Holi traditions

It is a complete liability. I did a quick check. I was wearing black, a color rarely seen in India. A Forbes study inwhich compared corporate logo colors in India with international brands, suggested that black is the one color that companies in India assiduously avoid.

I was happy for my clothes to be permanently splattered. You can have some gladly, to join in our customs. Holi represents the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil. It is also said to be the enactment of a game the Hindu god Lord Krishna played with his consort Radha and the gopis, or milkmaids. The story represents the fun and flirtatiousness of the gods but also touches on deeper themes: of the passing of the seasons and the illusory nature of the material world.

The tub of crimson powder the driver handed me was almost fluorescent; holding this as my weapon of choice, I walked into the Holi smoke. It was mostly yellow, a medieval painting of hell with figures vaguely visible through sulfurous fog. But the gloom was lifted by exuberant puffs of pink, blue and green. To be inside the tinted mist was to enter a delightful, unpredictable world, filled with contagious laughter. At first people politely avoided the foreigner.

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But then a girl in a blue-splattered sari ran up giggling and smeared paint on my face. I returned the favor with a handful of pink. After that, nothing was off-limits—legs, arms, hair, clothes—everything was a potential canvas.

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With its gorgeous textiles, exotic flowers, exuberant advertising billboards, hand-painted rickshaws and trucks covered with lights, patterns and brightly painted pictures of gods, India is one of the most colorful places on the planet.

They are not just pretty: In India they have meaning. Vishnu spends eternity sleeping, until when called upon in a crisis, he wakes and like the most powerful of superheroes saves the world. One name for him is Nilakantha, the blue-necked one, because of a story that he drank a pot of poison to save creation. So blue is a reminder that evil exists but can be contained, through courage and right actions. Krishna is a manifestation of Vishnu.

In addition to being associated with the gods, blue—through the indigo dye—is also historically linked with India.

In the first century a. He suggested that the dye was a kind of slime sticking to the scum on river reeds.

Unusual Holi Traditions in India which will leave you awestruck

It actually comes from a bush with small green leaves that when dried and fermented in a dye vat look pretty scummy, which explains the misunderstanding.

Indigo is intensive to process, and has historically been cultivated where labor is cheap. It had a brief heyday on slave plantations in the Caribbean and South Carolina in the 18th century, pricing the Indian plantations out of the market.

But when slavery was abolished, the British planted indigo again in Bengal, where weather conditions are ideal. The second was initiated by the year-old Hindu lawyer Mohandas later known as Mahatma Gandhi, as one of his first acts of peaceful civil disobedience against British rule, which finally led to Indian independence in If blue is the spiritually complex color of the gods, green is the color of nature and happiness.

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There is no naturally green dye in India, so dyers would often double dip their cottons and silks in indigo and in turmeric or pomegranate peel, which made vivid yellow dyes.

Yellow is also associated with the third caste, of Vaisyas, or merchants. He and Krishna are almost always shown dressed in yellow. In paintings of these deities, artists in India sometimes used one of the stranger pigments in history: Indian yellow. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, wooden boxes of this strange-scented pigment would arrive at the London docks.

When the colormen, whose job was to process and sell paint to artists, picked up the deliveries, they had little idea of how it was made or what it was. Just that it made a fairly good watercolor, even though it was rubbish in oil.

Perhaps it was urine mixed with turmeric, speculated amateur artist Roger Dewhurst inwriting anxiously to friends, wondering how to make these strange cakes into paint.Destination India. Facebook Twitter Email. New Delhi CNN — It's the bold image of India most often seen in ad campaigns, films and music videos: People coming together from all walks of life to sing, dance and splash their friends and family with colored powder and water.

Brands such as Sony and Canon have used the vibrant festival to showcase their products. British Airways recently joined in the fun with cabin crew members celebrating in cities across India.

Even Chris Martin of the band Coldplay, though he irked some in the processgot involved in Holi traditions in the music video for "Hymn for the Weekend. Before you travel there to celebrate it, you'll want the answer to these questions: What is Holi?

And why do Indians celebrate it? Hindu devotees play with color during Holi celebrations at the Banke Bihari temple in in Vrindavan, India. Holi is a Hindu festival that marks the start of spring. Celebrated across India, it's an ancient festival with the first mentions of it dating all the way back to a 4th century poem. It was even described in detail in a 7th century Sanskrit play called "Ratnavali," written by the Indian emperor Harsha.

Everything is colored yellowish red and rendered dusty by the heaps of scented powder blown all over," wrote Harsha. Indian students smear colored powder during an event to celebrate the Hindu festival of Holi in Kolkata in Although a Hindu festival, Holi is celebrated by Indians across the country and is a great equalizer.

