data as to how the festival originated, but it is believed that Holi originated from Bengal where this day was celebrated as the Gaudiya Vaishnava festival. But there are many mythological stories behind origin of Holi as the festival. The most famous one is linked with death of Holika. The mythological stories say that when Prahlad did not obey the orders of Hrinyakashyapu, the latter took help of sister Holika to kill Prahlad. She took Prahlad on her laps and sat in bonfire because it was believed that she had the immunity against fire. But, the reverse happened as Holika got burnt while Prahlad was all fine. So, Holika Dahan is celebrated by all a day prior to Holi.

Holi is even said to be the celebration of love that Radha had for Lord Krishna. Another mythological story states that when Shiva destroyed Kamadeva, he brought him back to life for his wife Rati. But Kamadeva was resurrected only as mental image. And so the festival is said to be celebrating that event.

The celebration

The festival’s celebrations start with lighting up of the bonfire on Holi eve. Various stories and tales are associated with the celebrations of this festival and all these make the event all the more vivid and enjoyable. People apply gulaal to one another. The festival further offers a great chance to send one’s love and blessings to the near and dear ones.

Holi festival is in fact celebrated in many ways all across the country, the most popular being in Mathura. In Mathura, the festival is celebrated for 16 days and is played with fresh flowers. In other parts of the country, the festival is played with water balloons, water guns and colors. Parties and get-togethers are organized where people dance and play Holi with colors. Sweets and other delicacies also serve a crucial part of this festival.

The whole country wears festive look on the day of Holi. All markets are packed with colors, sweets, water guns and more. Heaps of gulaal, abeer and other items are seen days before the actual festival. Pichkaris or water guns in modern designs are available these days to attract the kids and enjoy the festival to the fullest.

Women too start making the sweets and other food items for the festival like mathri, gujiya, papri and others.

How to make Holi colors yourself?

Holi colors, generally called as Gulaal, in earlier times, were made at homes from tesu flowers or palash tree. The flowers are bright orange or red in color and were then collected from forests, were spread out on the mats to let them dry in sun and were later grounded to make a fine dust or powder. This powder was then mixed with some water to make saffron red dye.

The Holi days

Day 1

The day of full moon is first day of the festival celebrations. A thali with colors and water is placed in a brass pot. The eldest male member of a family starts the festivities through sprinkling color and water on every member.

Day 2

On second day, it is called Puno where the Holika idols and images are burnt with Prahlad. In the rural parts of India, this evening is much celebrated with lighting of huge bonfires and people sing and dance. Mothers carry the babies 5 times in clockwise movement around the bonfire so as to give the blessings of Agni to the kids.

This day is also called as Chhoti Holi or Holika Dahan. The ash from the bonfire is even considered to be sacred and so people apply that on their foreheads. It is believed that the ash safeguards them from the evil forces.

Final celebration

Most fun filled day of the festival is Parva where everybody visit one another and apply the colors, splash water on each other and enjoy to the fullest. Water balloons and water guns are all filled with water and colors to be sprinkled on others.

There is even the tradition of taking bhang to enhance the real spirit and fervor of the festival. It is complete fun to see people getting drowned in water, with different colors on their faces.

It is believed that the spirit and zeal of Holi encourages feeling of love and brotherhood in all and even enemies turn friends. People from all communities participate and celebrate this festival with great joy and happiness.

Holi Pictures & Greetings