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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

#Holi 2017 – #Festival of #Colours – Holi Festival #Date in 2017


Holi is a religious festival celebrated by Hindus all over the world. Holi is considered as second biggest festival on Hindu calendar after DiwaliIt falls in either late February or early March. Holi is also known as festival of Colors. It is also the Hindu spring festival, is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalugna or Falguna (February – March). In 2016, Holi date is March 13 (play with colors). 

Holi celebrates spring, fertility, good harvests, and the return of bright colours after the drabness of winter. There are records in Sanskrit of Hindus celebrating Holi as far back as the 7th Century but there are some records of a celebration called Holikotsav around 300 B.C. Many temples across the country have paintings that are hundreds of years old, or even older, depicting Holi celebrations.
In most regions Holi festival is celebrated for two days. The first day is known as Jalanewali Holi - the day when Holi bonfire is done. This day is also known as Chhoti Holi and Holika Dahan. Holika Dahan is referred to Kama Dahanam in South India.. 
There are many stories of the origin of Holi. The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad had when Demon Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion.Other legends associated with the festival include the legend of Shiva and Kaamadeva and those of Ogress Dhundhi and Pootana. All the stories show the triumph of good over evil, which is another special aspect of this festival.
In western part of india Holi celebrations begin on Rang Pashi, three days earlier to Holika Dahan. All family members gather at home; and Gulal is sprinkled on all by the eldest family member. Women wear their special Holi dandia saris on the day.
On day before Holi bonfires are lit after sunset at Right Holika Dahan Muhurta. Main Holi day when people play with colors is always next day of Holika Dahan or Holi bonfire. Next day in the morning people play Holi with dry and wet colors.People visit the homes of friends and relatives and play Holi with colors.The colours of Holi are very special and add to the vibrancy of the day.People are more willing and comfortable to play Holi with dry colored powders which are known as Gulal. However many people feel that Holi celebrations are incomplete without wet colors. Wet color is applied on the face and is made on the spot by mixing little amount of water with dry colored powder. More enthusiastic Holi folk mix dry colored powder in full bucket of water to drench complete body in wet color. In the past, the colours that were used on people’s skin were natural but many of them now are man-made and some even of dangerous chemicals leaving some people with skin inflammations. Bhang (a paste made from cannabis plants) is also traditionally consumed during the celebrations.Holi is a very carefree festival that’s great fun to participate in if you don’t mind getting wet and dirty. You'll end up saturated in water, with color all over your skin and clothes. Some of it doesn't wash out easily, so be sure to wear old clothes. It's also a good idea to rub hair oil or coconut oil into your skin beforehand, to prevent the color from absorbing The festival marks the end of winter and the abundance of the upcoming spring harvest season.
However, the most interesting moments of Holi festival is the pyramid-type arrangement with a pot of buttermilk hung very high up in the street. Men climb up this pyramid to break the pot, in the same way as Lord Krishna did when he was a child. Holi in India is never complete without the special Holi menus which include especially homemade rich sweet dishes like, 'gujiyas', 'malpuas' 'puranpolis.' Cool summer drinks like 'thandai', mixed with the intoxicating 'bhang', are eagerly looked forward to. Holi celebrations can be seen in full exuberance with children and adults indulging in a frenzied display of colored water play with friends, relations and peers. The evening is a more formal affair, with people greeting each other with 'gulal' or dry colours, wearing new clothes

Places related to life of Lord Krishna are known as Braj regions. Holi rituals in Braj regions - Mathura, Vrindavan, Gowardhan, Gokul, Nandagaon and Barsana - are the most famous one. The LathmarHoli - the traditional Holi festivity in Barsana is world famous.
An important that is celebrated in North India after the Holi festival day is Bhai Dhooj.
 Dol Purnima (Dol Jatra) celebrations in West Bengal and Odisha, which take place on the full moon day before Holi, are dedicated to Lord Krishna. Idols of Radha and Krishna are carried around in procession on specially decorated palanquins. Devotees take turns swinging them. The idols are also smeared with colored powder. Of course, colors are thrown at people on the streets too! Festivities actually begin six days beforehand, on Phagu Dashami.

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