Holi Hai! | Everything you need to know about the Indian festival of colors!

Holi -

Holi Hai! | Everything you need to know about the Indian festival of colors!

What is Holi? Why do we celebrate it?

Holi is a major traditional festival celebrated in India that signifies the triumph of good over evil. It is also known as the 'festival of spring’ since it is celebrated on the arrival of spring and marks the end of winter. The festival is celebrated for two days every year, where the evening of the first day is celebrated as ‘Choti Holi’ and the following day is celebrated as ‘Holi’, ‘Dol Purnima’, or ‘Dhulandi’. According to a mythological legend in Hindu culture, Lord Krishna’s skin was blue in color after a demoness tried to poison him. Krishna was worried about the color of his skin and complained to his mother – ‘Yashoda’ about his complexion and told her that Radha wouldn’t like him. So, Yashoda playfully suggested him to approach Radha and smear color on her face. Since then, the playful smearing of color on loved ones gradually evolved as a tradition and a festival, where people smear colored powders on their loved ones on the streets and play with colored water with joy and positivity.

When is Holi celebrated?

This ancient Hindu festival usually falls either in the month of March or April, every year, and is celebrated to mark the onset of spring. Holi lasts for a night and a day and is celebrated in the month of Phalguna in the Hindu calendar. The festivities start on the evening of Purnima (Full moon day), where the first evening is celebrated as ‘Choti Holi, and the following day celebrated as ‘Holi’. This year Holi will be celebrated on March 18th (Friday) while ‘Holika Dahan’ also known as the ‘ritual bonfire’ will be observed on March 17th (Thursday). The muhurat (auspicious time) for Holika Dahan is from 09:06 PM to 10:16 PM (March 17, 2022).

How is Holi celebrated?

On the day of Choti Holi, a special puja, known as ‘Holika Puja’, is performed in the afternoon before the bonfire is lit. This puja is believed to bestow wealth, power, and prosperity on our family. On the eve of Choti Holi, ‘Holika Dahan’ is performed during the muhurat, where the pyre is lit by gathering wood and combustible materials, signifying the triumph of good over evil. People gather around the fire and sing and dance around it. Holi celebrations begin on the morning after the Holika Dahan, where children and adults gather on the streets, dance, sing, and smear color powders or ‘Holi Gulal’ on each other by saying “Holi Hai!”. ‘Pichkaris’ (water guns) are also used to spray colored water on each other. Bhang - a traditional Indian drink made from the leaves and flowers of cannabis plant, is consumed as a beverage, and enjoyed by many while dancing to the sounds of dholaks and drums. Later in the evening, people clean up, dress up, and meet their friends and family while offering sweets and other delicacies.

May your life be as colorful as the festival of Holi. India Sajawat & Puja Hut wishes you and your family – A Happy Holi!