The Festival of Holi -: also known as the festival of colours, It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. Mainly it is a one day festival celebration and in the morning people play colour to each another with dry coloured powder, with some carrying water guns and coloured water-filled balloons for their water fight. Anyone and everyone can be the part of the Holi Festival-- friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders.
This day people walk down the streets singing, dancing or may be gathered at a open place having dry colour powders in their hands and meeting the strangers there or their friends putting the colours on their faces, wishing them and saying HAPPY HOLI….!
You can choose the color of your choice to put on the face of other people, mostly used colors during the festival are Red, Yellow, Green , Blue. Red is the most popular colour to play Holi and means love and Warmth.The Festival of Colors is played in the open streets, open parks, outside temples, outside buildings and outside houses. Many times groups carry drums and other musical instruments with them and go from place to place ( street to street), singing and dancing. People visit family, friends and play dry colour powders with each another. People, eat , drink, play colors and enjoy, it continues from Morning till late afternoon.
Holi is celebrated at the approach of the vernal equinox, on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon). The festival date varies every year, per the Hindu calendar, and typically comes in March, sometimes February in the Gregorian Calendar. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships, and is also celebrated as a thanks giving for a good harvest. Main time of celebration is between 09:00 A.M to 03:00 P.M
Why Holi is Celebrated -:There is a symbolic legend to explain why Holi is celebrated as a festival of colours. The word "Holi" originates from the word "Holika", she was the evil sister of the demon king Hiranyakashiyap.
King Hiranyakashipu, according to legend, was the King of modern days Multan( now in Pakistan) and had earned a boon that made him virtually indestructible. He grew arrogant and thought he is a God, and demanded that everyone should worship only him.
Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada, however disagreed, to the opinion of his father the King. He was and remained devoted to Lord Vishnu ( The preserver of the Universe in Hindu religion).
This infuriated Hiranyakashipu, subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right. Finally, Holika - Prahlada's evil aunt - tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika was blessed and immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire flames took over Holika and Prahlada, by the good will of Prahlad and the blessings of Lord Vishnu on him, the Holika burned and Prahlada survived.
Seeing this, Hiranyakashipu, unable to control his anger, smashed a pillar with his mace. There was a tumultuous sound, and Lord Vishnu appeared as Lord Narasimha ( half men and half Lion) and killed Hiranyakashipu. The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, and of the fire that burned Holika. The next day when the fire cooled down, people applied ash to their foreheads, a practice still observed by some people. Eventually, coloured powder came to be used to celebrate Holi.
Still traditionally Holi celebrations start on the night before the main festival Holi with a Holika bonfire where people gather, they pray and bonfire as a symbol of the victory of good over bad.