Holi, the vivacious and vivid festival of India, represents the exuberance of life. It's a day of forgiveness, amity, oneness, and equality. It is also a tribute to the triumph of good over evil. Holi is split into two events: Holika Dahan and Dhulivandan (Rangwali Holi). Holika Dahan, which takes place the night before Dhulivandan, is marked by the burning of wood and dung cakes in a symbolic gesture to signify good overpowering evil. Dhulivandan is a noisy affair that occurs the morning after Holika Dahan, where people playfully throw handfuls of colored powder (Gulal) at each other while getting drenched in water.
This year too it will be celebrated on March 7 and 8 to celebrate the eternal love of Lord Krishna and Radha, and commemorate the victory of good over evil. According to Drik Panchang, Choti Holi or Holika Dahan falls on March 7, 2023. The Holika Dahan mahurat will begin at 06:24 pm and will end at 08:51 pm on March 7. Meanwhile, Badi Holi/Dhulandi or Rang Wali Holi will be celebrated on March 8.
There are many fascinating stories surrounding the history of Holi. One of the most famous mythological stories is the legend of Hiranyakashyap, an evil king who prevented his son Prahlad from worshipping the God Vishnu. God Vishnu helped Prahlad and burned his wicked aunt Holika to death to signify the victory of good over evil. It is believed that Holika begged Prahlad for forgiveness before her demise, and Prahlad announced that she would be remembered every year at Holi. Hence, the burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi across India.
Another popular legend of Holi is the story of Radha and Krishna. It describes the immense joy that Krishna took in applying color to Radha and other Gopis, which later became a trend and an essential part of Holi festivities.
There is also a famous legend of Lord Shiva and Kamadeva, which is widely celebrated in southern India. People in the south commemorate the sacrifice of the Lord of Passion, Kaamadeva, who risked his life to disrupt Lord Shiva's meditation and save the world.
The legend of Ogress Dhundhi, who used to torment children in the kingdom of Raghu, is also quite popular. Eventually, the children drove her away with their pranks on the day of Holi. To this day, children play pranks and hurl abuse during Holika Dahan.
Besides these fascinating legends, Holi is celebrated at a time of year when the fields are in full bloom and people anticipate a good harvest. Holi is now a day that brings society together and strengthens the secular fabric of our country.
The celebration of the many legends surrounding Holi reinforces the power of truth, as the moral of each story emphasizes the ultimate triumph of good over evil. The story of Hiranyakashyap and Prahlad also highlights the reward of extreme devotion to god, as god always protects his true devotees.
These legends serve as a guide for people to lead a virtuous life and uphold the importance of truthfulness. In today's society, where dishonesty and corruption are prevalent, Holi inspires people to be truthful and fight against evil.
Furthermore, Holi is celebrated during a time of abundant harvest, when the fields are in full bloom. This provides a reason for people to rejoice, revel, and immerse themselves in the festive spirit of Holi.
Holi serves as a unifying force that strengthens the secular fabric of our country by bringing together people from all walks of life to revel in its colorful and joyous festivities. The festival transcends religious boundaries, as non-Hindus also eagerly partake in the celebrations.
A hallmark of Holi is the tradition of enemies turning into friends, leaving behind any animosity that may have existed between them. It is a day when social barriers such as wealth and status dissolve, and people come together in a spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood. As the day progresses, people visit their loved ones, exchange gifts, sweets, and greetings, and renew their bonds of affection. This helps to revitalize relationships and strengthen emotional connections between individuals.
It's fascinating to realize that Holi isn't just about having fun and feeling joyful; it actually has many other significant benefits for our bodies and lives. We owe a debt of gratitude to our ancestors for starting the tradition of celebrating Holi at the scientifically optimal time, and for making it such a fun festival.
During Holi, which occurs during a period of seasonal transition from cold to heat, our bodies tend to feel sluggish and lethargic. However, singing and speaking loudly, moving briskly, and listening to loud music can help rejuvenate our system and counteract this natural tendency.
In addition, when we spray colored dye or Abeer on our bodies during Holi, it can have a profound impact on our health. Biologists believe that the dye enters our pores and strengthens the ions in our bodies, making us healthier and more beautiful.
Another scientific reason for celebrating Holi is the tradition of Holika Dahan. As winter turns to spring, bacteria grow in the atmosphere and in our bodies. Burning Holika raises the temperature to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and circumambulating the fire kills the bacteria in our bodies and cleanses us.
Holi is also celebrated in the South in a way that promotes good health. After burning Holika, people put ash on their foreheads and consume a mixture of sandal paste, young leaves, and flowers from the Mango tree to promote good health.
Colors also play an important role in promoting good health, as they can have a significant impact on our bodies. Western physicians believe that a deficiency in a particular color can lead to illness.