Holi, the festival of color. Holi is an important festival in Hinduism and has become an integral part of Indian culture. Holi is generally celebrated in March month. Holi is also known as the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Needless to say, what is Holi? Even the little ones in India know it. On this festival day people play Holi with colors. Meet your loved ones. Come together with happiness. And set aside bad thoughts and start a new life.
But have you ever wondered what the reason behind the celebration should be? In Holi we apply color or spread love in the form of color.
Let’s take a look at some of the historical reasons behind celebrating Holi.
1) Legend behind Holika-Dahan
According to ancient Hindu history, Raja Hiranyakashyapu was a cruel king. Brahma had given him blessing of being immortal.
Lord Vishnu had killed Hiranyakashyapu’s brother, Hiranyakasha in his Varah avatar. Because of this, Hiranyakashyapu considered Vishnu as his enemy.
He started killing all the Vishnu devotees on earth one by one to take revenge of the killing of his brother. He have killed almost all the devotees of Vishnu. Hiranyakashyapu’s son Pralhad was also a devotee of Vishnu.
Hiranyakashyap ordered him not to worship Vishnu. But devotee Pralhad did not hear anything from him. So, he decided to kill bhakt Pralhad. He tried to kill bhakt Pralhad in different ways. But every time lord Vishnu protects bhakt Pralhad. This made Hiranyakashyapu very angry.
He called his sister Holika to kill bhakt Pralhad. Holika had special magical clothes so she was not affected by the fire. The Holika devotee sat with Pralhad in a large pool of fire as they had planned. Bhakt Pralhad was continuous taking name of lord Vishnu in his mind. As usual, all the purposes of Hiranyakashyap failed.
The fury of God began to affect Holika with the heat of the fire and she died. But here once again bhakt Pralhad came out of the huge fire.
Later, Lord Vishnu took avatar of Lord Narasimha and killed Hiranyakashyapu. After that Bhakt Prahlad seated on Simhasana.
Thus ended a cruel demon named Holika. And the devotee Pralhad set a great example of the faithful relationship between the devotee and the gods.
Since then, even today in the 21st century, we celebrate Holi by making bone-fire, burning it. And we destroy evil thoughts in our minds. Thus we celebrates this festival as a victory of good thoughts over evil thoughts.
2) Legend behind Rangpanchami festival
It is impossible to discuss the history of Rangpanchami festival and not to discuss the love between Radha and Krishna. Yes! The colors that we are blowing in Rangpanchami are nothing but the colors of Radha-Krishna’s eternal love.
This is the story of Krishna-kal! Due to the poisonous milk of Asura Putana, the color of Lord Krishna’s body had became black.
Later, at a young age, Shri Krishna was always sad because of his dark body color. But the fair-coloured Radha and other Gopikas were always attracted to him. Because Krishna has different form.
One day Krishna asked Mata Yashoda “मैया मोरी, राधा क्यों गोरी मैं क्यों काला”. And in reply, Yashoda said, “Even if Radha turns black, she will remain Radha, and even if you turn white, you will remain Krishna.” Yet Krishna was not ready to listen.
Then Mother Yashoda said- “If you want to see that the inner person does not change by changing the body color, then put colors on Radha’s face tomorrow.”
As said, the next day Lord Krishna put different colors on Radha. And Radha painted Lord Krishna in response. Seeing this Ras-lila, other Gopikas and Krishna’s friends joined the game.
Thus the joyful celebration of Rangpanchami was born. Even today, we celebrates the festival of Rangpanchami in a big way which is born out of the eternal love of Radha-Krishna.
This shows that body color has nothing to do with the inner person. It gives message of equality to the society.
3) Lathmar Holi in India
Like Rangpanchami,Latmar Holi has a special importance in Hindu culture. Lathmar Holi! Let us first explain the meaning of this word. Lath(stick) Mar (beat) Holi.
Yes what are you thinking is absolutely right. A Holi in which women beat their husbands with a stick and the husband can resist them with a shield or a stick.
Let’s see, how and where is Lathmar Holi celebrated?
This Holi is mainly celebrated in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh state. In a village called Barsana, near the Radha Rani temple, there is a lane called “Rang Rangoli Gali”. People from different parts of the state come there to play this Holi and enjoys Lat Mar Holi.
Lathmar Holi begins with wife. They paint their husbands on the first day. After that the villagers sing folk songs and the glory of Radha-krishna.
Women perform folk dances for people. The sweet shop makes Thandai for the crowd. Then everyone enjoys Thandai and returns home.
The next day, husband comes to the same place to paint his wife. This time, however, all the women are ready with sticks. And beat husbands who came to apply color.
This time the husband can defend himself with a stick or a shield. People of all castes and religions happily participate in this unique type of holi.
Let’s see, the historical reason behind Latmar Holi
Latmar Holi is directly related to the story of Radha-Krishna. Due to Radha Krishna’s love-story, Rangpanchami festival was celebrated in Braj village.
Every year after that, Krishna and his friend Barsana, also known as Radha, used to go to that village and play Rangpanchami with Radha and the gopis there.
After that, every year Krishna and his friends go to village Barsana. Barsana is a village where Radha was living. They go to Barsana and play Rangpanchami with Radha and gopikas there .
In response, Radha and her gopis would get ready to take a stick and beat Krishna and his friends. They defended themselves with sticks or shields.
Thus the tradition of Latmar Holi became famous in Indian culture. This special type of Holi is still played in Barsana village as a symbol of Radha-Krishna’s holy love.
4) Conclusion by Atman
Considering various festivals like Holi in Hinduism, the only goal that comes to mind is social and mental happiness.
Look at Holi! How happy we are that day. Taking a break from the daily stressful life, we spend a few moments with our family. Enjoys happiness and peace through Rangpanchami.
Every action on Holi has some social message in it. For example, in the form of Holika Dahan, we should also burn the bad thoughts in our minds. Also, in the holy festival of Rangpanchami, we paint each other. So on that day we all look the same.
This shows that we are all the same internally, even though we are physically different. It conveys the message that we should live in a society with happiness and equality.
In every aspect of Hinduism, there are reasons that increase the love of the humanity. Atman hopes to celebrate Holi every year with such a social message in mind.
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