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Holi is a two day Hindu spring celebration that takes place per the Hindu calendar based on a full moon in late February or early March. It is also known as the festival of colors, Bhojpuri, and Dolyatra in Bangladesh. Also, some people refer to Holi as Holika.

The first day is marked by a bonfire that is lit at night to mark the end of winter and the death of evil. Some believe the bonfire originated to signify Holika, or the triumph of good over evil. Holika was a demon in Hindu mythology that had powers of being invincible against first. The king at the time, King Hiranyakashipu wished to be viewed as a god. His son, Prahlad, did not believe his father to be a god and refused to worship him. This angered King Hiranyakashipu so much that he made several attempts to kill Phralad.

Finally, knowing that Holika was invincible against fire, he ordered Phralad to sit on Holika’s lap in a fire. Phralad chanted the name of Vishnu, another god, and was saved while Holika was burnt alive. This is an indication of the most probable orgin of Holi.

another god, and was saved while Holika was burnt alive. This is an indication of the most probable orgin of Holi.

Today, participants in Holi celebrate the day with the main event, the carnival of colors in which people throw colored powdered and water at each other. These colored powders contain special herbs such as Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, and Bilva and are made from dried seeds. The herbs also serve medicianal purposes and are provided by the Ayurvedic doctors. Celebrations also include making a special drink that contains bhang or marijuana. At the close of the first day, people celebrate with large feasts in their home. The fifth day of the full moon is Rangapanchami and marks the end of the festival.

Some of the best celebrations are said to happen in North India and Punjab (area in southeast Asia that Pakistan and India share). In Punjab, Hindus and Sikhs celebrate together often involving musical instruments as adults and children celebrate together.

If someone is planning a trip to celebrate Holi, information is abundant on the internet. Some websites even break down the Holi celebration based on regions. This will help one determine exactly where to celebrate Holi. If traveling is not an option, other options for celebrating Holi are available online including e-cards that one can send. However, if one decide to travel to celebrate Holi, one should take certain precautions like wearing a hat to protect their hair, sunglasses to protect their eyes, older clothes so that immediate washing or stain removal is not an issue, dental caps to prevent possible staining of the teeth, keep windows rolled up tightly, and protect your face at all cost including keeping your mouth and lips tightly shut

While Holi is its on unique celebration, it also bears certain similarities to the ancient festival of Vasantotsava which is also a celebration of spring. During Vasantotsava, people were allowed to do things that were normally forbidden, gender differences were forgotten, bonfires and large feasts were held.

This article is written by Ajitesh Biswas for It is a free article and can be used by any webmaster on their website, provided they will keep the link intact with the article.

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