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Significance of Holi Festival

sOUTH iNIDA cULTURE

Holi is one of the most important festivals of the Hindus. It is as great a festival as Durga Puja and Diwali.

The festival of Holi is observed as a festival of great social and religious significance. It falls in the month of Phalguna. The exact day is the last day of Phalguna known as Dola Purnima and the day after Purnima is observed as Holi.

People say that the festival of Holi is connected with the story of a demoness name Holika who was the sister of a great demon named Hiranyakasyapu. This demon was the father of a boy named Prahlad (Bhakt Prahlad) who was a great devotee of god. Prahlad always recited the name of god and he believed that god was present everywhere. But his father did not believe in god. He was rather the enemy of god. So he made several attempts to kill the boy. Once he asked his sister Holika to burn the boy. Holika took the boy and sat on big fire. The result was that Holika was burnt in the fire and nothing happened to Prahlad.

People remember this story and prepare a fire the night before Holi which they believe is the fire to burn a wicked demoness like Holika. People say that this festival is named after that demoness.

This is an important occasion for people who wish to end their enmity with others. On the day of the Holi people forget all their enmities and bitterness and throw ‘abira’ and colored water on each other. They prepare a variety of colors and use them only to disfigure the faces of others. People take pleasure in disfiguring each other’s faces irrespective of age, status and sex. They play with these colors from early morning till noon.

People enjoy a lot during the Holi festival. After playing with colors, they sing songs and go in long processions chanting the name of various deities. They also prepare various kinds of sweets and distribute it among their friends and relations.

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