The rich history of a Hindu Holi-day

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Jai Dhillon, Staff Writer

Holi is one of the most wonderful and joyous holidays in the Hindu calendar.  It is the day Hindus celebrate the domination of good over evil and happiness over sadness.  The meaning of Holi in English is the festival of color.  Each color symbolizes a force in life, meaning color and life are inseparable.

“I would celebrate Holi because it shows happiness and colors, which represents light,” said freshman Mehar Walia. 

During Holi celebrations, people throw a mix of colored powders at each other.  Each color thrown symbolizes an aspect of life.  For example, red symbolizes love and fertility, while yellow stands for knowledge and learning.  Everyone always wears white during this celebration because in the end it will be coated in a beautiful array of colors.  

“I have very fond memories of celebrating Holi.  In my childhood, we would throw colored powder at each other, and it would be really fun.  We celebrate Holi to honor the love between God Krishna and his lover, Radha.  We also celebrate Holi to signify the death of the demon Hiryankashpa.  All in all, Holi is a very lively and fun time for my family and me,” said freshman Parikshith Hebbar. 

The origin of this beautiful holiday begins with an evil king whose name was Hiranyakashipu.  He acted like a God by punishing people who disobeyed him.  He had a son named Prahlad, who defied him and worshipped another god named Vishnu.  Hiranyakashipu had a sister who had a special cloak to protect her from fire.  She agreed to help her brother out and kill Prahlad.  Since this was for an immoral cause, the plan failed, and the cloak flew off of her, and covered Prahlad.  Prahlad was safe, and Vishnu was able to defeat the evil king.  As a result of this event, Hindus now light bonfires the night before Holi to keep the evil spirits away.

This year, Holi took place on March 28-29.  Although this tradition of throwing vivid colors and lighting bonfires goes back to the creation of Hinduism, one of the world’s oldest religions, you do not have to be Hindu to celebrate this lovely holiday.  Anybody of any religion, any race, and any gender can celebrate with friends and family.

“Due to its all-embracing nature, Holi is celebrated not just in India, but overseas as well.  Owing to the charisma of Holi and the presence of Indians abroad, Holi is played with much fervor in foreign lands,” said Resham Sengar in The Times of India.

Not only is Holi the festival of love and color, but it also marks the arrival of spring.  It is a day to meet friends and family and a day to mend relationships.  Holi is all about life and the amazing things it has to offer.  It is absolutely a holi-day worth enjoying.