9 unique facts about Holi that you may have not knownAbhijeet Christopher Loreng, Times Now Digital

Mar 2, 2023

Mythology behind Holi

The origin of Holi is intertwined with two mythological tales. Firstly, the demon king, Hiranyakashyap wanted to be worshipped as a god and ordered his son Prahlad to do so. But Prahlad refused and instead worshipped Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap tried to kill Prahlad several times but failed each time. Finally, he asked his sister Holika to help him kill Prahlad. Holika had a special power that made her immune to fire. So she tricked Prahlad into sitting on her lap while she sat in a fire pit. However, Lord Vishnu saved Prahlad and instead Holika burnt to ashes.

On the night before Holi, women light bonfires and burn Holika. They believe that if they don’t do this, their homes will be attacked by demons. Credit: iStock

Lord Krishna and Holi

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna was dark in complexion, and he felt that the fairer Radha wouldn't accept his love. Hence he smeared color on her face, and she finally accepted him. This is why Holi is celebrated as a festival of love and colors.

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Holi is called Doljatra in South India

In South India, Holi is also known as Doljatra or Dola Purnima and is celebrated in late February or early March. They believe that the festival is in honor of Lord Kamdeva, a divine being who sacrificed himself to appease Lord Shiva. This makes the holiday more meaningful to them, and they often spend more time celebrating it with family and friends.

Credit: iStock

Holi Colours

Holi powder is prepared using cow dung, sandalwood paste, and water. It is used to cover people during Holi celebrations in some parts of the country.

Credit: iStock

Holi kajari

Holi kajari is a traditional form of entertainment that involves a group of men playing musical instruments while dancing.

Credit: iStock

Holi in Vrindavan

Since 2013, widowers in Vrindavan have started celebrating Holi two days before the festival. This is in keeping with the true essence of Holi, which is to break old bonds and form new ones. Even though the actual festival doesn't start until the next day, widowers are already enjoying themselves by playing games and throwing colors. They believe that this is a good way to begin the festivities and to get rid of any sadness or grief they may be feeling.

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Holi is an International festival

Holi is not just celebrated in India - it is also popular in other countries with large Hindu populations, such as Nepal and Sri Lanka. In Nepal, Holi is called the "Bhote Utsav" and is celebrated in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Lalitpur. In Sri Lanka, Holi is called "Pulangi" and is celebrated in Polonnaruwa and Kandy.

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Holi in Pakistan is called Punjabi New Year

In Pakistan, Holi is celebrated as ‘Punjabi New Year’. People dress up in new clothes and visit relatives. They also mark their calendars, which start on Holi. In the Punjab region of Pakistan, people celebrate Holi by throwing colored powder at each other and at a large bonfire.

Credit: iStock

Significance of Holi in different countries

In China, Holi is celebrated as the "Spring Festival". In Japan, Holi is celebrated as "The Festival of Colors". In South Korea, Holi is celebrated as "Korean New Year" and is similar to the Chinese celebration.

Credit: iStock

Thanks For Reading!Next: Meaning and significance of different Holi colors