One of the most predominant and popular festivals of India, the festival of Holi, is believed to signify the end of the winter season, bringing with it the aura of warmth and happiness. Since the date for this festival depends on the movement of the Moon, the date may vary from one year to the next. Holi 2019 will be celebrated over a span of 2 days, from 20th to 21st March.
Celebrated when the fields are in full bloom, people rejoice expecting a good harvest!
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Legend associated with the festival
Looking at the mythological significance, this festival signifies the victory of good over evil.
According to Hindu mythology, one of the most famous legends associated with Holi is the story of a demon, Holika, and her brother, King Hiranyakashipu. Considered to be a powerful king, and quite the devil, when his son, Prahlad began to worship, Lord Vishnu, Hiranyakshyap turned to his sister for help.
Holika entreated a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap, as she was believed to be immune to the flames. However, Lord Vishnu taken by his extreme devotion saved Prahlad, while Holika paid the price for her sinister desire.
Another legend linked to Holi includes Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna. According to the mythology, Krishna fell in love with Radha, but the difference in their skin colour was a concern and resulting in them being apart. And so, Lord Krishna would apply colour on Radha and the other gopis to reduce the contrast of their skins.
Customs and Rituals across the country
Often people living in the same neighborhood come together to celebrate the joyous and colourful festival. Holi unites people, encouraging us all to forget any past animosity with another, and rather celebrate the spirit of brotherhood. This helps in strengthening relationships and emotional bonds between people.
Community members leave aside their differences and take part in the festivities as a united group.
In parts of North India, some parts of South India, and in Nepal, the festival is begun by the ritual burning of pyres. This ritual is commonly referred to as Holika Dahan. Materials like wood and dried leaves are burnt in the bonfire.
Other common traditions followed by most include visiting loved ones and putting gull (coloured powder) on each other, putting tilak (mark is worn by Hindus on their foreheads), and indulging in grand feasts. The different coloured powders hold a lot of significance for Hindus. Each colour is believed to represent a particular characteristic. For instance, the colour red is believed to represent sensuality, while green symbolizes energy and life. Children are even found with water guns and water balloons!
An infamous tradition followed in many parts during this festival is the consumption of Bhaang (a drink made from cannabis).
On the day of Holi, astrologers believe that the Sun and the Moon are on opposite ends of each other in the sky. From an astrological perspective, this position is considered to be a quite favorable time. During this time, the Moon lies in the house of Leo and Virgo, while the Sun is placed in Aquarius and Pisces. Rahu often transits into Sagittarius. Astrologers and Vaastu expert consider it to be an auspicious day to perform any Vaastu poojas. It is especially encouraged that children get the blessings of elders on this special day.
Astrologers believe that different colours may be suitable for each zodiac sign. For instance, zodiac sign Cancer should use, and even wear, colours Blue and Green, while Leos can benefit from Red, Yellow, and Orange.
Astroyogi Wishing You A Very Happy Holi!