One of the major Hindu festivals, Holi, also known as the festival of colours is celebrated with great enthusiasm and cheerfulness. Holi is a spring festival, celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun, or March. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival, which has become popular among non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia as well as among people of other communities outside Asia.
The festival date varies every year and typically comes in March, sometimes February. This year Holi will be celebrated on 6th March, 2015 (Friday). The festival signifies the arrival of spring, end of winters, the victory of good over evil and a festive day for all to play, laugh and celebrate the day with colours, water-filled balloons and sweets.
Legend Associated with Holi
Mythology plays an important role in explaining the legend of Holi. The most popular story of Holi origin relates to ‘Holika-Dahan’. The tradition of Holika-Dahan is integral to the festival of Holi, which means lighting of bonfire. The ritual is symbolic of the victory of good over evil and has its roots in the legend of the demon king Hiranyakashyap and his son Prahlad.
Hiranyakashyap wanted everybody in his kingdom to worship only him, but his son Prahlad became an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap had a sister, Holika, who had a boon that she could enter fire without being unharmed. To punish Prahlad, Hiranyakashyap ordered his sister Holika, to enter a fire with Prahlad in her lap. Both of them entered the fire with Prahlad chanting the name of Lord Vishnu. Holika didn’t survive the fire and no harm befell on Prahlad. The festival therefore, also marks the triumph of devotion. Since then, people light a bonfire on the eve of Holi.
Traditional Celebrations on Holi
- Holi celebrations start on the evening before Holi, with the Holika bonfire where people gather, sing and dance.
- The next morning is a carnival of colours for all, where people play, chase and colour each other with gulal and coloured water, carrying water pichkaris and coloured water-filled balloons.
- People wear white clothes to enjoy the colourful celebrations. The frolic and fun with water and colours occurs in open streets, parks, on terraces, outside homes and buildings. A famous adage used by everybody is “Buran a mano, Holi hai!” because everyone and anyone, a friend or a stranger, man or woman, children or elders, can be pulled into the playful festivities on this day.
- After all the play and merriment, people share Holi delicacies and sweets like Gujiyas, Mathri & Papri, etc.
This Holi, follow the tips given below to celebrate the festival of colours with your child:
- Attend a bonfire on the evening before Holi and explain to her the legend behind the bonfire.
- Dress your child in white and apply gulal on each other’s faces.
- Encourage her to play with gulal and water pichkaris with other children in the neighborhood.
- Cook delicacies on Holi like Gujiya, Mathri & Papri, etc.
Among the festivities, make sure to follow these Safety Tips to ensure the well-being of your child:
- Play Holi with natural or homemade colours. Skin friendly natural products protect the skin and hair from damage.
- If possible, play Holi using flowers, but you can also use dry colours or gulaal.
- Before starting to play Holi, make sure that all the open body parts of your child are well greased with cold-cream or oil.
- Make sure that the hair of your child is oiled well, so that colour does not stick on the hair and can be washed off easily later.
- Ask your child to take special care of the eyes while applying gulaal on each other’s faces.
For More Details: