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Mar 21

Written by: Jayanthi
Friday, March 21, 2008


Submitted by Ajoy

What if you were allowed to be child for a day, the possibilities of what can do are endless. But to keep things within limits, if one is allowed to throw water on anybody friend or foe, it would still come close to being a child for a day.

This is exactly what the festival of Holi is all about, added to it is the fact that it comes during the month of March when the spring sets in the and whole nature is colorful too. The
winter has ended and the Sun sets its warm glow over the whole Indian sub-continent, the Kolyal (cuckoo) is singing to her hearts content, guess what romance is in the air.

Holi falls on the Full moon day in the month of Phalgun according to the Hindu calendar which corresponds to the month of March. The festival lasts 5 days, on the full moon night a Bon-fire is lit (Phalguna Purnima) harvested crops are offered to the bonfire, this is seen as an offering to God. The next day is the day on which Holi is played. In some parts of India the day one plays with colors and water is called rang panchami (fifth day) thus it is played on the fifth day from the full moon.

In the days before Holi young and old have stacked themselves with dry powder color (gulal), water-dissolving colors which have been added to the water tank near by and are armed with buckets or water pistols whatever is available to throw water at others. Balloons filled with colored water are also popular. All this in preparations for the D-day.

When the day finally comes, people come out of their homes wearing some old clothes because they are bound to get spoilt today. Either people visit them or they visit others carrying the water and dry colors. People smear each others faces with the colors and throw buckets of water on each other. The waters fights go on for hours together. All this takes places in a friendly and festive atmosphere. To add to this people could be playing musical instruments and drums. People also distribute and share sweets with each other. The whole idea is for friends to come closer and for people with ill feeling for each other to bury their hatchet. This would go on hours, late in the afternoon everybody returns home to clean them selves up have a bath and eat the many sweets prepared at home. One of the special sweets for the day is Puran Poli; this is a roti or chappati which is filled with mixture of boiled gram and jaggery.

A few words on the origins of Holi

The story connected with Holi is that of Prahlad and Holika. The themes of this story are that god will protect you if you stay faithful. During the story Prahlad worships the God Vishnu. Prahlad's father does not like this and tells Prahlad that he must worship him but Prahlad does not listen and continues to worship Vishnu. Prahlad’s father then tries to kill Prahlad firstly by sending an elephant to trample him. But the elephant just knelt down next to Prahlad. Then he tries to throw Prahlad into a fast flowing river but again he is saved. Finally the kings sister, Holika says she will take Prahlad into a bonfire as she believes God has given her powers that will protect her. Holika is burnt to death and Prahlad was saved.

There are numerous other stories connected with the festival of Holi, many of them are related to Krishna playing with the maids. This festival is also celebrated in many parts of South East Asia, for example in Thailand this festival is called as Sonkrant.


When is Holi?

Holi 2012- March 8
Holi 2013- March 27
Holi 2014- March 17
Holi 2015- March 6
Holi 2016- March 23
Holi 2017- March 13
Holi 2018- March 2
Holi 2019 March 21
Holi 2020- March 10


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Holi in a Different Hue: Exploring Connections to Holi in Kerala




Submitted by Ajoy March 2004 to my old tripod site.  Read more of Ajoy's articles on Hinduism and Culture.


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Updated December 201

Copyright ©2008 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar


2 comments so far...

holi festival of colors in 2010

Hi this is hrangoli.... It is celebrated in different ways by a different namesake in South India..www.manadhi.com

Thanks Hrangoli. What is the name of Holi in South India?

By hrangoli on   Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Re: Holi - The Colorful Festival

Holi is a festival of colors and togetherness. So send Holi greeting cards to all your loved ones in a clolourful way. Celebrate Holi in a special way by distributing love and warm wishes with free colorful ecard . Happy Holi!!!

Thank you, Marina! Happy Holi.

I deleted the website URL that was attached. I checked it and it was not working.

I would accept many links if it were related to the article on which a commenter is posting. Thank you for understanding.

By marina on   Monday, February 22, 2010

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