Essay on Holi – The Festival of Colours

Holi – The Festival of Colours

India is a land of myriad languages, cultures and traditions. Festivals are a glorious celebration of our vibrant culture. If Diwali is a festival of lights that thrills young and old alike, the festival of colours, Holi is an occasion to let go of our inhibitions and formalities.

Like every other festival, Holi too has a mythological significance. Celebrated at the end of the winter season, Holi is a spring festival that marks the burning of the demon Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashipu, the king of demons. To his intense displeasure, his own son, Prahlada was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. Enraged by Prahalad’s worship, Hiranyakashipu tried many ways to kill Prahlada. But every attempt failed. Holika possessed a magical gift that made her immune to fire. So, Hiranyakashipu ordered Prahlada to sit on Holika’s lap as she sat on a burning pyre. Prahlada prayed to Lord Vishnu to save him and to everyone’s amazement, Holika was burned to ashes while Prahlada escaped unscathed. Holi is celebrated to commemorate the burning of Hoilka, which is seen as one of the Lord’s many miracles.

On the day before the festival, bonfires are lit, which is known as Holika Dahan. Wood and other items are burnt in the fire thus signifying the end of winter and the advent of a new season, spring. Dressed often in whites, people apply coloured powders and water to each other. They also play drums and sing Holi songs. After the raucous celebration ends, people exchange sweets with their close ones in the evening.

Holi is celebrated in every part of the country. In Vrindavan and Mathura, Holi is a sixteen day festival, as it is believed that even Lord Krishan celebrated this festival with lots of fervour. However, recently there has been a concern regarding the artificial and synthetic colours that are used which have been found to contain toxic chemicals. Hence using natural colours, made of herbs is a safer alternative.

Among the many festivals that are celebrated throughout the country, Holi is an all encompassing , fun filled enthusiastic and vibrant festival that brings everyone closer.