Holi Festival

Welcome to Holi Festival: A Colourful Festival Of Love…

In this article we will come to know about it’s origin, why it is known as festival of colours and festival of love.

The interesting details of this festival will keep you engazed . You will know what people eat and how they enjoy this festival. Please proceed and gain information and knowledge about one of the important festival of India



Holi is a famous and a major festival of Hindu community.  This has originated from the Indian sub-continent. This is predominantly celebrated in India and Nepal.  Holi is also known as festival of colours and festival of love.  The festival signifies arrival of spring, signifies the victory of good over evil, and end of winter.  Also a festive day to meet others, a festival of fun and frolic, play and love, forget and forgive in relationships.

Hindus believe spring season is full of colours.  So they throw colours and coloured water on each other and celebrate the festival with lot of joy.  According to Krishna legend, Shrikrishna who grew up in Braj regions had divine love for Radha.  This relationship of love reflected in this Holi festival.

This festival starts in the evening of the Purnima (Full Moon Day) falling in the Vikram Sambat Hindu calendar month of Phalgun.  As per Gregorian calendar it falls somewhere between the end of February and the middle of March.  This year it falls on 21st March, 2019.


According to Hindu Mythology, Holi celebration was started long ago when Holika was burnt in the fire while trying to kill her own nephew in the fire.

It is believed that long ago there was a devil king named Hiranya Kashyap.  He was the father of Prahlad.  The king had a sister named Holika.  The devil king was booned by Lord Brahma.  The boon had such impact and blessings that devil king Hiranya Kashyap cannot be killed by any man or animal, neither by any weapon nor inside the home or outside, or in the day or night.  The demon king felt very powerful.  He became very arrogant and ordered everyone including his own son to worship him instead of any God.

The entire kingdom started worshiping him except little Prahlad as he was a true devotee of lord Vishnu.  This behavior of Prahlad was not tolerated by demon king Hiranya Kashyap.  He wanted to kill his own son Prahlad.  He made a plan with his sister Holika to kill Prahlad by burning him in fire.

Interestingly Holika had a magic robe that was fireproof.  It was believed that wearing that robe no fire can kill Holika.  So, the king ordered his sister to sit in the fire by having little Prahlad on her lap.  Holika carried out the order, sat on the burning fire along with Prahlad thinking that Prahlad will be burnt to death and nothing will happen to her.

But the result was just opposite of what the evil demon king and Holika thought and planned.  Prahlad came out of the burning fire safely and Holika was burnt to death.  Now, due to death of Holika, this incident had become a ritual and this is called Holika Dahan.


People make a heap of woods, cow dung etc on the cross roads and burn it symbolizing Holika and celebrate Holika Dahan Ceremony.  We can call this a Chhoti Holi.  This is observed on the night before the start of Holi festival i.e. the Main Holi or the Badi Holi.

The Holika Dahan also symbolizes the victory of good over evil.  The people also take many rounds of the burning Holika and worship it to get blessed with prosperity and good health by burning all the sins and diseases in the fire.

In North-India there is a custom of massaging the body with mustard paste.  The used mustard paste remains are burnt in the Holika.  By doing this they hope to get rid of all diseases and evils of the body.


Now-a-days we see that the general public observed Holi for two days.  The Chhoti Holi is observed the night before the Main or Badi Holi.  The Chhoti Holi becomes part of the Holika Dahan.

The Main Holi, Badi Holi is observed on the next day.  This is called Holi, Rangawali Holi, Dhuleti Holi or Phagwah.  On this day people play with colours forgetting their old enemity or misunderstanding and renew new or better relationships.  In the evening people visit each others’ house exchanging greetings and sweets.  The custom of visiting houses of friends and relatives continue for a week or so.


Holi festival falls every year in the spring season in the month of Phalgun.  As per the English calendar it mostly falls in the month of March.  Holi is celebrated every year on the first day of Chaitra month.  This period coincides with the harvest of wheat and is symbolic of prosperity and happiness.

