Holi is a festival of colors, celebrated
primarily in India. The festival falls on
the last full moon day of Falgun according
to Hindu calendar. It is celebrated sometime
in the month of March, usually in the latter
half of the month. According to mythology,
the festival is celebrates the killing
Holika, the sister of Hrinyakashyapu. The
festival also holds significance with
respect to end of winter season and the
onset of summer season.
There is no comprehensive data to know the origins of the festival.
However, Holi as we see it today is believed
to have originated in Bengal, where the day
was celebrated as Gaudiya Vaishnava
festival. However, there are several
mythological stories behind the origins of
the festival. The most popular one is
related to the killing of Holika. Mythology
states that when Prahlad disobeyed the
orders of Hrinyakashyapu and kept praying
for Lord Vishnu, Hrinyakashyapu took the
help of her sister, Holika, to kill him.
Holika took Prahlad in her lap and sat in a
bonfire as she had immunity against fire.
However, to everyone’s amazement, Holika was
burnt alive while Prahlad was unaffected.
Thus, Holika Dahan is celebrated a day
The festival is also believed to be a celebration of Radha’s undying
love for Lord Krishna. Still another
mythological tale states that when Lord
Shiva destroyed Kamadeva, he later
resurrected him for the sake of his wife
Rati. However, Kamadeva was brought to life
only as a mental image. The festival is
believed to celebrate that event.
The festival is celebrated in different ways around the country, the
most famous one being in Mathura. Here, the
festival lasts for 16 days, and is primarily
played with flowers. In large parts of
India, the festival is celebrated with a lot
of colors, water balloons and water guns.
Parties are often organized across the
length and breadth of the country where
people dance to music and greet each other
with colors. Sweets are an important part of