One of the brightest and most colorful events in the world is the Holi festival, held annually in India. This holiday marks the beginning of spring and the awakening of nature from a dream, its roots go back centuries, it is part of the history of the country.
The history of the holiday
Each year, the festival of colors is held on different dates, during the full moon from February to March. This is a time of joy, fun, and sprinkling of each other with colored powders, starting with the ritual of burning a scarecrow, which reminds one of Russian Pancake Week.
The most common legend of the origin of this holiday is that the event received its name by the name of a beautiful girl called Kholika. In ancient times, a ruler reigned in the country, distinguished by malice. He received immortality as a gift from the gods, after which he demanded complete worship from all people. However, the king’s son refused to acknowledge his power and remained faithful to his true God.
The young man was supported in everything by aunt Kholika. In response to disobedience, the king ordered the rioters to be burned at the stake. Then the prince began to frantically beg for God’s salvation for his aunt, and he sent the young man a scarf painted in different colors.
On the day of the execution, Kholik was tied to a pillar, the prince covered it with a cloth and crouched nearby. As soon as the fire was kindled, a strong wind rose, ripping off the scarf and covering him with the youth. The young man tried to help his beloved aunt, but nothing came of it. While the fire increasingly enveloped the woman’s body, her eyes, without blinking, looked at the prince, exuding love and affection.
Kholika died, but the boy remained unharmed, only more strongly believed in God’s grace. The tsar was punished by the Almighty a little later, piercing his evil heart with lightning.
Since then, the custom of smearing each other with paints representing the miraculous cover of Holika has been firmly established in the country and is held annually during the Holi festival of colors.
Patron saint of lovers
Another legend tells of the patron saint of all lovers – a deity named the Kama . Once, a conflict occurred between him and the supreme god Shiva, after which the Kama was deprived of the body shell.
After some time, Shiva took pity on his colleague and allowed him to have his own body, but not more than 3 months a year. This period affects springtime, universal awakening and flowering. Indian holiday holi– It is also a celebration of gaining the bodily membrane of Kama. Representatives of all castes, classes and religions take part in it. And not only in India, but (especially in recent years) and in other world countries.
The ancient tradition of sprinkling people with ashes, which remained after the burning of the festive bonfire and the world-famous sympathy of the Hindus for bright colors, were combined into a single whole at the Holi festival. During this holiday, people actively shower all passers-by with multi-colored powder and watered with water, with wishes of happiness and love.
A very beautiful legend is associated with the birth of this custom . One day, God Krishna fell in love with an ordinary cowherd who did not pay any attention to him and did not want to communicate with him because of his appearance. Then the mother advised the young man to paint his own face. This is where the tradition of holding the Festival of Colors, saturated with bright colors and variegation, came from.
Flirting the deities with the shepherds is a favorite theme of the dances of the holiday. The process itself looks like this: a young man calls the girl to dance, distracts her, then sprinkles with powder and sprinkles water. Then the beauty pretends to be offended, to which the young man takes on the earlobes of his own ears (conditional request for forgiveness). Now it is her turn to sprinkle powder on a man and pour water on him.
This kind of flirting, a rare opportunity to flirt and play between a boy and a girl, is usually inadmissible in this country.
How do people prepare for the holiday
Holi is a festival that is celebrated throughout the country. It is distinguished by its beauty and diversity, as is India itself.
Preparation for it begins in 3-4 weeks, when in the villages there are celebrations called Small Holi, in the framework of which they organize :
- ritual games;
- holiday performances of groups;
- fundraising for those in need;
- blanks for the upcoming event.
The comprehensive organization of the holiday is important, what kind of holiday is without many kilograms of colored powder? In addition, local residents are engaged in the preparation of firewood, brushwood, and rags for future bonfires. The latter is ignited in order to scare away evil spirits and cold air, which lingered after the winter.
The theft of the raw materials needed to make bonfires is considered an achievement that provokes universal pride.
Locals dress up all the buildings, painting them in bright colors and hanging flowers in free space. People get spray guns for spraying liquid and a colored powder called gulal. It is created by grinding corn and is painted in pink, red, green and yellow shades with natural substances. Ardent holiday fans create water cannons on their own and make the coloring powder with their own hands.
How is the Holi festival of colors
The full moon night is the time to start this magical holiday! People make a huge bonfire, on which a scarecrow or a specially decorated tree will be burnt, symbolizing the passing winter, all troubles, sorrows and wicked deeds. There is a tradition to drive cattle through this flame and walk barefoot on coals on their own because ash gives people luck.