Children can douse elders with water, women splash men with color and the rules of caste and creed are briefly forgotten with everyone taking part. A national holiday, it takes place on the last full moon day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month, which is usually March. This year's national holiday falls on Wednesday, March The festival takes place a day earlier in the eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha.

In some parts of northern Uttar Pradesh state, the festivities take place over a week. An Indian artist dressed as Hindu god Lord Shiva takes part in a procession ahead of the Holi festival in Amritsar in The roots of the festival lie in the Hindu legend of Holika, a female demon, and the sister of the demon, King Hiranyakashayap. Hiranyakashayap believed he was the ruler of the universe and superior to all the gods. But his son, Prahlad, followed the god Vishnu, the preserver and protector of the universe.

Prahlad's decision to turn his back on his father left Hiranyakashayap with no choice. He hatched a plot with Holika to kill him. It was a seemingly foolproof plan; Holika would take Prahlad onto her lap and straight into a bonfire. Holika would survive because she had an enchanted shawl that would protect her from the flames. But the plan failed. Prahlad was saved by Vishnu and it was Holika who died as she was only immune to fire if she was alone. Soon after, Vishnu killed Hiranyakashayap and Prahlad became king.

The moral of the story is that good always triumphs over evil. Indian Hindu devotees throw colored powder during celebration of Holi Festival at Sriji temple in Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in In modern day Holi celebrations, Holika's cremation is often reenacted by lighting bonfires on the night before Holi, known as Holika Dahan.

Some Hindus collect the ashes and smear them on their bodies as an act of purification. Rangwali Holi takes place the next day and is an all-day affair where people throw and smear colored powder on each other.

Indian college girls throw colored powder to one another during Holi festival celebrations in Bhopal in Holi is one of the major festivals of Hindus. It is celebrated in many parts of Indiabut especially in the north of India. The festival is celebrated for two to three days. People pour colored water on each other and cook many types of sweets and other food. Holi is celebrated in the spring season because it is welcoming spring. They believe spring is full of colours so they throw coloured water on each other.

Holi is based on a legend about King Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashyap had a son, Prahlad. Prahlad was the greatest devotee of Lord Vishnu.

holi traditions

Hiranyakashyap wanted to kill his son, so he called his sister, Holika. She had a magic robe. This robe had the power to save the wearer from burning in fire. Hiranyakashyap ordered his sister to sit on a burning fire along with Prahlad. He thought that his sister would not be harmed by the fire because of the magic robe and Prahlad would be burnt to death.

But the result was the opposite to what the evil demon king planned. As is believed, no one can harm the person who has God as his saviour. Thus Prahlad came out of the burning fire safely and Holika was burnt to death. The other day is celebrated with joyful colours to mark the victory of virtue and goodness over evil.

The festival is celebrated for five days. The 5th day, Rang Panchami, marks the closing day of the Holi festival. Holika bonfire in front of Jagdish Temple in Udaipur, Rajasthan Radha and the Gopis celebrating Holi, with accompaniment of music instruments. Holi snacks and drinks, post play with colours. Left: salty snacks, Middle: Gujia a stuffed energy wrapRight: Thandai almonds-based chilled drink to which sometimes intoxicating "bhang" is added.

In the Braj region of North India, women have the option to playfully hit men who save themselves with shields; for the day, men are culturally expected to accept whatever women dish out to them.

This ritual is called Lath Mar Holi. Friends form groups on Holi, play drums and music, sing and dance, as they move from one stop to another. An drawing showing elevation of a black stone arch in Puri, Odisha. It carried Vaishnavite gods and goddess, the ritual noted to be a part of the Holi festival.Holi is considered as one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India and it is celebrated in almost every part of the country.

The great Indian festival lasts for a day and a night, which starts in the evening of Purnima or the Full Moon Day in the month of Falgun. It is celebrated with the name Holika Dahan or Choti Holi on first evening of the festival and the following day is called Holi. In different parts of the country it is known with different names.

The vibrancy of colors is something that brings in a lot of positivity in our lives and Holi being the festival of colours is actually a day worth rejoicing. Holi is a famous Hindu festival that is celebrated in every part of India with utmost joy and enthusiasm. The ritual starts by lighting up the bonfire one day before the day of Holi and this process symbolizes the triumph of good over the bad. On the day of Holi people play with colours with their friends and families and in evening they show love and respect to their close ones with Abeer.

Holi is considered as one of the most celebrated and revered festivals celebrated by the people of Hindu community in India. People in every part of the country and also those living in foreign country celebrate this festival with a Know More.

