|Colors of India|
Holi is an ancient festival of India and was originally known as 'Holika'. Historians also believe that Holi was celebrated by all Aryans but more so in the Eastern part of India.
The legend of King Hiranyakashipu is associated with the festival of Holi. This legend signifies the victory of good over evil, of devotion surpassing ambition. King Hiranyakashipu was an ambitious ruler, one who wanted absolute power so that he would be worshipped as God. When this wish was made known, the King's own son, Prahlad, refused to obey his father. Prahlad was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, and it was only to his Lord that he gave allegiance.
The proud King was enraged by Prahlad's disobedience and decided to punish him severely. He asked his sister Holika for help. It was believed that Holika was immune to fire and would never be burnt, so the King asked Holika to sit in the centre of a bonfire with Prahlad on her lap, so that the fire could devour him.
The bonfire was lit, and young Prahlad sat in Holika's lap, in its centre, praying to Lord Vishnu. His devotion saved him, leaving him untouched by the flames, but Holika was burnt to ashes. To mark this legend, huge bonfires are lit on the eve of Holi, especially in Bihar and the rest of North India.
Vrindavan and Lord Krishna's legend of courting Radha and playing pranks on the Gopis are also the essence of Holi. In Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna in his youth has been idealised as a lover, and it is the spirit of his lighthearted, mischievous passion of courtship that enters the Spring festival of Holi. Krishna and Radha are depicted celebrating Holi in the hamlets of Gokul, Barsana and Vrindavan, bringing them alive with mischief and youthful pranks.
Holi was Krishna and Radha's celebration of love - a teasing, affectionate panorama of feeling and colour. These scenes have been captured and immoratalised in the songs of Holi: the festival that is also the harbinger of the light, warm and beautiful days of Spring.
Unlike all the other festivals of India, Hindu Holi festival is one such festival where one can put down the social taboos and indulge in the intoxicating drinks and sweets prepared by using opium. It is a festival of romance often represented by the love-play of Radha and Krishna. Brij Holi is famous all over the world for its gaiety in spirit. Each year, young and old, men and women, all indulge themselves in the spirit of colors and for once forget the social taboos. There are mouthwatering delicacies to savor such as 'Gujhias' and 'Papris' and there are interesting traditions and customs of Holi that have their own regional variances. We will also talk about making natural and healthy colors and safety precautions that one must take to enjoy Holi.