SCFISociety for the Confluence of Festivals in India

Holi in Karnataka

Holi is one of the most famous festivals of India which in most parts of the country is played by hurling colours on each other, eating delicious meals, dancing and singing on some music themed on Holi. It so liked not only by the people of India, but from various parts of the world people come to India to enjoy this day. It is a signal of the arrival of spring which is believed to spread colour all across the planet. According to the ancient scriptures Holi is believed to be a festival of Hindus, which over the years, has become famous among non-Hindus in various parts of South Asia.

There are few places where Holi is celebrated with more joy and extravaganza than the other. Karnataka is one such place in India where Holi is celebrated with utmost pomp and gaiety. In the state of Karnataka, people do not know this colourful festival with the name Holi rather it is known with the name Kaamana Habba.

Traditions of Kaamana Habba:

On this day which in the phallgun month on full moon day, the male members of the family, during the day time are supposed to steal, cow dung and logs from the neighbouring houses. On the other hand the girls are supposed to help their mother in making Holige, which is offered to kamadeva in a huge agnikund. While girls are involved in offering Holige to the Kamadeva, boys in the evening have fung dancing around the bonfire set by burning the stolen goods. They also sing the kaamana kattige, Bheemana berani’. All together this day is more for the boys than the girls.

kaamana Habba: Story

There is a story behind the celebration of this festival which is related to the God of lust Kamadeva. Kaama is believed to be the greatest hurdle in the path of spirituality. It is proclaimed that once the entire Dev Lok got threatened for, Lord Shiva was on Samadhi. They thought that this will make them all weak and Lord Shiv the most powerful. Consequently to stop him being into the state they sent Manmathaa and Rathi, so that she could interrupt him with her sensual dance and songs. This made Lord Shiva angry and he opened his third eye and Manmatha was burnt to ashes. This he did to show people that they can destroy their unwanted desires with awareness of their inner self. Scriptures also say that, upon request from Manmatha’s wife Rathi to restore her husband’s body, Lord Shiva granted her the power to see her husband. From then only Manmatha was visible only to Rathi. It is believed that Manmatha, the lord of Kaama exists every where even today nevertheless he is not visible to our eyes. On this day we must find out our negative feeling of Kaama and burn it in the fire of Knowledge.

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