Holi is an ancient hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of spring as winters come to an end and also the victory of good over evil. Holi is a festival of colours, of spreading happiness and joy, which is now common among all communities.
According to the puranas- Hiranyakashipu the king of Demonic Asuras, wanted everybody to worship him as God. But his own son Prahlada refused to do so and continued to stay a Vishnu bhakt. Furious, Hiranyakashipu decided to punish him. The king’s sister Holika offered to help. She tricked Prahlada into sitting on a pyre with her (Prahlada being exposed and Holika protected with a cloak). As the fire blazed, her protective cloak blew away and she burnt to death while Prahlada survived without any injuries. Later, Lord Vishnu took Narsimha’s avatar ( half human, half lion) and killed the king. Thus, Holi celebrations start with burning Holika signifying the end of evil.
Another legend goes back to the times of Lord Krishna. According to the legend, Putana, a demon, tried to poison Lord Krishna with her breast milk. Instead, the Lord developed a characteristic blue skin colour. The Lord was always worried about being hated and made fun of by Radha and her friends. So Krishna’s mother asked him to smear Radha’s face with any colour of his choice. And thus, began the festival of Holi.
After Holika Dahan, the colour riot begins the next day. And thats where comes my favourite part. Ever since I was a child, Holi has always been the favourite festival. And here’s me sharing why…
The topmost reason has to be the fact that you need not worry about what to wear. I do not have to stand with my wardrobe open wondering I have nothing to wear. We all have some old clothes lying in there, which we do not want to part with. Just Don them and you are ready to go. The older the clothes, the better.
No bathing early in the morning. As it is you are going to be smeared with colours and drenched in water. So, bathing has to be quite later in the day and at ease. It is going to take you sometime to get rid off those colours. So Relax!!
You get to see and play with all the colours possible. You see colours everywhere and on everyone. And most important nobody minds when you apply colour on them.
This festival of colours is not limited to just the hindu communities. All other communities celebrate this colour riot with the same frolic and fervour. This happens to be one of the very few festivals with no religious boundaries. And that is what i personally like the most about it.
Bhaang is official! Yes, you get to drink bhaang with your family and even your parents. Getting drunk (bhaang or alcohol) is an integral part of holi. Oh and you even get bhaang stuffed sweets. So double the fun.
You get to dance on all the best bollywood numbers, old as well as new. And you can dance crazy. There’s no stopping. No need to worry what others would think. because you know they are dancing the same way. Its all fun and frolic.
And doing all the above, you get to be a child again. The joy you get while playing with a pichkari/ water gun cannot compare to any other. And yes, people wont judge you about it or anything.
And for all those who do not like playing holi or who are allergic to colours, can relax at home and sleep all day. No one will disturb you, duh…everyone else is busy playing holi!!!
But do keep these tips in mind-
Always apply lots of coconut oil or petroleum jelly on you skin and hair before playing with colours. The colour wont penetrate the skin and so wont cause any harm. Plus, those dirty pakke rang wont stay for long.
Always cover your and especially kids eyes with sunglasses. Just in case someone tried to be notorious.
Removing colours- First wipe the colours with a dry tissue and then use any makeup remover or wet wipes to remove the rest. and Finally your usual face wash or scrub while bathing. Never wash off the colour directly with water, it wont come off completely.
Oh and if by chance someone smears too much colour on you or splashes water on you or even worse throws you in the water- BURA NA MANO, HOLI HAI!!!!