We in India celebrate Holi (The Festival of Colours) on 27/3/13 & 28/3/13. What does it symbolize, do we know, and how?

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Originally, Holi!! is a festival that commemorated good harvests and the fertile land.

In Braj (Mathura), where Lord Krishna grew up, this festival is celebrated for 16 days in commemoration of the divine love of Radha and Krishna.

It has some mythological significance too.

According to Hindu mythology, Hiranyakashipu's (a demon king) son, Prahlada, was a devotee of Vishnu (God). Hiranyakashipu declared himself God in his kingdom and his kingdom worshiped him but Prahlada refused to do so. In spite of several threats from Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada continued offering prayers to Vishnu. He was poisoned by his father, but the poison turned to nectar in his mouth. He was ordered to be trampled by elephants yet remained unharmed. He was put in a room with hungry, poisonous snakes and survived. All of Hiranyakashipu's attempts to kill his son failed. Finally, he ordered young Prahlada to sit on a pyre in the lap of Holika, Hiranyakashipu's demoness sister, who could not die because she had a boon preventing her from being burned by fire. Prahlada readily accepted his father's orders, and prayed to Lord Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, everyone watched in amazement as Holika burnt to death, while Prahlada survived unharmed. The salvation of Prahlada and burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi.

This story strongly tells us that every soul has to pass through the fire (test) but it depends on the purity of the soul that it would clear the fire unharmed or get burnt in it. Prahlada signifies pure soul whereas Holika signifies the egos and the fire is the purifier that separates the pure from the impure. After burning Holi (ego) the real joy will come

It is celebrated as a victory of soul over the egos.

 

This fast moving life has made us blind towards beauty, love and peace. Holi!! A festival celebrated with colours, water, perfume (itra) and flowers give us an opportunity to experience it..  Colors signify different phases of life and teach us how to live moment to moment cheerfully. Water washes away our grudges, mechanistic life, resentments; and reimburses that vacant space with love for each other. The vibrant smell of itra not only fills our environment with fragrance but it also rejuvenates our mind, body and soul. Colourful flowers welcomes the new season of spring. It is a time of enjoying spring's abundant colors and saying farewell to winter.

 So enjoy Holi with its spirit!  :)

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