Celebrating life and death in the universe, (according

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Celebrating the mood of nature with a range of colours. This is what colours of Holi signify.

The spirit of celebration is to showcase the shifting panorama of life, of sights, movement of feelings. The human hearts also feel the urge to be recharged with new colours to catch on the mood outside. And Holi gives us a wonderful chance to do this. For, it reminds us that the time is perfect to be coloured, to renew love and the charge your vitality. All in tune with nature. And the colour symbolises the energy, the vivid, passionate pulse of life signifying vitality. The celebration of Holi is very ancient in its origin. And by its very origin, it celebrates an ultimate triumph of the ‘good’ over the ‘evil’.

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While, a feast of colours associated with the Holi, is the face of this celebration, the original reason of celebrating Holi, lies in its soul. Literally Holi’ signifies ‘burning’ in Indian language. The reference is found only in ancient Indian mythology.

And it is the legend of Hiranyakashipu, to whom the celebration of Holi is associated. Way back in the pre-Christian era, there lived a demon King named Hiranyakashipu in ancient India. He wanted to avenge the death of his younger brother. The brother, also a demon, had been killed by Lord Vishnu, one of the supreme trio, monitoring the life and death in the universe, (according to the Hindu belief). To take on Vishnu, the tyrant King wanted to become the King of the heaven, earth and the underworld. He performed severe penance and prayer for many years to gain enough power. Finally, he was granted a boon. Powered by the boon, Hiranyakshipu thought he had become invincible.

Arrogant, he ordered all in his kingdom to worship him, instead of God. The demon King, however, had a very young son, named Prahalad. He was an ardent devotee of Vishnu. So, the demon King wanted to kill his son. He asked the favour of his sister Holika who, because of a boon, was immune to fire. They planned that Prahalad would be burned to death. A pyre was lit up and Holika on it, clutching Prahalad.

Yet, at the end Prahalad emerged unscathed by die fire and Holika, the demon, was burned to ashes. Thus was the triumph of Prahalad, the representative of good spirits. And the defeat of Holika, the representative of evil. Later, even the demon King Hiranyakashipu was killed by Lord Vishnu.

But that is quite a different story. It is from Holika that the Holi originated. This legend is relived even today on the Holi-evc when the pyre is re-lit in the form of bonfires. Even today, people celebrate this occasion.

Huge bonfires are lit up every year on the eve of the full moon night of the Holi to burn the spirit of the evils. Hence the story is associated with the soul of the celebration. Besides Hinduism, India is also the home of innumerable other faiths and the religious and cultural diversity of this nation is manifested in the large number of non-Hindu festivals


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