HAPPY HOLI, in Aurangabad

Today was Holi, a Hindu festival, when people celebrate the beginning of spring by throwing coloured water and gulal (powder) at one another.

On the night before Holi, bonfires are built to symbolise the destruction of the evil demon Holika. The literal meaning of the word 'Holi' is 'burning'.

There are many stories and legends around this festival...Here are two that I found on holifestival.org

The legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap.
There was once a demon king by the name of Hiranyakashyap who won over the kingdom of earth. He was so egoistic that he commanded everybody in his kingdom to worship only him. But to his great disappointment, his son, Prahlad became an ardent devotee of Lord Naarayana and refused to worship his father.
Hiranyakashyap tried several ways to kill his son Prahlad but Lord Vishnu saved him every time. Finally, he asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap. For, Hiranyakashyap knew that Holika had a boon, whereby, she could enter the fire unscathed.
Treacherously, Holika coaxed young Prahlad to sit in her lap and she herself took her seat in a blazing fire. The legend has it that Holika had to pay the price of her sinister desire by her life. Holika was not aware that the boon worked only when she entered the fire alone.
Prahlad, who kept chanting the name of Lord Naarayana all this while, came out unharmed, as the lord blessed him for his extreme devotion.
Thus, Holi derives its name from Holika. And, is celebrated as a festival of victory of good over evil.

The Legend of Radha-Krishna
Young Krishna is known to be very playful and mischievous. The story goes that as a child, Krishna was extremely jealous of Radha's fair complexion since he himself was very dark.
One day, Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about the injustice of nature which made Radha so fair and he so dark. To pacify the crying young Krishna, the doting mother asked him to go and colour Radha's face in whichever colour he wanted.
In a mischievous mood, naughty Krishna heeded the advice of mother Yashoda and applied colour on her beloved Radha's face; Making her one like himself.


johdah said...

et coucou la belle .. alors ce voyage ???
comme tu l'esperer , tu est radieuse sur t tof ...que j'aimerai etre avec vous rien que pour le temple deidié a chiva , sculté ds la montagne , enorme !!! bon gros bisous et a bientot

Anonymous said...

Legends aside, here is the truth. Holi is an Aryan festival celebrating the beginning of Spring (Yes, the Aryans were farmers so Spring was important to them!) The Aryans came into India from Central Asia through Persia (Modern Iran). The name Holi was coined in India for the same festival that the other Aryans to the Northwest (Iranians and Afghans) celebrate as "Nau Roz". Yes this is celebrated by people who primarily observe the Muslim faith today. But this festival is cultural and predates Islam. During this festival bonfires are lit both in India and in Iran. The story of Hirankashyap in India is eerily similar to the story of King Kaikawoos in Persian mythology. Some find it hard to accept but Aryans worshipped Mithra -the Sun. Mithra was worshipped in the Vatican all the way through the Roman dynasty until late when Constantin adopted Christianity as his state religion. The priests of the Vatican, replaced the name Mithra with Jesus and kept all the pre christian traditions as they had been practiced for centuries before this switch in the names was made.