Holi – Festival of Colors
By Simtakshi Guha
Holi is known as one of the most popular and fun festivals in India. Regarded as the festival of colors, it is celebrated in the month of March according to the English calendar, and Phalgun, according to the Hindu calendar. The festival takes place on a full moon day and follows a number of traditions which people follow. Holi is celebrated in full spirits, where markets buzz with colors, fancy accessories and pichkaris.
According to the Hindu mythology, there was once an evil king named Hiranakashyap, who had suppressed everybody in his kingdom, threatening them to worship him as their god. While everybody followed him, his own son Prahlad turned out to be a worshipper of Lord Vishnu. Furious, the king had ordered his son to be killed and called his sister Holika who had the boon of immunity to fire, to kill his son. But as history has it, Lord Vishnu himself saved Prahlad from the deadly fire and Holika was burnt to ashes as her boon was to only work if she entered the fire alone.
Ever since then, during Holi, an auspicious fire is lit in every household, with the belief that it will burn down every impurity in the household.
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