In spite of being such a colourful and gay festival, there are
various aspects of Holi which makes it so significant for our lives. Though
they might not be so apparent but a closer look and a little thought will
reveal the significance of Holi in more ways than meets the eyes. Ranging
from socio-cultural, religious to biological there is every reason why we
must heartily enjoy the festival and cherish the reasons for its
So when, its time for Holi, please don't hold yourself back and enjoy the
festival to the hilt by participating with full enthusiasm in every small
tradition related to the festival.
Holi gets us close to our religion and our mythology as it is essentially
the celebration of various legends associated with the festival.
Foremost is the legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap.
says there once lived a devil and powerful king, Hiranyakshyap who
considered himself a god and wanted everybody to worship him. To his great
ire, his son, Prahlad began to worship, Lord Vishnu. To get rid of his son,
Hiranyakshyap asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad
in her lap, as she had a boon to enter fire unscathed. Legend has it that
Prahlad was saved for his extreme devotion for the lord while Holika paid a
price for her sinister desire. The tradition of burning Holika or the
'Holika dahan' comes mainly from this legend.
Holi also celebrates the legend of Radha and Krishna
describes the extreme delight, Krishna took in applying colour on Radha and
other gopis. This prank of Krishna later, became a trend and a part of the
Mythology also states that Holi is the celebration of death of Ogress
who tried to kill infant, Krishna by feeding poisonous milk to
Another legend of Holi which is extremely popular in Southern India is that
of Lord Shiva and Kaamadeva.
According to the legend, people in
south celebrate the sacrifice of Lord of Passion Kaamadeva who risked his
life to revoke Lord Shiva from meditation and save the world.
Also, popular is the legend of Ogress Dhundhi who used to trouble children
in the kingdom of Raghu and was ultimately chased away by the pranks of the
children on the day of Holi. Showing their belief in the legend, children
till date play pranks and hurl abuses at the time of Holika Dahan.
Celebration of the various legends associated with Holi reassure the people
of the power of the truth as the moral of all these legends is the ultimate
victory of good over evil. The legend of Hiranyakashyap and Prahlad also
points to the fact that extreme devotion to god pays as god always takes his
true devotee in his shelter.
All these legends help the people to follow a good conduct in their lives
and believe in the virtue of being truthful. This is extremely important in
the modern day society when so many people resort to evil practices for
small gains and torture one who is honest. Holi helps the people to believe
in the virtue of being truthful and honest and also to fight away the evil.
Besides, holi is celebrated at a time of the year when the fields are in
full bloom and people are expecting a good harvest. This gives a people a
good reason to rejoice, make merry and submerge themselves in the spirit of
helps to bring the society together and strengthen the secular fabric of our
country. For, the festival is celebrated by non-Hindus also as everybody
like to be a part of such a colouful and joyous festival.
Also, the tradition of the Holi is that even the enemies turn friends on
Holi and forget any feeling of hardship that may be present. Besides, on
this day people do not differentiate between the rich and poor and everybody
celebrate the festival together with a spirit of bonhomie and brotherhood.
In the evening people visit friends and relatives and exchange gifts,
sweets and greetings. This helps in revatalising relationships and
strengthening emotional bonds between people.
It is interesting to note that the festival of Holi is significant for our
lives and body in many other ways than providing joy and fun.
We also need to thank our forefathers who started the trend of celebrating
Holi at such a scientifically accurate time. And, also for incorporating so
much fun in the festival.
As Holi comes at a time of the year when people have a tendency to feel
sleepy and lazy. This is natural for the body to experiences some tardiness
due to the change from the cold to the heat in the atmosphere. To counteract
this tardiness of the body, people sing loudly or even speak loudly. Their
movements are brisk and their music is loud. All of this helps to rejuvenate
the system of the human body.
Besides, the colours when sprayed on the body have a great impact on it.
Biologists believe the liquid dye or Abeer penetrates the body and enters
into the pores. It has the effect of strengthening the ions in the body and
adds health and beauty to it.
There is yet another scientific reason for celebrating the Holi, this
however pertains to the tradition of Holika Dahan. The mutation period of
winter and spring, induces the growth of bacteria in the atmosphere as well
as in the body. When Holika is burnt, temperature rises to about 145 degrees
Fahrenhiet. Following the tradition when people perform Parikrima
(circumambulation or going around) around the fire, the heat from the fire
kills the bacteria in the body thus, cleansing it.
The way Holi is celebrated in south, the festival also promotes good
health. For, the day after the burning of Holika people put ash (Vibhuti) on
their forehead and they would mix Chandan (sandalpaste) with the young
leaves and flowers of the Mango tree and consume it to promote good health.
Some also believe that play with colours help to promote good health
as colours are said to have great impact on our body and our health.
Western-Physicians and doctors believe that for a healthy body, colours too
have an important place besides the other vital elements. Deficiency of a
particular colour in our body causes ailment, which can be cured only after
supplementing the body with that particular colour.
People also clean-up their houses on Holi which helps in clearing up the
dust and mess in the house and get rid of mosquitoes and others pests. A
clean house generally makes the residents feel good and generate positive