One of the most predominant and popular festivals of India, the Holi festival 2021 is right here! It is believed to signify the end of the winter season, bringing with it an aura of warmth and happiness. It is said that through this festival we celebrate the arrival of the spring season that brings with it colors of nature.
The date for this festival depends on the movement of the Moon, and therefore, the Holi date may vary from one year to the next. It is celebrated over a span of 2 days at the time when the fields are in full bloom and people rejoice in the possibility of a good harvest. The Holi date 2021 is on the 28th and 29th March.
From the mythological point of view, 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. He was a powerful king and wanted people to worship him.
When his son, Prahlad, began to worship Lord Vishnu, Hiranyakashipu turned to his sister for help.
Holika entered a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap, as she was believed to be immune to the flames. However, Lord Vishnu saved his devotee Prahlad, while Holika paid the price for her sinister act.
Another legend linked to Holi includes Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna. As per mythology, Krishna fell in love with Radha, but the difference in their skin color was a concern and this resulted in their separation. And therefore, Lord Krishna applied color on Radha and the other gopis to reduce the contrast of their skins.
Often people living in the same neighborhood come together to celebrate this joyous and colorful festival. Holi unites people and encourages them to forget any past animosity with one 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 begins by the ritual of 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 people include visiting loved ones and putting gulal (colored powder) on each other, putting tilak (the mark that is worn by Hindus on their foreheads), and indulging in grand feasts.
The different colored powders hold a lot of significance for Hindus. Each color is believed to represent a particular characteristic. For instance, the color red is believed to represent sensuality, while green symbolizes energy and life. Children are even found with water guns and water balloons on this day!
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 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 Vastu experts consider it to be an auspicious day to perform any Vastu poojas. It is especially encouraged that children get the blessings of elders on this special day.
Astrologers believe that different colors may be suitable for each zodiac sign. For instance, zodiac sign Cancer should use, and even wear, colors Blue and Green, while Leos can benefit from Red, Yellow, and Orange.