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Holi, The Festival Of Colours: History, Rituals, And Fun

With the month of March, the joy of one of the most awaited festivals arrives in India. Holi, the festival of colours will be celebrated from 9th of March 2020, till the evening of 10th of March 2020. Holi has held a significant place in the culture of the country, with the day holding unmatched significance for the people.

While many believe Holi to be the real beginning of the festival of spring, a large number of people call the two-day celebration of colours as the festival of love as well. In popular belief, Holi is the day when two people can forget their differences and join together in celebrating the festival as friends and family.

The two-day celebration of Holi; however, finds a special place in the scriptures and epics of India. These ancient texts describe the beginning of the festival of Holi and why it is celebrated in an entirely different manner.

Legends of Holi

n the Bhagavata Purana, there is a mention of the Demon King, Hiranyakashipu, who received a boon of 5 special powers; that he could not be killed by either a man or animal, neither in day or in night, neither indoors nor outdoors neither by “Astra” or “Shastra” (handheld weapon), and neither on land, in water or in air. This made the King arrogant of his powers and began to think of himself as a god.

The King’s son, Prahlada, was an ardent follower of Lord Vishnu and refused to accept his father’s arrogance. Infuriated by this act, the Demon King subjected Prahlada to violent punishments. Finally, the King’s sister, Holika, stepped forth with a fire-proof cloak and tricked her nephew to sit on her lap in a pyre. With a miracle, the cloak flew from Holika and wrapped itself around Prahlada, thus burning Holika and saving Prahlada.

From the fire, Lord Vishnu reincarnated in the form of Narasimha, half-man half-lion. Narasimha slew Hiranyakashipu on his doorstep at the time of dusk, on his lap, and with his claws, thus not violating any of the King’s special powers. This is why Holi celebrations include Holika Dahan, a ritualistic recreation of the Pyre that began the end of evil and marked the triumph of good.

The Legend of Krishna and Radha

Lord Krishna had turned dusky in complexion after slaying the she-demon Putana. Growing up, Lord Krishna often asked his mother about the difference between his skin tone and that of Radha. Krishna’s foster mother, Yashoda, then told Krishna to approach Radha and ask her to colour his face in any colour she liked, which she accepted. This cemented their bond and gave birth to the divine love of Krishna and Radha.

Rituals and Celebration of Holi in India

Celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Phalguna, Holi is a 2-day celebration. Known as the last full moon of the season of winter, the celebrations begin on the dusk of the first day when the bonfires are lit as an ode to Lord Vishnu and his reincarnation to fight evil in the world. This day is known as Holika Dahan, and people actually take embers from these bonfires to light up the smaller bonfires in their own homes, as a part of bringing the Lord’s blessings to their houses. Here are the required Muhurat information on Holika Dahan.

Purnima Beginning Date and Time 9th March, 2020, 03:03 AM
Purnima Ending Date and Time 9th March, 2020, 11:17 PM
Auspicious Muhurat Time for Dahan 06:34 PM to 08:59 PM

The next day is dedicated to the play of colours and is known as Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi, or Phagwah, depending on what part of India you are from. People colour each other on this day while relishing amazing delicacies like Gujiya, Mathri, Malpuas, and Thandai.

Holi is one of the most special festivals in the year because it is loved by everyone, and usually means an unending spree of fun.

That said, for more information on the rituals of Holi or any festival in the year, get in touch with the top Astrologer in India, Pandit Pawan Kaushik. You can now book your appointment with Pandit Pawan Kaushik on call or through WhatsApp. Visit the services page for more information.

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