Holi is a beautiful festival of colours, celebrated with zeal and fervour in India and many other countries with large populations of Hindus.

Celebrated in the month of March or April, Holi welcomes the season of spring and lauds the triumph of good over evil. The festival of Holi also signifies the spirit of brotherhood and unity. On this day, differences are forgotten and enemies are forgiven and people from all castes and creeds come together to be a part of the joyous and fun-filled celebrations.

This colourful festival is celebrated by Hindus since times immemorial and is mentioned in various mythological stories and has various legends associated with it.

On the day of Holi, people come out of their houses and play with colours with their families, friends and neighbours. They greet eachother with colourful ‘gulaal’ and warm hugs and splash coloured water on eachother.

Smeared and drenched in colours, they savour scrumptious ghujjias, papdis, bhang pakoras and guzzle down bhang-laced thandai…. while dancing on the tunes of numerous old and new Holi numbers. Holi is one of the few festivals in India with which no taboos are associated and everybody is out there simply to have fun! ‘Bhaang’ (opium), an intoxicant, is an important ingredient in the preparation of dishes and drinks on Holi.


Tolis (groups) os young guys are seen going around the houses in colonies, colouring people crying out loud ‘Bura na mano holi hai!’

After a few funfilled and action packed hours, people dress up in new clothes and visit family and friends with sweets.. a ritual which is generally called ‘Holy Milan’.

Holi or Dhulandi 2017 is on 13th March.


Holika Dahan

An evening prior to Holi or Dhulandi is celebrated ‘Holika Dahan’ which is commonly known as ‘Chhoti Holi’.

Holika Dahan, is associated with the legend of Prince Prahlad and his aunt Holika who tried to kill him but got killed instead and celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

On the eve of Holika Dahan, people gather at crossroads, light bonfires and sing & dance. Then they take embers from this bonfire to kindle fire in their houses as doing so is believed to purify their homes and prevent diseases.



The legend of holi has various legends associated with it. While Holika Dahan commemorates the mythological story of Prince Prahlad and his aunt Holika, the ritual of playing with colours on Dhulendi finds its roots in the pranks played by Lord Krishna in Brij with his gopis and friends and unlike other festivals which observe strict restrictions and taboos, the acceptance of rowdy and boisterous behaviour from young lads on Holi comes from another mythological story of an Ogress ‘Dhundhi’.


The story of Prince Prahlad and his aunt Holika

As the legend goes, a demon king Hirnyakashipu was granted several boons by the Gods for the strict austerities and penance observed by him.

Having become powerful, Hirnyakashipu proclaimed himself the supreme God and asked each and everyone in his kingdom to worship him and him alone.

However, his own son Prahlad was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu which was just not acceptable to the egoistic demon king.

When he failed in coaxing the prince into changing his loyalties, the king was so irated that he started torturing his son who was saved each time by Lord Vishnu.

Angered and depressed, Hirnyakashipu went to his sister Holika who had a boon that fire could not harm her. Seeing his brother’s plight, Holika sat on a bonfire with Prahlad in her lap. However, when the fire extinguished, to Hirnyakashipu’s dismay and onlooker’s delight, Prince Prahlad was safe and absolutely unscathed while Holika was burnt to ashes!


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