Originated from India, Holi is a Hindu spring festival which is celebrated primarily by Indians. On the other hand, it has a wide reach in Nepal and many other countries to the west of the globe. It is also acknowledged by “festival of colours” and “festival of love and rejoice”. The significance of the festival is denoted by the win over evil by god. The welcoming of spring and the conclusion of winter. The festival goes on for an entire day and night.
The fest starts on the dusk of Purnima (Full moon day). This day falls under the Vikram Samvat Hindu Calendar of Phalgun. It occurs in the last days of Feb month and somewhere in mid of March when following a Georgian calendar. The first evening of the fest is acknowledged as Holika Dahan (Choti Holi). It is followed later by the day of Holi, Dhulandi Phagwah or Rangwali Holi.
Also Read: Diwali – The Festival of Light
Origin of Holi Festival
Holi is an age-old Hindu pious festival. It turned out to be prevailing with the non-Hindus in most countries of the South Asian continent. Besides that, the festival became famous by communities outside Asia. Apart from that India and Nepal, the fest is prevailed by Indian communities (diaspora) in nations like Suriname, Trinidad, South Africa, Tobago, Jamaica, United Kingdom, Mauritius, and Canada which includes Fiji as well. Over the past years, the festival has widespread and is seen as prevailing of frolic colours and love. The reason behind Holi festival is celebrated by people in order to get rid of the sister of the demon, who was killed by the very fire of Holika Dahan.
First Celebration of Holi Festival
The Braj region, a part of India, wherein the Hindu divine entity was born and spent a major part of his life also known as “Krishna legend”. The Holi festival is commemorated till the celebration of Rangpanchmi who was the holy love of Radha for Krishna. In her memory and celebration of love, the festival is celebrated.
When does the Holi Start?
The celebration of Holi festival begins on the night before Holika just after the Holika Dahan as mentioned above. In Holika Dahan, the masses gather up and render the divine rituals right in front of the bonfire. Also, people pray in order to get rid of the evil by the fire of Holika Dahan. The later morning prevails as Rangwali Holi. This festival is welcomed as seen by free-for-all fest of frolic colours. The masses later colour each other by the bright colours and drenching each other.
Everyone whether stranger or familiar, poor or rich, man or a woman, elders celebrate the festival with everything they have got (happiness). The colouring each other up begins whether it is an open market, streets, gardens buildings and temples. The masses make it a point to visit the relatives and are tend to throw colours on each other which is followed by singing and dancing. The festival is accompanied by sweets, delicacies, drinks and food.
Cultural Significance of Holi
The festival of Holi has massive cultural importance between the majorities of Hindu rituals of the Indian nation. On this festive occasion, people make it a point to erase the bitter memories. To bring about an end to the squabble by getting along together just to forgive and forget the past. The people are supposed on this auspicious day pay and forgive the debts.
On the other hand, people tend to move towards a new beginning of their life. Holi Festival signifies the beginning of spring season.
Purpose of Holi Festival
The Holi fest has a number of purposes. Most importantly it prevails the start the spring season. Back in the 17th century written in the old ancient books. It was seen as an occasion of fertile land and good harvest. The Hindus have a firm belief that it is a period of rejoicing spring’s significant colours and conveying a farewell to the winter season. To the majority of the people belonging to Hindus, the Holi fest signifies the start of New Year including the season to reset the old and weak relationships. This brings about the end to the quarrels and sentimental impurities from the past.
Also, it holds a religious reason, significantly notified by the Holika legend. The dusk of the Holi, a bonfire is lighted up in a festival which is better known as Holika Dahan. The groups of people come together to sing, dance and celebrate the occasion with happiness. The very next day, Holi better known as Dhuli in Sanskrit language, Dhuleti, Dhulendi or Dhulandi is commemorated.