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Holi festival - greetings, messages, video & wishes Holi (Phagwa in Bhojpuri), also called the Festival of Colours, is a popular Hindu festival observed in India, Guyana, Trinidad, the UK and Nepal. In the state of West Bengal, it is known as Dolyatra (Doljatra) or Boshonto Utsav ("spring festival"). South Indians call it "Kama dahana".

Holi is the day when Lord Vishnu killed the king of demons, Hiranyakashipu. You can read the story of Bhakta prahlada and how Lord Vishnu tactfully killed Hiranyakashipu here or watch the super hit "Bhakta Prahlada" Kannada movie from Dr. Rajkumar.

There is another story too. Kamadeva is a god of love. Kama's body was destroyed when he shot his weapon at Shiva in order to disrupt his penance and help Parvati to marry Shiva. Shiva then opened his third eye, the gaze of which was so powerful that Kama's body was reduced to ashes. For the sake of Kama's wife Rati (passion), Shiva restored him, but only as a mental image, representing the true emotional and mental state of love rather than physical lust. During Holi, Hindus attend a public bonfire, spray friends and family with colored powders and water, and generally go a bit wild in the streets. The entire holiday is associated with a loosening of social restrictions normally associated with caste, sex, status and age. Holi thus bridges social gaps and brings people together: employees and employers, men and women, rich and poor, young and old. Holi is also characterized by the loosening of social norms governing polite behavior and the resulting general atmosphere of licentious merrymaking and ribald language and behavior.

Holi also known as Holla Moholla in Punjab is played on grand scale. Barsana is the place to be at the time of Holi. Here the famous Lath mar Holi is played in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple. Here women chase men away with sticks. Males also sing provocative songs in a bid to invite the attention of women. Bengalis celebrate Holi as Dol Yatra or the swing festival where the icons of Krishna and Radha are placed on swings and women sing devotional songs, throw colours and 'abir' on them and perform dances as devotees take turns to swing them.

In Maharashtra, Holi is mainly associated with the burning of Holika. Holi Paurnima is also celebrated as Shimga. In North India, a pot of buttermilk is hung high on the streets and young boys try to reach it and break it by making human pyramids while the girls try to stop them by throwing coloured water on them to commemorate the pranks of Krishna and cowherd boys to steal butter and 'gopis' trying to stop them.

1 comment:

Chandu said...

Happy Holi. Enjoy the colours of life!!!