Phalgum Purnima, which occurs at the end of Feb or beginning of March, is when people all over the world celebrate Holi, a celebration of colors and love. Holi is a festival that honors both the positive and negative aspects of life. People’s bonds are mended and strengthened during the festival of colors. Everyone celebrates this holiday by wishing one another “Happy Holi.” The festivities of Holi begin the night before the occasion proper, when a bonfire is lit to usher in the festivities. Many myths and stories like these surround the festivities. To mark the occasion, revelers rub ‘Gulal’ and ‘Abeer’ into each other’s faces and exchange “Bura na Maano Holi Hai” greetings. This is also a time to show appreciation for loved ones by showering them with gifts and blessings.
Each state’s version of the Holi festival has its own unique name and set of customs. The festival’s celebratory mood sets it apart from any other event in the country and the world.
Getting Ready for Holi
The entire country dresses up for the occasion, and business picks up during Holi. The day before Holi, gulals and abeers of varying colors line the streets. Pichkaris are a contemporary variant of the traditional method of urban drenching. Family and friends celebrate Holi with classic dishes like gujiyas, mathari, and papri, which are typically cooked by the ladies of the house. In some communities, this is also the time when papads & potato chips are made.
To celebrate Holika Dahan:
In the Holika Dahan is a massive bonfire festival held on the evening before Holi, this is also known as Choti Holi. Every region in the country observes this custom. Agni, the god of fire, is honored with offerings of gram and harvest in addition to prayers and greatness.
There is a great deal of commotion on the occasion of the Holi celebration. Stores and government buildings will be closed all day and the following day. People are throwing coloured water at each other and the air is filled with vibrant hues of gulal and abeer. One of the most enjoyable parts of festival is decorating with colors and playing the dholak.
Drinking Bhang on Holi:
It is customary to partake in the very intoxicated ritual of Bhang [out] consumption during the Holi festival. However, excessive Bhang use might dampen the fun of Holi. Bhang users should use caution.
Although the festival is known by different names in different parts of India (Hol in the north, Dol jatra in the west, and Phagwah in the east), the reason for the celebration and the way it is observed are the same. This event is celebrated by the Indian people to mark the end of the harsh winter and the arrival of spring, which ushers in a bountiful harvest. The destruction of the demon Holika marks the triumph of good over evil and is the catalyst for the celebration known as Holi. The festival of Holi was named after the Hindu god Krishna, who is said to have drenched the village girls in color and water as a joke.
The preparation of the festival holi:
Holi is a prominent festival in India, particularly in the northern section of the country. Bonfires are lit on the evening before Holi to ward off evil and represent the Holika Dahan. Markets throughout the country are bustling with customers stocking up for the upcoming holiday. Every year, kids have a fad for purchasing balloons made of water and pichkaris from the roadside vendors so they can splash their buddies in brightly colored water.
The festival of Holi is celebrated in different parts of India
all over India, with friends and family members competing to be the initial ones to douse each other in brightly colored powder. In U. P., it is especially honored in Mathura, Nandgaon, Barsana, and Vrindavan, while in Udaipur, the royal family conducts a grand event at the City Palace. People are wearing bright, new outfits and greeting each other with smiles on their faces. In large groups, participants play dholaks and perform festival songs while tossing gulal into the air. Radha and Krishna statues are hung from swings in temples as worshippers chant devotional hymns. In the evening, friends and family pay one another visits, during which they share treats and well wishes.
Youth from all over Gujarat participate in processions called “tolis” during the event. They continue the age-old practice of stealing butter and buttermilk from earthenware containers that are strung up by a rope. There are hundreds of onlookers as the human pyramid is formed to access the pots. Dol Purnima is yet another festival celebrated with music, dance, and the liberal use of color in West Bengal. Students at Shantiniketan wear saffron robes and fragrant flower garlands as they chant hymns together at dawn.
The unity of the country is bolstered by the Holi festival:
Holi is more than just a festival of colors; it also serves as a unifying event for India’s diverse religious communities. It’s a custom when rivals and foes put aside their differences and become friends. There is no class distinction, since all are welcome to share in the joy of the holiday.