Holi is considered as an important festival of India and is celebrated around the country with great zeal and enthusiasm. There are also a great many of Holi related festivals that are celebrated in different states of India. Holi, this special festival of colours is famous among people of India for the great and interesting rituals. The splash of colors over each other, feast of delicious dishes, wearing new clothes are some of the really attention grabbing rituals of the festival.

Holi, which is considered as the most celebrated festivals of India, is not only observed by people living in the country but is equally famous among those residing outside the country. The zeal of celebrating the festival is incredible irrespective of the place they are living in. Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India. Natural Colors How to make Natural Colours? Holi Chemical Colors Holi Gulal. Let's Celebrate Holi on 10th March Holi Messages.

Holi Recipes. Holi Around the world. Holi Songs. Holi Holi is considered as one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India and it is celebrated in almost every part of the country. Holi Festival. Holi Special.Holi Recipes: Gujiyas, thandais and other recipes that you can try at home. Best Holi Recipes - Pink hands, green cheeks, red forehead, yellow nose, if it weren't for this particular day, the sight of this human may have roused doubts of him belonging to this at all!

But, Holi is one such day.

holi traditions

We love this festival. Not only for the bevy of colours, we love to be immersed with but also for the mouth-watering delicacies unique to this occasion.

holi traditions

Sling bags filled with frisky colors, water guns loaded with mischief, vibrant spirits, old-new songs, plates piled with festive goodies and the blossoming spring breeze - Ah, we love Holi! This is how we have been celebrating the festival of colours all this while, yet every year, there is a ballooned enthusiasm to get drenched in coloured water and devour some of the most mouth-watering delicacies. On the mythological grounds, the word "Holi" sprouted from the word "Holika", who was the evil sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu.

A bonfire is lit on the eve of Holi, signifying the Holika Dahan and that's when the celebrations begin. Different regions celebrate this festival of colours in their own way. In Mathura, the festivities may last more than week. It is known as the 'lath mar Holi ', where women beat men with sticks and sing songs.

In South India, some worship and make offerings to Kaamadevathe love god of Indian mythology. So, while you prepare yourself to enjoy this festival with gulaal, water guns, endless singing and dancing- take a note of these Holi delicacies to make the festival even more special.

Talk about Holi celebrations and we can think of sweet gujiyascrisp papadsmasala kachoris and a lot more. Food is integral to every festival in India. It is the perfect time to throw yourself to the festive zeal with playful moments and adoring meals. This Holi, eat to your heart's content! Whether it's an intimate affair or an elaborate gala, we've got you covered.

Look what we have here - the star sweet of Holi! Native to Rajasthan, gujiyas are sweet dumplings made of maida or flour and filled with a delightful khoya and dry fruits mixture. The festive favourite in three different avatars. Baked Gujiya. The casing is made with whole wheat and semolina suji instead of refined flour maida. It is then stuffed with nuts, baked perfect and dipped in honey.

This recipe is a dream come true for all the health fanatics. Chocolate Gujiya. Fusion is the flavour of the season! Make this gujiyas stuffed with mava and chocolate chips. Garnish with cream and chocolate sauce. Coconut Gujiya. Pockets made with all purpose flour are stuffed with khoyanuts and tender coconut flakes. These are fried and dipped in sugar syrup. Recipe Video.It is celebrated predominantly in Indiabut has also spread to other areas of Asia and parts of the Western world through the diaspora from the Indian subcontinent.

Holi is popularly known as the Indian "festival of spring"the "festival of colours"or the "festival of love". Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus as well in many parts of South Asiaas well as people of other communities outside Asia. Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika Dahan where people gather, perform religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil be destroyed the way Holikathe sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipuwas killed in the fire.

The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi — a free-for-all festival of colours, [10] where people smear each other with colours and drench each other. Water guns and water-filled balloons are also used to play and colour each other. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children, and elders. The frolic and fight with colours occur in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings.

Groups carry drums and other musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes to throw coloured powders on each other, laugh and gossip, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. There is a symbolic legend to explain why Holi is celebrated as a festival of triumph of good over evil in the honour of Hindu god Vishnu and his devotee Prahlada.

King Hiranyakashipuaccording to a legend found in chapter 7 of Bhagavata Purana[23] [24] was the king of demonic Asurasand had earned a boon that gave him five special powers: he could be killed by neither a human being nor an animal, neither indoors nor outdoors, neither at day nor at night, neither by astra projectile weapons nor by any shastra handheld weaponsand neither on land nor in water or air.

Hiranyakashipu grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worship only him. Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahladahowever, disagreed. He was and remained devoted to Vishnu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right.

Finally, Holika, Prahlada's evil aunt, tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada, [19] who survived while Holika burned. Vishnu, the god who appears as an avatar to restore Dharma in Hindu beliefs, took the form of Narasimha — half human and half lion which is neither a human nor an animalat dusk when it was neither day nor nighttook Hiranyakashyapu at a doorstep which was neither indoors nor outdoorsplaced him on his lap which was neither land, water nor airand then eviscerated and killed the king with his lion claws which were neither a handheld weapon nor a launched weapon.

