Holi is one of the most important festivals among Hindus. It marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of the harvest season. Holi celebrates the love between Radha and Krishna. Even though popularly known as the Festival of Colours, the history and importance of Holi go beyond the colour celebrations. Read more about why Holi is celebrated and why it is so important.
The date of Holi is determined through the lunar calendar, it does not fall on a fixed day every year. In 2023, Holi is on March 8. It falls on the full moon day of the Phalgun, per the Hindu Calendar. Holika Dahan, also known as Choti Holi, falls on the day before Holi. Therefore, per the Gregorian calendar, Choti Holi will be celebrated on March 7 this year. The auspicious timing to carry out the events and rituals is mentioned below:
Holi marks the beginning of the spring season. People across India celebrate the festival by throwing colours at each other and indulging in good food and merrymaking. The traditions may differ in different parts of the country, but the history of Holi lies in two main legends.
On the night before Holi, Holika Dahan, also known as Choti Holi, is celebrated. People light bonfires and walk around them chanting hymns and carrying water vessels. The reason behind it lies in the story of Hiranyakashipu. It is believed that Hiranyakashipu was an evil king in ancient India. He was a demon who wanted to kill his son Prahlada because he was a devotee of Vishnu.
Therefore, Hiranyakashipu took the help of his sister Holika to conspire and kill Prahlada. Holika suggested burning Prahlada. She built up a pyre, lit it, and sat along with Prahlada. She wore a cloak that was meant to prevent her from burning. However, it so happened that the cloak protected Prahlada and burnt Holika to death. Hindus light up pyres on the night before Holi to celebrate this victory of good over evil.
The colour fights are the most famous and loved thing about the festival. However, even this custom has roots in Indian mythology. Krishna, a Hindu deity and a manifestation of Vishnu, fell in love with Radha of Barsana. It is believed that Krishna was not happy with his dark complexion compared to Radha’s fair complexion. So, to show that complexions are superficial and do not matter, he playfully smeared her with colours during a game. It is thought to be the origin of the colour fights that make Holi celebrations special.
People throw colour powders and coloured water at each other to drown the differences and celebrate the feeling of brotherhood and harmony.
Holi is important due to many reasons.
Holi is the celebration of the victory of good over evil. The killing of Holika and Hiranyakashipu by Vishnu in the form of a lion calls for the celebration in the form of Choti Holi. The love of Radha and Krishna is celebrated through colours. Therefore, people believe in honesty and love and live their lives doing good deeds and with kindness. Besides, harvest action time is another reason for an agricultural country like India to celebrate.
Holi also helps strengthen the secular fabric of the country. People of all castes and communities come together on this day to celebrate. It makes the bond of brotherhood and oneness strong. Moreover, the colours hide the differences between rich and poor, black and white, and make everyone look alike. Thus it revitalises and replenishes the bonds between people. The exchanging of gifts, sweets and partying call for joyous celebrations.
While you can celebrate Holi at your homes and in your neighbourhood, a unique experience awaits you in places like Mathura, Barsana, Delhi, and Vrindavan. The grandeur with which Holi is celebrated in these places can not be missed. Due to an influx of devotees during Holi, finding good accommodation in these places can be challenging.
If you are looking for family suites in Delhi or family hotels in Mathura or in Vrindavan, you can book them through OYO Rooms. It provides amazing services and facilities at affordable rates. Premium hotels are also available, so you can choose one based on your needs and preferences. Some hotels also provide top sightseeing in the city.
Now that you know the history and importance of Holi, you can enjoy it thoroughly. Make sure to prepare and plan. Have a fun and safe Holi. For accommodations and family hotels in any city, consider booking an OYO Room to make your stay memorable.
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