Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Holi, the festival of festivities:

IMG0057A holikaIt (this picture) looks like that of a garbage but is in fact collection of wood from the felled trees with their rough mass collected by the local people to accumulate as a big heap to be used as an open air bonfire around which the devotees from hinduism are to assemble in a large number marking the advent of spring season celebrating it as the festival of festivities. This takes place a day before HOLI and, believe as they do, a new year starts with this. There are several stories connected with the festival one of which says that Hirnakashyap, a power full demon, wanted himself to be worshipped as God (Vishnu) but he was opposed by his own son Prahalad who in turn was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, the God. Hirnakashyap wanted to get rid of him entrusting the job to his sister Holika (Prahlad’s aunt) who had the boon not to get harmed by fire. As per plan so designed with a religious ritual in the back ground she entered into the bonfire taking Prahlad in to her lap obviously with a pre  determined mind to get him burnt and killed remaining her self safe and alive as the fire was not to harm her as per the boon she had. What happened was just the reverse. It was she herself and not Prahlad who was engulfed and devoured by fire flames. Prahlad, a devotee as he was of Lord Vishnu, remained safe and intact without any slightest possible harm to him. What further followed was the killing of Hirnakashyap himself by Lord Vishnu. Solemn devotion thus prevailed over the evil and it is with this message that the festival is observed as Holika Dahan.

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