Holi is one of my favorite festivals and missed the most while living outside India. Holi for me has a lot of amazing memories attached and holds a special place in my heart especially while growing up and living in India.
For all my friends who have not heard of Holi it is a Hindu festival and the festival of colors which is not only a reason to drench your loved ones and friends in colorful water and throw colors on then, but it also has deep and spiritual history.
There are many stories associated with Holi, including the divine love between Lord Krishna and Radha, significant Hindu deities. But the story I’ve grown up with was the story of Prahlad and Holika, good triumphing over evil.
The story goes, there was once an Asura king called Hiranyakashyap who wanted everyone to worship him. His son, Prahlad, instead worshipped Lord Vishnu. Enraged by this, Hiranyakashyap tried to kill Prahlad many times, but each time was saved by Vishnu. Eventually, Hiranyakashyap asked his sister, Holika, to help him kill Prahlad.
Holika was immune to fire and so decided to take Prahlad with her into a fire to kill him. The gods sensed her malicious intent and nullified her powers, she burned away in the fire. Prahlad, on the other hand, prayed to Vishnu and was saved from the fire.
Holi, derived from Holika is celebrated by wearing ash on your face to signify good triumphing over evil. Over time, that ash became colorful powder and took on new meaning.
Also known as the festival of spring or love, Holi is now more known for renewal and forgiveness rather than its traditional roots. Many people celebrate Holi by mending broken relationships, spending time with family, throwing colorful liquid or powder and meeting new people.
I hope the story of Holi better inspires my loved ones to repair their relationships and spend more time with their family and loved ones.
Wishing everyone a Happy Holi and hope the spirit of the festival moves you to greater personal happiness.