Holi, the spring festival of India is celebrated in the month of Falguni (march) on the day of the full moon.
Holi in 2015: Wednesday, the 23rd (for ‘Pooja’) and Thursday, the 24th of March (for playing with colours)
Holi marks the end of the old and welcomes the arrival of the new. People celebrate this festival by smearing colours on friends and family, The brief spring season warms the landscape, while the country cuts loose for a day of fun and frolic.
In Hindu mythology, Holi is symbolic commemoration of various legends. The most popular is concerning prince Prahlad, the son of the king Hiranyakashyap. Prahlad was being forced to give up worshipping Lord Vishnu by his father and his demonic aunt Holika. When Holika took Prahlad and stepped into the blazing fire, she was burnt to ashes, but Prahlad was saved by divine power. She begged him to forgive her. Prahlad, forgave his aunt and deemed she would be remembered once in a year. This day was called Holi. To this day, huge bonfires are burnt in the corners of streets on the eve of Holi, as a symbolic representation to cleanse the air of all evil spirits.
Holi celebrations in India vary from state to state
One of the most famous holi is celebrated in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, known as ‘Lath Maar Holi’. Mathura is the birth place of Lord Krishna. Holi is celebrated in the compound of Radha Rani temple and women beat men with sticks and people from all over the country come to witness holi.
Holi also immortalises the love of Lord Krishna and Radha. Down the ages, this tradition continues.
No festival is complete without its special food. The most popular dishes enjoyed and shared on this day are: Mawa Gujiya, Dahi Bhalle, Gathiya, Namakpare, Aloo Puri, Bhang Ki Lassi, Bhang Pakore, Mathri, Ram Ladoo, Bhang Thandai, Matar Ki Kheer, Palak Bhajia, Besan Sev, etc.
On this day, people break barriers of caste or creed and join together to splash colours on their friends and foes to bring in the bright and colourful start towards a new horizon.
People in groups indulge in a riot of brightly hued powder, chasing one another, squirting coloured water and shedding all inhibitions to sing and dance in joy, screaming in jubiliation – “Holi hai” (It’s Holi !)
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