HOLI or “the festival of colors” is one the most famous festival to be celebrated in India which has its name and fame abroad as well. India being a country of many festivals, Holi is the most special one. With historical evidence associated with it, it is more and more famous for the enthusiasm and fervor with which it is being celebrated all over.
Holi Festival Dates
- Holi on Tuesday, March 10, 2020
- Holika Dahan on Monday, March 9, 2020
- Purnima Tithi Begins - 03:03 AM on Mar 09, 2020
- Purnima Tithi Ends - 11:17 PM on Mar 09, 2020
Its origin lies with the story of “Holika and Prahalad” . Prahalad was the son of the demon king Hiranyakashyipu and Holika was the sister of Hiranyakashyipu. The king wanted his son to offer him prayers but Prahlad was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and refused to obey his father. Out of anger and rage, the king ordered his sister to sit in the fire with Prahlad in her lap so that Prahlad will be burnt to death as Holika was boon by Lord Brahma to be safe from fire. But it was Lord Vishnu’s blessings to Prahlad that he came out of the fire safely and untouched and Holika died.
As per one more historical evidence, this festival is also associated with the divine love of “Radha and Krishna”and is very famous in Uttar Pradesh's Braj, Barsana, Mathura, Nandgaon and Vrindavan.
Holi is a two-day festival and starts on the full moon day of the phalguna month or March month. The full moon day is the first day of Holi and is also known as “Choti Holi”.
Choti Holi is famous for a ritual known as “Holika Dahan”. This is celebrated in the evening of Choti Holi and signifies the death of Holika. It is celebrated by burning a bonfire of woods and dried leaves tied with a thread and all people are assumed to throw auspicious things in this fire and perform the puja which is followed by some other rituals as well. People offer “jau” and “mauli or threads” and many other items and offer prayers to bless their children and family members. After performing the puja one must throw waste materials or a small wooden piece from each family which represents that we burn our ego, lust, anger, greed and all other evil forces into the fire and purifies ourselves with the smoke coming out of it. Choti Holi also signifies the death of the demon “putana” who tried to kill baby Krishna in his childhood but was killed by Krishna himself.
Bihar’s Holi - Phagua Holi
Holi starts as soon as our eye opens up and we realize that finally, Holi is here. The day starts by applying oils of our choice on our body parts so that the colors won't stick and will come out easily after playing Holi. My mom prepared many foods like “dahibade, maalpua, puri, kachouri, mutton, chicken, pulao, custard and the list goes on. The whole day we eat and play Holi with our family and friends and enjoy foods and as the ends move towards the dusk another excitement awaits as “evening Holi ”.
Evening Holi is another flavor of our culture. Each and every member of the family and friends visit each other's houses and apply gulal on their faces. The evening goes like this and people offer different types of foods, sweets and other delicacies. Children touch the feet of elders by putting gulal on their feet along with gods.
And finally, the most famous festival “phagua” as it is said in Bihar ends after giving two day’s memoirs which rejuvenates us for the whole one year till the new one comes to make new memories again.
UP’s Holi - Lathmaar Holi
While traveling from Bihar to Uttar Pradesh in Holi, the fervor remains the same but the level of enjoyment increases. “Mathura” is the place where the only temple dedicated to “Radha Rani” stands apart. Special Mathura Holi “Lathmaar Holi” is the specialty of this place on this special day.
Boys and males from other districts of Mathura especially from Barsana, Nandgaon and others gathers in this temple and after performing the puja they gather in the “rang rangeeli gali” which is a thin way outside the temple. Women also are known as gopis hit men with “lathis” and the men protect themselves in all possible ways. This tradition is more than enjoyment as it gives immense pleasure to watch all these with bare eyes. The men who get caught by the Gopis are made to wear women's clothes and dance with all the others.
Holi delicacies is incomplete without a special drink “thandai”. Thandai is a very famous sweet drink of Holi made from milk, dry fruits, sugar and bhang which is a paste of cannabis leaves. Be it Bihar or Uttar Pradesh or any other place in the world this drink is a must-have dessert in Holi. Juicy Maalpua is another delicacy of Holi made from “flour” and milk along with dry fruits and banana.
Being a Bihari by birth, on this day we enjoy pakodis made from vegetables wrapped in a paste of gram flour and spices. Holi is a festival of enjoyment and food and so applying colors and having food items with colored hands adds flavor to one’s life.