The Legends of Holi Celebrations•
Posted on March 17 2022
The festival of colors is all it takes to cheer up our mood with the changing seasons. Holi marks the fulfilling environment of the freshly arrived Spring season. It is one of the most fun-filled festival in India, but Holi is not bound by countries. Even Western cultures embrace the essence of goodwill and merriment in the air while playing with colors.
A lot of stories move around marking the significance of this second largest celebrated festival in the country. The value behind this celebration is cherishing a colorful life in brotherhood after the end of evil. The evils include ego-centrism, discrimination, crimes, etc.
Holi is a symbol of Love and Prosperity and we all look upon it for some positive starts of many of our endeavors. People connect the festival with the bond of ‘Radha Krishna’ and ‘Holika Prahlad.’ But every widely celebrated festival has some interesting legends surrounding it that have been speculated for years.
Generations after Generations, some of these legends form part of our customs and beliefs. Stories circulate and this makes the curious ones dig deeper for more. All families have a story beginning with - “Back in time, things were different like….” and these wondrous stories of the past live on.
The most commonly heard legends of Holi are related to the celebrations of the Hindu Gods’ victory over evil. One such story is the killing of the Ogress Putana. Putana was an Ogress, who was infamous for kidnapping infants from their cribs. Those infants were mostly killed by her poisonous breastmilk. When Lord Krishna became the next victim, he killed Putana while sucking out her blood.
After a horrendous night for Krishna’s parents and the village, the people of the village decided to cherish this victory over evil, by playing colors the next morning. It is believed that since then, Holi became a cultural celebration after little Krishna’s victory.
Similar to this one, there’s another legend that’s most commonly heard in India. Holi is also celebrated as Holika Dahan. The reason behind this is that when Prahalad, son of King Hiranyakashyap refused to worship him, the king attempted to kill him with the help of his demoness sister, Holika.
Holika chose to sit in the fire with Prahalad in her lap, with a cloak protecting her. When the fire started, Prahalad started worshiping Lord Vishnu. The cloak shifted to Prahalad from Holika like a miracle and protected him instead.
The fire burned Holika ruining her malicious plan to kill her nephew. People celebrate Holika Dahan by burning a bonfire the night before Holi, marking the victory of good over evil. The next day is celebrated with colors to share the joy of this victory.
According to another legend, Holi is celebrated as the symbol of divine love between Krishna and Radha. These legends might lack certainty, but they nevertheless keep us united and give us a reason to celebrate yet another fun festival.
Written By - Priyanka Das