Holi – the festival of color is marked as the opening festival in Hindu calendar, falls on the full moon day in the month of PHALGUN. People enjoy themselves playing with several colours and celebrate the whole day with much pump and gaiety.
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Originally Holi was regarded to be the festival to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land. There are several legends and stories behind Holi. A popular legend says that Holi is remembered for the sacrifice of Holika who burnt herself in fire on this day.
Holi is therefore regarded one of the most ancient festivals of the Aryans who finds an honored mention in our old Sanskrit texts like Dashakumar Charit and Garud Puran. Even the play "Ratnavali" written by Harshdev states a delightful description of Holi as a festival. In those days this very festival was celebrated as "Vasantotsav". Latter everybody started calling it "MADANOTSAV".
Celebration of Holi festival is characterized by performing Holi puja as per Hindu tradition. Dhuleti, which falls day after Holi Puja, is considered to be the actual festival of colors. Children and youngsters vie with each other use fast and sticky colors to celebrate Holi. It is all fun and joy for them.
There are several legends on Holi which find mentions in Hindu mythology. Holi is regarded to be the opening festival of the Hindu calendar. The famous stories or sagas related to this festival are stated below:
Legend of Radha-Krishna: Krishna, being the mischievous child of Yashuda, was a prankster and was also the creator of many legends for himself. He once asked his mother - why is Radha fair and I am Dark? Mother Yashuda replied to him saying – If you are so much jealous of Radha’s color than go and put dark colors on her and she will also turn dark as you so. Lord Krishna went ahead and did the same. Since then each lover usually puts color on his/her beloved to pay homage to Lord Krishna.
Holi – Celebration
Holi commences about ten days before the full moon of the month called Phalgun (February-March); but it is usually observed for the last three or four days, terminating with the full moon.
Along with Holi, spring season also arrives which is marked as the auspicious season for the Hindus. In this season, all the ‘tesu’ and other trees are filled with sweet smelling flowers. They all proclaim the glory and everlasting beauty of God and inspire you with hope, joy and a new life and leave you with the thought to find out yourself that; who is the actual creator behind them.
Holi is known by the name of "Kamadahana" in South India, which refers to the day on which Kamadev (Cupid) was burnt by Lord Shiva (as told above in legends of holi). In North India, a tradition is followed on the eve of Holi- huge bundles of woods are accumulated and burnt at night mainly in temples. On the other day, people play Holi (colorful) joyfully with colored water. Almost everywhere one can hear the shouts and laughter of people shouting "Holi-hai! Holi-hai!"
People gathered in the streets and pump colored water over the body and clothes even to the strangers who pass by, no matter whether he/she is rich or poor. There is no restriction on this day. People compose and sing special Holi songs (famous bollywood songs) to mark this occasion.
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