(Image courtesy: ANI) 5 /10. Hindus believe that spring is full of colors so they throw colored water on each other. A week before the festival, youngsters go around the community, collecting firewood and money.  Holika was wearing a cloak that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. The Ganga Mela marks the official end of "The Festival of Colours" or Holi in Kanpur. The moral of the story is that good always triumphs over evil. Boston also celebrates Holi annually, with the biggest Holi party in New England. But his son, Prahlad, followed the god Vishnu, the preserver and protector of the universe. You can buy all the colorful powder you need from vendors. Locally called Doul Jatra, associated with Satras of Barpeta, Holi is celebrated over two days. Days before the festival people start gathering wood and combustible materials for the bonfire in parks, community centers, near temples and other open spaces. The people of Odisha celebrate "Dola" on the day of Holi where the icons of Jagannath replace the icons of Krishna and Radha. It is mentioned in the Puranas, Dasakumara Charita, and by the poet Kālidāsa during the 4th century reign of Chandragupta II. Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images. Religion, society, and culture of the Punjabis. There's a perfect beach for every week of the year. The colour festival or Holi is a part of longer, more extensive spring festival celebrations. In courtyards, this art is drawn using a piece of cloth.  For locals, Holi marks the end of winter. While the celebration itself is based on a Hindu legend, the throwing of colored powder originates from a separate story. It starts on the evening, known as Holika Dahan Evening and the following day where people play with the Colors. While West Bengal celebrates Holi as Dol Jatra with singing and dancing, the people of South India worship the God of love, Kamadeva, on Holi. Celebrated across India, it's an ancient festival with the first mentions of it dating all the way back to a 4th century poem. The extension started the day after the Holi festival in Anandpur Sahib, where Sikh soldiers would train in mock battles, compete in horsemanship, athletics, archery and military exercises. Meanwhile, some commercial companies such as the National Botanical Research Institute have begun to market "herbal" dyes, though these are substantially more expensive than the dangerous alternatives. Holi festival marks the arrival of spring. People gather around the fire to sing and dance. Traditional concerts are held in most cities in Nepal, including Kathmandu, Narayangarh, Pokhara, Itahari, Hetauda, and Dharan, and are broadcast on television with various celebrity guests. Women then go on the offensive and use long staves called lathis to beat the men, who protect themselves with shields.. The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. At the time of Holika people assemble near the pyre. The Punjabi saying Phaggan phal laggan (Phagun is the month for fructifying) exemplifies the seasonal aspect of Holi. The eldest member of the gathering or a purohit initiates the lighting. Holi marks the advent of spring and ripening of crops in Northern India. He was and remained devoted to Vishnu. People walk through their neighbourhoods to celebrate Holi by exchanging colours and spraying coloured water on one another.  In his youth, Krishna despaired whether the fair-skinned Radha would like him because of his dark skin colour. The festival is celebrated for two days. Many of the Holi songs in Fiji are around the theme of love-relationship between Radha and Krishna. On the eve of Holi, typically at or after sunset, the pyre is lit, signifying Holika Dahan. These reports have galvanised a number of groups into promoting more natural celebrations of Holi. The evenings are spent visiting friends and family. In Suriname, Holi Phagwa is a festival of colour. Dwarka, a coastal city of Gujarat, celebrates Holi at the Dwarkadheesh temple and with citywide comedy and music festivities. Ghosh, S. K., Bandyopadhyay, D., Chatterjee, G., & Saha, D. (2009), The ‘Holi’ dermatoses: Annual spate of skin diseases following the spring festival in India. A folk song called Chowtal is sung here during Holi. Mixing lime with turmeric powder creates an alternate source of orange powder, as does boiling saffron (kesar) in water. On the evening of the first day people light the bonfire. His mother, tired of his desperation, asks him to approach Radha and ask her to colour his face in any colour she wanted. In West Bengal, Holi is known by the name of "Dol Jatra", "Dol Purnima" or the "Swing Festival". , Holi in Mauritius comes close on the heels of Shivaratri.  According to Self (1993), Holi fairs are held in the Punjab which may go on for many days. Bael fruit, amaltas, species of chrysanthemums, and species of marigold are alternate sources of yellow. By late morning, everyone looks like a canvas of colours. Prahlad accepted the challenge and prayed to Vishnu to keep him safe. A mural in the Lahore Fort was sponsored by Ranjit Singh and it showed the Hindu god Krishna playing Holi with gopis. A popular activity is the throwing of water balloons at one another, sometimes called lola (meaning water balloon). Holi is the festival of colors. , Holi is celebrated by the minority Hindu population in Pakistan.  