The Holika bonfire and Holi signifies the celebration of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, and of the fire that burned Holika. In the Braj region of India, where the Hindu deity Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated until Rang Panchmi in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna.

The festivities officially usher in spring, with Holi celebrated as a festival of love. As a baby, Krishna developed his characteristic dark skin colour because the she-demon Putana poisoned him with her breast milk. His mother, tired of his desperation, asks him to approach Radha and ask her to colour his face in any colour she wanted.

This she did, and Radha and Krishna became a couple. Ever since, the playful colouring of Radha and Krishna's face has been commemorated as Holi. Among other Hindu traditions such as Shaivism and Shaktismthe legendary significance of Holi is linked to Shiva in yoga and deep meditation, goddess Parvati wanting to bring back Shiva into the world, seeks help from the Hindu god of love called Kamadeva on Vasant Panchami.

The love god shoots arrows at Shiva, the yogi opens his third eye and burns Kama to ashes. This upsets both Kama's wife Rati Kamadevi and his own wife Parvati.

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Rati performs her own meditative asceticism for forty days, upon which Shiva understands, forgives out of compassion and restores the god of love. This return of the god of love, is celebrated on the 40th day after Vasant Panchami festival as Holi. The Holi festival has a cultural significance among various Hindu traditions of the Indian subcontinent.

It is the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, to end conflicts by meeting others, a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive debts, as well as deal anew with those in their lives. Holi also marks the start of spring, for many the start of the new year, an occasion for people to enjoy the changing seasons and make new friends. The festival has traditionally been also observed by non-Hindus, such as by Jains [2] and Newar Buddhists Nepal. In Mughal IndiaHoli was celebrated with such exuberance that people of all castes could throw colour on the Emperor.

He banned the public celebration of Holi using a Farman issue in November British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Holi is the spring festival associated with Krishna when people throw coloured powder and water at each other.

The Many Traditions Of Holi In Jaipur

Holi also celebrates creation and renewal. Find this year's date in the multifaith calendar. Holi was originally a spring festival of fertility and harvest. Now it also marks some Hindu legends, which provide some of the ingredients for the celebrations. Holi is an ancient festival which is referred to in the 7th century Sanskrit drama, Ratnaval.

Witness the beauty of the great cupid festival which excites curiosity as the townsfolk are dancing at the touch of brownish water thrown from squirt-guns. They are seized by pretty women while all along the roads the air is filled with singing and drum-beating.

Holi facts for kids

Everything is coloured yellowish red and rendered dusty by the heaps of scented powder blown all over. This is the main Holi legend. Holika was a female demon, and the sister of Hiranyakashyap, the demon king. Hiranyakashyap considered himself ruler of the Universe, and higher than all the gods.

Prahalad was the king's son. His father hated him because Prahalad was a faithful devotee of the god Vishnu. But the king's attempts at murder didn't work too well. Prahalad survived being thrown over a cliff, being trampled by elephants, bitten by snakes, and attacked by soldiers. Holika had been given a magic power by the gods that made her immune to fire, so she thought this was a pretty good plan, and Prahalad would burn to death while she remained cool.

But it's never wise to take gods' gifts for granted! Because Holika was using her gift to do something evil, her power vanished and she was burned to ashes. Prahalad stayed true to his God, Vishnu, and sat praying in the lap of his demon aunt.

Vishnu protected him, and Prahalad survived. Shortly afterwards, Vishnu killed King Hiranyakashyap and Prahad ruled as a wise king in his father's place. The moral of the story is that good always wins over evil, and those who seek to torment the faithful will be destroyed. To celebrate the story, large bonfires are burned during Holi. In many parts of India, a dummy of Holika is burned on the fire. Holi is the Hindu festival that welcomes the Spring and celebrates the new life and energy of the season.

Although Holi has religious roots, not much religious activity is involved in its celebration. Holi is the most energetic Indian festival, filled with fun and good humour; even the strict rules of separation between castes are abandoned. Holi is also called 'The Festival of Colours', and people celebrate the festival by smearing each other with paint, and throwing coloured powder and dye around in an atmosphere of great good humour.

Holi is seen by some as the Hindu festival that is nearest in spirit to St. Valentine's Day.

Veiled faces, gulal and some Indian traditions on Holi in Rajasthan

These bonfires not only purify the air of evil spirits, but mark the story of Holika and Prahalad. The festivities picked up around 10 a. Drenched in the 'Holi' spirit to the core, they spared none.