Holi (The Colorful Festival) Date, Story, Rituals and Celebrations

Date Year Day
10th March 2020 Tuesday
29th March 2021 Monday
18th March 2022 Friday
8th March 2023 Wednesday

Note: Dates may vary.

When the cold winter months start to warm up just before summer sets in Holi, the festival of colors, is celebrated. Before Holi, the farmers have finished all their hard work.

The crops are cut, enough is put away from their families for the year, and the rest sold. They have a little money spare to celebrate festival this festival fall on full moon day, generally in the month of February or March.

Holi has many legends associated with it. One school of thought associates it only with Shri Krishna and it is celebrated with great joy in Mathura which is Shri Krishna’s home.

It is said that when Shri Krishna was born, his uncle Kans had ordered all the children’s in his kingdom to be killed. This job was given to putana, a demons, which disguised herself as human being and killed as many children as she could.

She eventually reached Krishna but was not successful. She was killed by Krishna. This joyous occasion is the reason Holi is celebrated in Mathura. Songs and dances are performed and knowing Shri Krishna’s fondness for making merry, songs are sung in praise of the gopikas, especially his favorite, radha.

Just before holi, the family buys new cloths, the children are bought dry colors, water colors, all in different shades, balloons, and also water pouts, lord Krishna used to play holi with what we call pichkaris and, therefore, children are still bought pichkaris available in different sizes and shades.

Not many years ago, dry colors were used more unfortunately, today the colors being sold are harmful to the skin and it is very difficult to remove the colors from the body. One should be careful of the quality of colors we buy so that we do not harm anyone.

Holi Festival

It is normal for children to being playing with water colors three days before Holi. They enjoy themselves thoroughly but not so the person on whom balloons and water is thrown! We should be considerate towards one another. On the day before Holi, a bonfire is lit. The significance of this is attached to another story as to why we celebrate holi.

Many years ago, there was a demon called hiranyakashyap who hated Shri Narayan. His son prahlad was a great admirer and follower of Shri Narayan and this hiranyakashyap could not tolerate. He ordered that his son be burnt alive as punishment for being a devotee of Shri Narayan.

He asked his sister Holika, to wear clothes which would not catch fire place prahlad on her lap and fire would be lit which would kill prahald. Holika was a very gentle and loving lady and very fond of prahlad. She dressed prahlad in the clothes she was to wear, and clothes in a cloth sari, she took prahlad in her lap and was set on fire.

Holika thus sacrificed her life for prahlad who grew up to become one of the greatest devotees of Shri Narayan. That is why a day before Holi, a bonfire is lit in the memory of Holika. The next day is when Holi is actually celebrated.

People collect together and pray Holi in the morning. They visit friends and relatives, carrying color and water. Holi is normally celebrated until lunch time and then the people, who have played holi, take extra time washing off the color from their bodies. Not only in town and cities, but Holi is celebrated with great enthusiasm even in the villages.

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