An earthen pot filled with butter or other milk products is hung high by a rope. Over the years, Holi has become an important festival in many regions wherever Indian diaspora were either taken as indentured labourers during colonial era, or where they emigrated on their own, and are now present in large numbers such as in Africa, North America, Europe, Latin America, and parts of Asia such as Fiji. During this festival, people are supposed to forget and forgive any rivalries and start new healthy relations with all. , Holi is an important spring festival for Hindus, a national holiday in India and Nepal with regional holidays in other countries. As in other parts of India, in rural Telangana, children celebrate kamuda and collect money, rice, corn and wood for weeks prior to Holi, and on Kamudha night all the wood is put together and set on fire. , Among other Hindu traditions such as Shaivism and Shaktism, the 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. , 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 Holika, the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was killed in the fire. Phagan, also written as Phalgan, is the last month of the Hindu calendar. A 2007 study found that malachite green, a synthetic bluish-green dye used in some colours during Holi festival, was responsible for severe eye irritation in Delhi, if eyes were not washed upon exposure. Holi is the colorful event held every year and is referred as the festival of many colors. The songs of the Khari Holi are sung by the people, who, sporting traditional white churidar payajama and kurta, dance in groups to the tune of ethnic musical instruments such as the dhol and hurka. This art is known as chowk-poorana or chowkpurana in Punjab and is given shape by the peasant women of the state. This year, Holi falls on March 2. However, it may be noted that many parts of rural India have always resorted to natural colours (and other parts of festivities more than colours) due to availability. 2. Dola Melana, processions of the deities are celebrated in villages and bhoga is offered to the deities. These arts add to the festive atmosphere. Hindu devotees play with color during Holi celebrations at the Banke Bihari temple in 2013 in Vrindavan, India. Join us on a 12-month journey to see them all, splash their friends and family with colored powder. In modern day Holi celebrations, Holika's cremation is often reenacted by lighting bonfires on the night before Holi, known as Holika Dahan. Manager of Publications, Self, David (1993) One Hundred Readings for Assembly. Drummers of Indo-Caribbean community celebrating Phagwah (Holi) in New York City, 2013. But the plan failed. Make your bonfire in an open space away from trees, and have an adult light it. COSMOS, Proceedings – Punjab History Conference (2000) Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Bose, Nirmal Kumar (1929) Cultural Anthropology: And Other Essays. Activists estimate Holika causes 30,000 bonfires every year, with each one burning approximately 100 kilograms (220.46 lbs) of wood.  Some customary drinks include bhang (made from cannabis), which is intoxicating. People gather near fires, sing and dance.  Cold drinks, including drinks made with marijuana, are also part of the Holi festivity. It is a part of the Goan or Konkani spring festival known as Śigmo or शिगमो in Koṅkaṇī or Śiśirotsava, which lasts for about a month. Dulhendi, known as Charadi (छरड़ी) (from Chharad (छरड़)), is made from flower extracts, ash and water.  The boy who finally manages to break the pot is crowned the Holi King. In Baithki Holi and Khari Holi, people sing songs with a touch of melody, fun, and spiritualism. , In North and Western India, Holi frolic and celebrations begin the morning after the Holika bonfire. The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi – a free-for-all festival of colours, where people smear each other with colours and drench each other. People celebrate Holi inside a Temple premise in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.  Beyond India, these legends help to explain the significance of Holi (Phagwah) are common in some Caribbean and South American communities of Indian origin such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.  This represents less than 0.0001% of 350 million tons of wood India consumes every year, as one of the traditional fuels for cooking and other uses. The Holi rituals and customs outside South Asia also vary with local adaptations.  This however changed during the rule of Emperor Aurangzeb. Holi is one of the major festivals of Hindus. The customs and celebrations vary between regions of India. Yudit Greenberg, Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, Volume 1. Holi ( /ˈhoʊliː/) is a popular ancient Hindu festival, also known as the Indian "festival of spring", the "festival of colours", and the "festival of love". Shimga celebrates the elimination of all evil.  The Holi songs of Braj Mandal are sung in pure Braj, the local language. This is why Holi is given the name "Festival of Colours". The festival takes place a day earlier in the eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha. Outside India and Nepal, Holi is observed by Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan as well in countries with large Indian subcontinent diaspora populations such as Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Mauritius, and Fiji. It celebrates the beginning of spring, commemorating good harvests and the fertile land. In Vrindavan this day is celebrated with special puja and the traditional custom of worshipping Lord Krishna; here the festival lasts for sixteen days. , Sikhs have traditionally celebrated the festival, at least through the 19th century, with its historic texts referring to it as Hola.  The BiH Color Festival is a Holi-inspired electronic music festival held annually in Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Colour Drenched Gopis in Krishna Temple, Mathura, India. The festival of colours in these parts is called Rangapanchami, and occurs on the fifth day after Poornima (full moon). Historically, the Lubana community of Punjab celebrated holi "with great pomp and show. A play of colours then a dance at a Hindu temple near Mathura, at Holi. Even though there have been references to a festival such as this in Sanskrit texts where people sprayed coloured … Due to large-scale internal migration issues faced by the people, recently this tradition has slowly begun to transform, and it is common to have Holi Milan on an entirely different day either before or after the actual day of Holi. , Holi was not a public holiday in Pakistan from 1947 to 2016. It is often referred to as the Festival of Colors because of the traditional throwing of colored water, or powder, by its participants. This year, it’s happening on April 6 in Holbrook, MA. 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