Holy is considered as a festival of colours and it is celebrated by almost everyone with lots of joy and happiness.
What are the other names for this puja or festival?
Regional names of Holi are Rangpanchami, Dulandi Holi, Dol Purnima, Basant Utsav, Lathmaar Holi, Shimgo, Kaman Pandigai, Hola Mohalla, and Phagu Purnima.
History of the above occasion
Holi begins with the flaming of Holika. Holika is the sister of Hiranyakashyap who was a ruler or a king in the period of “Satyuga” who got the special powers by worshipped god. He used these powers and fulfils all his wishes and by time he understands himself as a god. He said that he was the biggest of all and thus he wants that everyone must worship him as a god.
Hiranyakashyap had a son; his name was “Prahlaad” who worship Lord Vishnu and was a great devotee of him. His worship of Vishnu was not liked by his father and he tried to stop him several times and by various ways but he did not succeed. Prahlaad told his father that he was not the biggest; Lord Vishnu is more powerful than him. So, he tried to kill him but unfortunately every time he got failed.
Hiranyakashyap had a sister “Holika” who got the power of being protected from the effects of fire. So, as per the instructions of her brother she holds Prahlaad and sits in the fire with the purpose to killed him but Lord Vishnu saves his great devotee Prahlaad and Holika was burnt.
This incident begins the celebration of Holika Dahan or Holi.
Next belief is that Lord Krishna applied colour on Radha and on other gopis, later this joke becomes a tradition and people starts celebrating this as Holi.
What is the significance of the above occasion?
From the history of the Holi, we learnt that there is always a victory of good over evil. This is a lesson which teaches us that we all must try to become good and believe in god as god always provide shelter to their real devotees. Everyone must choose the right path, always be honest and truthful in their lives.
What are the things or material required for the worship of Holi?
Roli, rice, One bowl of water, cow dung beads, Agarbatti, raw cotton thread, flowers, turmeric pieces, lentil of Batasha, Gulal powder, Moong, and coconut which is unbroken, fresh and refined crops like gram and wheat.
What is the vidhi (method) of worship?
First of all the place is washed with cow dung and clean water. Lots of twigs and its branches which are dried in nature are collected and gathered at one place and one big stick or wooden pole kept between the twigs which is considered as “Prahlaad”, bhakt of Lord Vishnu which is surrounded by beads of toys which is made up of cow dung. Holika and Prahlaad of cow dung are kept on the top. Then puja begins. For this sit facing either north or east direction, then keep the water, flower, rice, money in the right hand and then take sankalp. Now it’s the time to remember Lord Ganesha, Goddess Ambika, Lord Narasim, devotee Prahlaad. Stand with the folded hands in the front of holi and pray. Then offer flower, fragrances, rice, moong lentil, coconut, pieces of turmeric to holika. Next rounds fixed in no. either 3, 5 or 7 of raw yarn are tied around the same while taking rounds around the holika. Next water pot will be empty and then a bonfire is lighted at a specific time known by a very famous name “Holika”. With this, that stick which we called as Prahlaad, is taken out of the twigs because as per the system it should not be burn and then people see the burning twigs , means Holi, which is considered as a good sign as it indicates that bad and evil things fired out and only good things are left. Then new crops are offered to the bonfire to roast them and then they are distributed as a Prasad of Holika.
How to celebrate this occasion?
Holi is the festival of colours. On this day, people throw and drench colours either dry or wet on each other. Mostly youth apply colours on the faces of others, even they throw water or colours on the strangers passing via road or street and elders wish Holi by putting tilak on the forehead of each other. Children’s throw even balloons filled with colour water on others. They enjoy the sweets prepared either at home or bring them from the market. With the sweets, thandai and bhang are also served to the guests. This festival is enjoyed by almost everyone with complete happiness and vigour. It is unusual to see everyone stained in the different colours, surrounded by you.
What are the timings to celebrate this puja or occasion in a year?
Holi is celebrated or comes at the time of Phalguna Purnima (full moon) usually in March every year.
In which parts of the country, this puja is considered as more important?
In Northern India, Holi is celebrated in a grand manner with lots of colours and joy.