Holi 2024

25 March 2024
All States    Regional holiday

Holi is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India. It is also celebrated in many countries all across the world. It is a festival of colours, brotherhood and love. It is the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, to end conflicts by brotherhood, a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive debts, as well as start afresh with people in their lives. Holi also marks the start of spring, for many the start of the new year, an occasion for people to enjoy the changing seasons with enthusiasm and colours.

There are many legends and stories of Holis origin mentioned in several works of ancient Indian literature. According to one popular version of the story, an evil king became so powerful that he forced his subjects to worship him as their god. But to his dislike, his son Prahlada continued to worship the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu. The angry king plotted with his sister, Holika, to kill his son. Holika, who was immune to fire, tricked Prahlada to sit in a pyre with her. When the pyre was lit, the boys devotion to Lord Vishnu helped him walk away unscathed while Holika, from whom the festival derives its name, was burned to death despite her immunity.

On the eve of the festival, large pyres are lit in many parts of India to signify the burning of evil spirits. People often throw wood, dried leaves and twigs into bonfires to symbolise the death of evil. On the day of the festival, people play with colours, coloured water and symbolize brotherhood. People east sweets, drink buttermilk and have a gala time at this festival. These celebrations are not limited to India but occur in the significant parts of the world.