Slide Show on Holi 2012

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HOLI MUBBARAK HAPPY HOLI March 8, 2012:

HOLI MUBBARAK HAPPY HOLI March 8, 2012

Holi is celebrated every spring in the Indian lunar calendar month of Phalguna (February-March) :

Holi is celebrated every spring in the Indian lunar calendar month of Phalguna (February-March)

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The weather is neither cold nor hot & the fields & trees are in bloom.

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Originally, it was a harvest festival celebrating the coming of spring and saying farewell to winter. Furthermore, Holi celebrates many religious myths and legends.

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One of Holi’s biggest customs is the loosening the strictness of social norms, which normally include how people inter act with others because of their age, sex, status, or caste.

Holi closes the wide gaps between social classes & brings Hindus & even other communities together. :

Holi closes the wide gaps between social classes & brings Hindus & even other communities together.

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Rich & poor, women & men, together enjoy each other’s company on this joyous day. And no one expects polite behavior; so the atmosphere is filled with excitement and joy!

KRISHNA & HOLI Holi is largely associated with the Hindu god Krishna, who in his childhood & youth, ran around with his band of cowherds and maidens of the village, completely captivating everyone.:

KRISHNA & HOLI Holi is largely associated with the Hindu god Krishna, who in his childhood & youth, ran around with his band of cowherds and maidens of the village, completely captivating everyone.

Krishna has often been shown as a naughty prankster in his childhood & a human metaphor for love of the divine in his youth. :

His beloved Radha and all the cowherd girls ' Gopis ' loved him even more for his pranks and teasing. Krishna has often been shown as a naughty prankster in his childhood & a human metaphor for love of the divine in his youth.

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It is said that when Krishna was a young boy, he asked the reason for his dark color while Radha was so fair. His mother Yashoda playfully suggested that he should smear color on Radha's face too & change her complexion to any color he wanted. He did this and so, introduced the play of colors on Holi .

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HOLIKA LEGEND This legend signifies the victory of good over evil, of devotion surpassing ambition. King Hiranyakashap was an ambitious ruler, one who wanted absolute power so that he would be worshipped as a God.

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The evil king asked his sister Holika for help! Prahlad , the King's own son, refused to accept him as a god. To punish his son Prahlad , the king tried everything - including trying to kill him!

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Holika was immune to fire and could not be burnt, so the King asked Holika to take Prahlad into a bonfire with Prahlad so that the fire could devour him. The bonfire was lit, and young Prahlad sat in Holika's lap, in its centre, praying to Lord Vishnu. Prahal a d

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His devotion saved him, leaving him untouched by the flames, but Holika was burnt to ashes. To mark this legend, huge bonfires are lit the night before Holi , especially in Bihar & north India. The fire is a metaphor, signifying the destruction of evil ( the burning of the ‘ Holika ’). The heat from the fire is also a reminder that winter is behind and that the hot summer days are ahead.

Kama/Shiva :

Kama/Shiva But Shiva, being a Maha -Yogi, took no notice of her. Another legend connected to Holi is about the destruction of the handsome Kama, the God of Love, by Shiva. Once, Shiva was engaged in deep meditation & Parvati , the daughter of the Himalayas, wanted to marry him. Kama/Shiva legend But Shiva, being a Maha -Yogi, took no notice of her.

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Kama , shot a love arrow at Shiva to make him fall in love with Parvati & disturbed his meditation. This enraged Shiva!

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He immediately reduced the archer god of love to a heap of ashes! Later he was restored to life.

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Putana One more legend says that Holi is celebrated because of the female demon, Putana , who tried to kill the child Krishna by nursing him with poison. But Krishna drained the life from the demoness . This was in Mathura, near Delhi, since then a main center for Holi .

Mathura tradition has the men run a gauntlet - with shields to defend themselves – from the women who all beat them with lathis.:

Mathura tradition has the men run a gauntlet - with shields to defend themselves – from the women who all beat them with lathis .

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On the 2nd day, from early morning till noon, people throw handfuls of colored powder on their friends & relatives or spray colored water. Elderly people gently put red powder on the faces of each other. Damage to one’s clothes is taken in good spirit. In the evening, people exchange sweets. Friends embrace each other 3 times & wish good luck.

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Children touch the feet of their elders to show their respect. In Punjab, the Sikh community observe ‘ Holla Mohalla ’, a day after Holi , with great rejoicing.

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