Holi- the festival of colours
Holi is the festival of colours, when the country is drenched in colours, and a general air of festivity is palpable all around. From the northern plains to the Western Ghats, the sound of “Holi Hai” reverberates. The popular Holi numbers, such as “Rang barse” enthral the mind.
The story behind the festival, Holi, starts with Holika, the sister of Hiranakashyap, the father of Prahalad.Hirnakashyap had declared himself as GOD and wanted his son Prahalad to worship him and not Vishnu. When Prahalad refused to do the same, he was made to sit with Holika in an open fire. Holika had a boon that she would not be burned even if she was on live fire. When she was made to sit with Prahalad on the live fire, the opposite happened. She lost her life and got burned but Prahalad came out alive from the fire.
The above story has a deep spiritual meaning. Here, Hiranakashyap represents the "ego" which when takes control makes one forget about their own consciousness and makes one think of themselves as the supreme power. The same symbolic representation is seen with Ravana in Ramayana and Kansa in Mahabharata.
The evening before Holi, effigies symbolizing Hiranyakashyap, are burnt in the fire. Holi is meant, therefore, as a festival that will burn out desire, greed, anger, attachment and ego from the human mind.
The use of gulals (coloured powder) also has a symbolic meaning. Applying gulals on the other person’s body and receiving gulal in return, symbolizes a process of spiritual cleansing, which is important for the spiritual growth of people. Holi is the period when negative emotions are to be removed from the mind, and love and affection towards others is supposed to be installed .
Wishing a Happy Holi to everyone.