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Holi – The Indian Festival

Holi - The Indian Festival


Author’s Note: Most of you know me for my funny and biased articles, but this one is definitely not going to be funny (wink, wink). Even if it’s not funny, I assure you that it will be biased and interesting. So read on!!

If I said “Holi” to most of you, you would say “what is that?” Then, if I explain in more detail, you would say, “Oh that festival where you throw colors on people?.” Essentially, yes that is what Holi is but….there is much more to this festival. Let’s start with the basics, for all of you that don’t know them. First it is an Indian festival. And there are no other basics because everything else is mythology. 

BUT for those of you who love mythology (like me), you will love this section. For those who don’t, deal with it. No, I’m joking, trust me, you’ll enjoy this, too. I make everything an amazing experience. So DO NOT, no matter what stop half-way. 

Anyways…Holi is a Hindu festival that has been celebrated since ancient times. When I say ancient, I mean ANCIENT. You may wonder, what is it celebrated for? Just hang on tight and I’ll explain it all to you so the next time someone says “that color festival,” you can teach THEM what it’s about. 

Let’s get started! Though there are a few variations to the story, I’m going to tell you the one that I heard. 

The story associated with Holi is about King Hiranyakashipu, his son Prahalad, and his aunt Holika, a demon. According to the story, the god Brahma (creator of the universe) granted Hiranyakashipu the boon that he could not be killed inside or outside, by day or by night, not by a human, he could not be killed during day or night, and he couldn’t be killed on the floor or on the air. So, he was basically immortal. Or so he thought. After being given this boon, the King forced people to worship him. However, Prahlad was a follower of Lord Vishnu. This disturbed King Hiranyakashipu as his own son did not follow his rule of praying to him only, and no God. When Prahlad failed to agree to this rule, the King attempted to kill in many ways. However, every time, Prahalad got “lucky”. Finally, Hiranyakashipu asked his sister Holika to kill Prahlad, his son. Holika eventually agreed and decided to kill Prahlad while sitting on a funeral pyre. Holika was given a cloth which was fireproof. So, when Prahlad and Holika sat in the fire, Holika had that cloth wrapped around her, thinking that it would protect her from getting burned. But, Lord Vishnu blew wind at Holika causing the cloth to fall off and drift onto Prahalad, protecting him instead of Holika. So, as you can imagine, Prahlad survived and Holika..died. At this point, Lord Vishnu comes in the form of Narasimha, half man and half lion. Now, at this point you may be wondering, well, what about Hiranyakashipu’s boon? I will get there in a second, just to keep the suspense. So, as you can imagine, King Hiranyakashipu died in the hands of Narasimha because good ALWAYS beats evil. But here’s how: 

According to the boon, Hiranyakashipu could not be killed inside or outside, not by a human, he could not be killed during day or night, and he couldn’t be killed on the floor or in the air. But, you see, Narasimha killed Hiranyakashipu on his lap, not on the floor or the air, in the middle of the doorway, which is not inside or outside, and it was the afternoon, not day or night. 

So, that’s the story. Don’t tell me that wasn’t interesting. If it wasn’t, that’s just my writing skills. We use color to celebrate Holi to symbolize love and how good always wins over evil. 

Some extra information: This year, Holi was on March 24 and 25. We not only use colors to celebrate Holi by also walking around a bonfire, to symbolize when Holika died in the fire. 

Now, as for the name, “Holi,” I think you can figure it out. I mean, Holika and Holi? Anything similar? 

To wrap this wonderful article up, make sure to spread this story so that everyone knows the story behind this wonderful festival.

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    Nirvi ShahMar 26, 2024 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Nirvi,
    This article is really good! You’re the best author in the world!