Spring season makes the end of winter and comes before summer.  During the season we have flowers all-around. We see the beauty of nature. And harvest brings new foodgrains and makes us happy.


In Braj regions parts of Uttar Pradesh in North-India, Krishna legend is very much prevalent.  The Hindu Deity Krishna grew up in this region and he had divine love for Radha.  The festival of Holi is celebrated to commemorate the divine love of Radha for Krishna.  This festival officially ushers in spring and this is celebrated as a festival of love.

There is a symbolic myth behind commemorating Krishna as well.  As a baby, Krishna developed his characteristic dark skin colour because the she-demon Putana poisoned him with her breast milk.  In his youth, Krishna used to be sad, unhappy and despaired due to his skin colour and thought whether the fair-skined Radha and other girls will like him or not.  His mother asked Krishna to approach Radha and ask her to colour his face in any colour she wanted.  Ultimately Krishna approached and Radha coloured his face and Radha and Krishna became couple.  This incident of playful colouring of Radha and Krishna, has been commemorated as Holi.


No doubt we enjoy the festival of colours, but these colours have special significance in our life.  The red colour (dye) symbolizes love, fertility and matrimony.  Blue represents Lord Krishna.  White and green stand for new life and new beginnings.


A special sweet Gujiya is prepared during Holi festival.  This sweet is filled with dried fruits and nuts spiced with cardamom.  Many varieties of Gujiya are prepared during this festival.  The common fillings include pistachios, cashews, coconut, and raisins.  Everyone enjoy this stuffed sweet dish during Holika Dahan.


Bhang is prepared during this festival.  We can call Bhang a milkshake or a milky beverage mixed with a paste of the buds and leaves of cannabis.  It gives a kick as well as brings hallucination feelings.  Bhang has a mythological connect.  It has powerful connection with monk God Lord Shiva.  During this festival, Bhang is available in Government-run Bhang shops.


In earlier days colours or gulal was made from flowers, spices and other natural materials like the Brilliant Indian coral tree and Flame of the forest plants.  This natural and herbal production had medicinal properties and benefits.  Now-a-days synthetic dyes or colours have become very very common.  Mass production of colours are also providing high profit.  Most of the synthetic gulals are produced in China, which are harmful to the   environment as well as our health, body and skin.

We should have environmental friendly Holi.  We have to take care of the following :

  1. We should play Holi with natural colours.
  2. We should celebrate it in a dry way.
  3. Try to avoid use of balloons and plastic bags.
  4. Celebrate this colourful festival with colourful flowers.
  5. We should burn environmental free waste for Holika Dahan or Holi Bonfire.
  6. We should avoid using irrelevant colours like oil paints, petrol, mud or any other chemical that harm our skin or damage our health as well as that harm our nature or natural environment.


This year the entire country celebrates Holi on 21st March 2019.  Few famous places are given below :

  1. Mathura and Vrindaban
  2. Barsana (in Uttar Pradesh) is famous for Lathmar Holi
  3. Shantiniketan (West Bengal)
  4. Anandpur Sahib (in Punjab)
  5. Imphal (in Manipur)
  6. Jaipur and Udaipur (in Rajasthan)
  7. Hampi (in Karnataka)
  8. Nasik (in Maharashtra)
  9. Goa
  10. Mumbai (in Maharashtra)


Holi is the festival of colours played with family members, relatives, friends and neighbours.  Everybody enjoys this festival by singing, dancing, playing colours, hugging each other and eating delicious food.  This festival brings people closure and spreads love and brotherhood among them.  Holi also symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.  This is the soul of most of the Indian festivals.

This festival brings us together to know and understand each other well. And this festival also gives an opportunity to lead a better life in the society with harmony and peace to have prosperity in our life.

Also Please Read:

Diwali Festival

…Ratikanta Singh