Holi is a fun-filled and boisterous festival which is celebrated on the full moon day of Phalgun month of Hindu calendar. The celebration begins with lightening of bonfire on Holi eve. At the very next day, hoards of people come out of their houses, and smear each other with bright colored ‘gulal’. They pour colorful waters on each other using balloons and pichkaris. Holi is really a day to forget old grievances and meet the others with great warmth and high spirit.
Holi has a great historical and religious significance, and is mentioned in many ancient Hindu literatures. According to a famous legend, there was a king named ‘Hiranyakashyapu’ who ordered his people not to worship God but him. But Prahlad, the king’s own son, was a verdant devotee of Lord Vishnu, and denied to obey his father. This made the king infuriated. He asked her sister ‘Holika’, who possessed the boon of being immune, to pulverize Prahlad. Holika, with young prahlad in her lap, took seat in a blazing fire. She was sure the fire could never harm her, but that time she was misconceived and burnt to death, and Prahlad walked out of fire alive. It’s believed that the festival got its name from this incident, and is celebrated for the victory of good over evil.
One more legend is there behind celebrating this fest with colors. It’s said that the cruel king Kansha sent a she-demon ‘Putna’ to kill his nephew Krishna who, according to a celestial announcement, was Kansha’s destroyer. Putna turned to be a beautiful woman, and went to Nandgaon village to kill every child there. She made infant Krishna to suck her breast with intensity to kill him. But Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, sucked her to death. The entire village was extremely happy and celebrated the eve with lightening bonfires. The very next day was celebrated with colors and local dishes.
Holi is celebrated throughout the country, but in the places like Mathura, Nandgaon and Vrindawan, it has its own charm. People celebrate it with great vigor and devotion. The ‘Lathmaar Holi’ of Barshana and Nandgaon is far-famed. On the festival of Holi, men from Nandgao foray into Barshana to raise their flag over Shri-Radhkaji temple, and women of Barshana welcome them with long wooden sticks. Apart from that Jaipur is also a great place to experience the true flavor of Holi. To plan a Jaipur travel to visit to Mathura, one can buy a customized package from a reputed travel company.