The colour of the festival Holi is celebrated in Phagun, the 12th month of the Hindu calendar, which is proportional to February or March in the Gregorian calendar. This year, the festival will be celebrated on March 18, nevertheless, the festivities tend to run longer in some places.
With a significant fall in COVID cases after two years of battling the coronavirus in India, Now millions of people are getting ready to celebrate after dull festivities.
What’s the story behind Holi?
Holi celebrates the attainment of good over evil and there are various stories about its beginning.
The most popular legend in Hindu folk tales says the festival marks Lord Vishnu’s triumph over King Hiranyakashipu, who killed anyone who contravened him or worshiped other gods.
The king had a son called Prahlad who never revered his father and venerated Vishnu instead. Hiranyakashipu was so displeased that he conspired with his sister Holika to kill his son.
Holika sympathizes to kill her nephew, tempt Prahlad into a pyre and try to burn him. However, Vishnu came to Prahlad’s rescue and Holika ended up burning in the pyre.
To this day, Hindu devotees celebrate Holika Dahan on the eve of Holi to mark the event by making bonfires in their neighborhoods.
How long does Holi last?
The celebration of Holi generally lasts for two days, with Holika Dahan and a day of chuck colors on each other being its culmination.
On the day of Holi, people of all ages take to the streets to smudge each other with dry or moist paint and get showered in powdered colour and water.
Valmiki Shrivastava, another Indian from the central Madhya Pradesh state, also says Holi conducts people together and that the festival has outgrown its religious frontier.
Shrivastava says she lived in various places in India and everywhere she saw one constant: Holi.
“In every new place we lived, we used to have Holi parties in an open area in the neighborhood with lots of colors, water guns and music and it was a party for everyone,” she told Al Jazeera.
“Holi is more than just the religion it comes from. It is about love and celebrating the colours of life at the onset of spring.”