If you are familiar with Indian festivals, you would have heard of HOLI by now. The “Festival of Colors” is, quite probably, the most sought-after celebration of them all by tourists visiting Incredible India.
Originally a Hindu festival, the fun of Holi has been shared by more and more people of different religious and backgrounds in recent years. Here in Asia and beyond.
The most eye-catching feature of Holi is the fact that people throw colors (powder and water) onto one another and, as such, their clothes and faces tend to look like crazy canvases for the rest of the day. It’s easy to get that people like to party and have fun but…
What exactly is the meaning of HOLI?
Like most Hindu festivals, Holi celebrates the victory of good over evil. Too generic, right? Let’s go into detail a little more, while we look at our neighbors’ faces during today’s celebration here in Delhi…
The legend tells us the story of Holika, sister of demon-King Hiranyakashipu. Prahlad was Holika’s brother and their dad (the demon-King) was mad at him because he was devoted to other Gods instead of his own Dad. Apparently, Hiranyakashipu thought of himself as a God and wanted everyone at his feet. As the demon-King wanted revenge against his own son, he asked Holika to walk with him into a fire. Holika was supposedly resistant to fire, which means she wouldn’t die if she agreed to do this to her own sibling – only Prahlad would suffer from this. In a twist of fate, Holika died and Prahlad stayed alive and this is how the powers from above proved that good eventually wins over evil. This part explains why the night before Holi is celebrated around a bonfire.
Other theories run in parallel with this myth. Some believe that Lord Krishna used to throw colored powders to his milk maids, and that’s how the coloring tradition got started.
It seems like the origin and meaning of Holi is not fully clear. I am not even sure everyone around here knows about it either. What I am pretty sure about is that they all embrace the opportunity of having fun and let off some steam.
These photos were taken in the apartment complex where Ashray’s Mom lives. This is a place where people from the military live – you can imagine how good it felt watching them cut loose for the day, drinking and smiling away, welcoming the torrid heat that is already warming up in New Delhi.
I must say that it doesn’t hurt that drinks and even food get spiked with bhang during Holi. Bhang is weed, and this is common place in India during Holi celebrations. Sometimes, even pakoras and other snacks are seasoned with bhang. No wonder everyone looks so cheerful during Holi!
Have you been in India during Holi?
Tell us all about the fun you had!