Holi A Festival of India.

હોળી, જેને 'રંગોનો તહેવાર' પણ કહેવામાં આવે છે, તે ભારત માં ભારે લોકચાહના ધરાવતો હિંદુ તહેવાર છે. તેને 'દોલયાત્રા' કે 'વસંતોત્સવ' તરીકે પણ ઓળખવામાં આવે છે.

Festival of #colours, Holi is celebrated with great #fanfare in the Gujarat state of India. Falling on the full moon day in the month of #Phalguna, Holi is a major #Hindu festival.

Holi Bonfires
Holika Dahan or the #lighting of bonfire takes place on the eve of Holi. The day is also popularly called #Chhoti Holi or the Small Holi. On the #Vasant Panchami day, almost 40 days before the Holi festival, a wooden log is kept in a central public place. People go on throwing twigs, dried leaves, #branches of trees on to that log which gradually grows into a sizable heap. When it is time for #Holika Dahan an effigy of Holika and Prahlad is kept on the logs. On the night of #Phalguna Purnima, it is set alight amidst the chanting of #Rakshoghna Mantras of the Rig Veda.

On the eve of Holi, a #bonfire decorated with #flowers and fruits is lit with a fire brought from the temple of Mata. People offer raw mangoes, coconut, corn, toys made of sugar, #khoya to the 'Holika' and apply ‘tilak’ on each other and hug their dear ones. #Virgins from Gujarat create #images of their goddess 'Gauri' out of the ashes left by the #bonfire of the night before.

There are many stories associated with the origin of Holi. For some Holi marks the day when devotees of lord #Vishnu, #Bhakt Prahlad who was seated on the lap of demoness #Holika was saved from the effect of the fire by God and instead the #demoness got burnt. For others, the #festivals relate to the death of demon Putana at the hands of lord #Krishna while some associate the festival with the worship of Karma, God of pleasure and destiny.

Mythological Story
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. The legend 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.

The holi festival as prevalent today is more at a social rather than a religious level. Though over a passage time a number of religious and cultural rights and rituals have been included in it, it is prevalently a social festival, hence, most of the ritualistic benefits derived from it are not gained. #Holikotsav, #Dhulikotsav, and #Rangotsav are the three most common social festivals celebrated today.# Holi, #Dhuliti, and #Rangapachami, respectively, are their popular names.

Holi is celebrated with great style and enthusiasm in Gujarat. Besides, it is also an important festival for the tribals of Gujarat.

Happy and Play Safe Holi Enjoy with family and friends. Don’t west water