Holi Festival in India
The Holi festival memorialises good over evil, especially the demon Holika’s burning and demolition. Lord Vishnu, the Hindu god of preservation, helped make this possible.
The “Festival of Colors” got its name from Lord Krishna’s childhood shenanigans as a rebirth of Lord Vishnu, who liked to play pranks on village girls by drenching them in water and colours.
Holi is marked as a spring festival in India to express gratitude for a bountiful harvest season.
When is Holi festival Celebrated?
Holi festival is celebrated on the Hindu lunar calendar. Each year, the festival begins with Holika Dahan on the night of the full moon (Purnima) in March and ends with the next day’s colour throwing. Holika Dahan will be on March 28 in 2021, and Holi 2021 will be on March 29.
In West Bengal and Odisha, the festival is celebrated a day earlier, on the same day as Holika Dahan, Dol Jatra or Dol Purnima. Furthermore, festivities in some parts of India (such as Mathura and Vrindavan) begin a week or so earlier.
Where is Holi celebrated?
Festivities are held all over India, but some places are more festive than others. Check out the top ways and places to celebrate Holi 2021 in India to understand what happens and where it happens.
Traditional Holi 2021 celebrations are most common in Uttar Pradesh’s Brij (also known as Braj) area, about three hours from Delhi, where Lord Krishna has grown up. This area is based on Mathura and Vrindavan. The celebrations last for more than a week. However, due to the rowdy actions of many local men, women’s safety is a concern. As a result, it’s best to go on a guided group tour.
Rajasthan is a popular Holi destination for foreign tourists, especially in Pushkar, Jaipur, and Udaipur. Many backpacker hostels host Holi parties for their visitors. In Jaipur, Rajasthan Tourism hosts a unique Holi festival.
What is the Holi Festival like?
People spend the day smearing coloured powder on each other’s faces, pouring coloured water in each other’s faces, throwing parties, and dancing under water sprinklers. Bhang, a cannabis-based paste, is also commonly eaten as part of the festivities.
In large cities across India, such as Delhi and Mumbai, special Holi events with music, rain dances, and colours are held. Via Tripadvisor, you can celebrate Holi 2021 with a local Indian family in Delhi and Jaipur.
What are the Rituals that are Performed?
The burning of the demon Holika is the focal point of Holi rituals. Big bonfires are lit to commemorate Holika Dahan. People sing and dance around the fire and walk around it three times, in addition to performing a special puja (worship ritual). People also walk through the hot coals of the fire in certain parts of India! This form of firewalking is called sacred. Saras village in Gujarat, near Surat, is one of the places where it occurs.
The Hindu book, the Narada Purana, mentions Holika’s destruction. Holika’s brother, the demon King Hiranyakashyap, allegedly wanted her to burn his son, Prahlad because he didn’t worship Lord Vishnu and instead followed Lord Vishnu. Holika sat in the burning fire with Prahlad in her lap, believing that no fire could hurt her. Prahlad, on the other hand, was spared because of his loyalty to Lord Vishnu. Holika, on the other hand, was burned to death.
A priest in Falen village, near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, claims that his village is the location of the mythological story of Holika. For hundreds of years, local priests have reportedly passed through the burning fire unharmed. They’re considered an embodiment of Prahlad and blessed by him because they don’t get hurt. However, the priest acknowledged that he spends a significant amount of time in meditation and training before performing such a remarkable feat.
On the Holi festival’s primary day, there are no religious rituals, unlike most other Indian festivals. It’s just a day for having a good time!
Holi 2021 is celebrated in Odisha and West Bengal.
Dol Jatra celebrations in West Bengal and Odisha are similar to Holi in that they are dedicated to Lord Krishna. The mythology, on the other hand, is very different. The festival commemorates the day when Krishna is said to have shared his love for Radha. On specially decorated palanquins, Radha and Krishna idols are brought around in the procession.
Devotees swing them in exchange. Coloured paint is also smeared on the statues. Colours are, of course, thrown at people on the street! On Phagu Dashami, six days before the festival, the festivities begin (March 24, 2021).
What to Expect at the Festivities
Holi is a carefree festival that can be a lot of fun if you don’t mind getting soaked and dirty. You’ll end up drenched in water and covered in pigment on your face and clothing. Wear old clothes and some of them won’t wash out quickly. It’s also a good idea to rub hair oil or coconut oil onto your skin before applying the colour to avoid it absorbing.
Information about Holi festival Protection
Since the Holi festival allows men to defy social norms and generally “let loose,” they often go too far and behave disrespectfully.
During Holi, single women should avoid going out alone in public places, as inebriated young Indian men can be dangerous. These men, who have ingested excessive amounts of bhang and other intoxicants, will make a nuisance of themselves by touching women inappropriately. They like to congregate in groups and can be very violent. Rape does happen, which is why it’s so important to take precautions during the Holi festival.
If you want to celebrate Holi 2021i in the streets, go early in the morning. Return to your hotel by midday to stop the men from being too intoxicated. In a healthy atmosphere, several hotels host memorable Holi 2021 parties for their guests.
Yellow powder and water will be rubbed and thrown in your face, mouth, and ears. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes shielded as much as you can.