Holi is the festival of colours, welcoming the spring after winter. One of the most vibrant festivals which marks the victory of good over evil. The festival of Holi is very ancient and observed for a variety of reasons. Popularly associated with the legend of King Hiranyakashapu, it signifies the triumph of good over evil, of devotion overpowering egoistic ambition.
King Hiranyakashapu was an ambitious ruler who wanted absolute power and forbade all his subjects from worshiping God. Instead, he forced them to worship him. The King’s young son, Prahlad, was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, despite his father’s orders. The arrogant King was enraged by Prahlad’s defiance and made several unsuccessful attempts to end his life. Finally, Hiranakashyapu turned to his sister Holika for assistance. She had a divine gift which made her immune to fire. Holika lured Prahlad to sit on her lap at the centre of a heap of firewood, believing that she would be unharmed and Prahlad be consumed by the fire. When the bonfire was ignited, Prahlad was unperturbed and prayed to Lord Vishnu. Prahlad’s devotion saved him, untouched by the flames, whereas Holika was burnt to ashes. Narsimha an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, later defeated King Hiranyakashyapu and to mark this, bonfires are lit at night and everyone does prayers.
On this day people also play with colours and spread joy. Sharing sweets and delicacies even with strangers. Forget the past errors of others and forgive any miss conducts. It is one of the most popular Hindu festivals and celebrated widely in India and outside India where Hindus are, in Nepal, Indonesia, Japan, Africa, UK, USA, some Caribbean and South American communities of Indian origin such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago and Muauritius celebrate this festival.
It’s a community festival to unite everyone, bring all communities together and have joy and festivity together. Along with fun there is a religious significance of the festival of Holi which is whilst worshiping around the fire, we burn all our ignorance, ego, selfishness, and negativity and celebrate victory of good and positive forces.