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Friday, November 15, 2013

(10.1.18) Holi , the festival of colours 2017

Holi, the festival of colours - 2017
When is Holi celebrated - 
Holi is celebrated on Falgun Shukla Purnima.
In the year 2017 Holi is on Sunday, 12.3.2017.
Like Diwali, Holi is also a great and important festival of the Hindus. It is a festival of noisy mirth, rough practical jokes and loud singing and dancing. It brings every young and old person out of boredom and seriousness of the routine life.
The story related to Holi:-    
The story behind its celebration is that of Prahlad who was a devotee of Shri Vishnu. He would chant Vishnu's name all the time and during all his activities. Prahlad's father, king Hiranyakashipu did not like it. He wanted his son to worship no one, but him (his father). So he tried to deviate Prahlad from his devotion to God, but he continued to worship Lord Vishnu with full devotion. So Hiranyakashipu tried to kill Bhakt Prahlad in many ways but he was saved every time. Hiranyakashipu's sister, whose name was Holika, had a boon that she would not be burnt in the fire. So Hiranyakashipu asked her to sit with Prahlad into the fire. She entered the fire with is nephew Prahlad. But blessed by Lord Vishnu the child Praahlad remained unharmed and Holika got burnt and died. To celebrate Prahlad's victory over Hiranyakashipu, this festival is celebrated. 
Celebrations :- 
In the night of Purnima, big heaps of fuel are placed  in the streets or road sides  (and outside the village in the rural area) for burning up the Holi. This pile consists of logs of wood and cow dung cakes. At the appointed hour a Brahmin chants mantras and sets fire to the pile. Soon the pile begins to burn brightly and the whole street is lit up. People parch green ears of barley, wheat or gram in the flames of Holi. These perched ears are distributed among the friends and the relatives. Next day people throw colored water on one another. They apply Abir and Gulal on the faces of their friends and relatives. People go about in groups with coloured water in Pichkaaris or in buckets or with 'abir' and 'gulal' in a small bag. They make a lot of noise. They exchange jokes. This goes on till mid day. Then the people wash their coloured faces and hands and take a bath. After bathing they put on clean and new clothes and go to the houses of their friends and relatives and embrace them as a token of their affectionate relations.  
Thus Holi is the festival of love, affections and brotherhood. The feelings of untouchability and high or low are forsaken.
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