Its Holi 2023

Bhubaneswar: Holi is one of the biggest Hindu festivals that celebrates the victory of good over evil. People across the country celebrate the colourful festival with pomp and gaity. It falls in the Hindu calendar month of Phalgun – falling between February and March. People celebrate the day with colours, water, balloons and flowers. Children and adults smear Gulal on each other and seek blessings from their elders. They also visit friends and relatives to commemorate the auspicious, grand celebration and relish Holi delicacies like gujiya, thandai and more.

History & Significance:

Holi is a celebration of the divine love between Lord Krishna and Radha and the victory of good over evil. It is also marked as a harvest festival, commemorating spring’s arrival and the end of winter. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna was dark in complexion, and Radha was very fair. Krishna used to be anxious if Radha would accept him because of their opposite skin colour and complained to his mother, Yashoda. One day, Yashoda playfully suggested Krishna smear Radha’s face with colour to remove any differences. Krishna followed his mother’s advice and smeared Radha’s face with Gulal. And that is how people began celebrating Holi.

Another legend associated with Holi elaborates the story of king Hiranyakashipu, his son Prahalad – a devotee of Lord Vishnu, and his demoness aunt, Holika. Indian mythology says that Hiranyakashipu was blessed with a boon – he could not be killed by a man or animal. Therefore, he forced people to worship him. However, when his son became a devotee of Lord Vishnu and refused to worship him, Hiranyakashipu asked his sister Holika to kill him by sitting on a pyre while wearing a flame-shielding cloth. However, Prahlad prayed to Lord Vishnu to protect him – summoning a gust of wind that transferred the cloth from Holika to him. Thus, a day before Holi, Holika Dahan is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil.

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