The Holi Festival of Colors is a magnificent parade, accompanied by national songs and dances. The participants in the action continuously shower themselves and other people with powders of different colors, after which they spray water into the air that settles on those present.
Photos of this enchanting event reflect only a fraction of the crazy emotions of others.
The following events are held as part of the holiday:
- mastery competitions in parkour and freerun;
- fights in which shells are painted;
- water bottles.
A vivid sight can be seen in the historical homeland of the god Krishna, in the cities of Mathur and Vrindavan. On the steps of Hindu temples, people dance, sing and have fun.
The period from 3 to 5 days of the festival begins mutual visits, during which abundant feasts are held. Traditional Indian dishes and drinks are always on the tables. Bhang is popular, which includes juice or shredded hemp foliage and dairy products.
There are 2 types of this drink known:
- bhang lassi, containing yogurt and hemp leaf juice;
- thandai lassi, which includes milk, spices, sugar, almonds, and hemp infusion.
What date will Holi celebrate in 2020? This magnificent event will take place from 9 to 10 March, during the full moon.
Holi celebration in different regions of the country
Not all Indians are equally happy with the Holi holiday, the region of residence affects this. Most of all, the festival is revered in the north of India. In the days of the spring full moon, the cities are decorated with an abundance of flowers and decorations, white, pink, purple and red shades. Gray houses are painted with rainbow shades, and bouquets cover all surfaces.
Such a love for the holiday is due to the fact that in the northern part of the country is the town of Vrindavan, where, according to legend, Krishna was born and lived, the most revered God by the Hindus. People’s walks do not stop even for a single day, for several days, and a lot of time and effort is devoted to decorating buildings.
However in southern India, Holi does not have such a scope, young people and girls are actively having fun. At this time, their parents give children presents, and they do not go on a visit for this, more often they are waiting for youth visits at home. On the day of the festival’s start, mothers, by tradition, prepare gifts for babies in the form of sweets and toys, and they present them the next morning.
IN center of the country , home decorations differ from those adopted in other regions. Here, orange-colored flags are hung to symbolize the element of fire, and thousands of small lights are also lit.
The apotheosis of Holi’s celebration is a bonfire in which a scarecrow made by local residents is burned. In addition, grain, flowers, fruits and other offerings for the gods fall into the fire. The flame is created to protect against evil spirits, it drives them away, causing fear.
Brave Indians jump over a fire, demonstrate their own courage, pass through still hot coals. A special place in the celebration is occupied by dances that are performed to the national Indian music: people dance, sing and independently play traditional musical instruments.
The dances, representing small representations, during which young men get acquainted and flirt with girls, look colorful. The end of such a ritual is a mutual sprinkling of colored powder and a spray of water. All this is accompanied by a plentiful drink of a national drink – bhanga.
These days, the Indians glorify not only God, but all at once. Numerous figurines, which are located at their home, are taken out onto the street and swing on a swing.
On the second day of the festivities, the fun begins: mass sprinkling of people with colored powders. They are absolutely safe, as they are made by Indians from self-tarred flour dyed with natural substances. If previously only such paints were used, now synthetic powders are being introduced that are not harmful to humans.
The ritual of sprinkling begins with the head of the house, who has the honorable duty of “coloring” each member of the family. Then this occupation is picked up by all households, not forgetting about animals.
In the city of Hajurat there is a tradition, on the Holi festival, in addition to national ceremonies, there is always a game called “Break the Pot”. For this purpose, all young people line up in the likeness of a pyramid, and a young man standing at the very top must reach with his own head and chop the utensils hanging above him. This entertainment has its roots in ancient times, when, according to legend, Krishna similarly stole oil, as a child.
The end of the festival of colors
Every festival, even the most colorful one day ends. On the third day of festivities, at about 4 hours, Holi ends. Hindus leave the streets, returning to their ordinary affairs.
Those people who managed to relax with a soul believe in the fulfillment of all their cherished desires expressed by them at the time of the celebration. As a keepsake from a grandiose event, there remains paint on the body, which is sometimes necessary to get rid of for several days.
The Holi Festival charges the Indians with positive energy and good, sparkling fun and love for the whole year.
Holi’s analogs in the world
The celebration of the festival of colors is not only common among Indians. This event was adopted by other countries (in which numerous Hindu diasporas live):
- Sri Lanka;
- Great Britain;
- South Africa
However, the Holi festival is actively celebrated not only by Indians. Europeans enjoyed joining in the crazy atmosphere of a colorful celebration. Since 2012, it has been held in Holland and Germany, since 2013 – in the United Kingdom of England. Local residents, taking the example of India, see off their winter, which has bothered them.