Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Holi is celebrated as a welcoming of Spring, and a celebration of the triumph of good over evil.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Holi, also called the Festival of Colors, is a popular Hindu spring festival observed in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and countries with large Hindu diaspora populations, such as Suriname, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, the UK, Mauritius, and Fiji. In West Bengal of India and Bangladesh it is known as Dolyatra (Doul Jatra) or Basanta-Utsab ("spring festival"). The most celebrated Holi is that of the Braj region, placed connected to Krishna - Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon and Barsana, places which have become tourist destinations during the festive season of Holi, which lasts here to up to sixteen days .
The main day, Holi, also known as Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated by people throwing colored powder and colored water at each other. Bonfires are lit the day before, also known as Holika Dahan (death of Holika) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad had when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion. Holika Dahan is referred to as Kama Dahanam in Andhra Pradesh.
Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in the later part of February or March. In 2009, Holi (Dhulandi) was on March 11 and Holika Dahan was on March 10.
Rangapanchami occurs a few days later on a Panchami (fifth day of the full moon), marking the end of festivities involving colors.
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