Dear Isheeria’s Healing Circles Readers,
One of the major festivals of India is Holi. It is celebrated on Chaitra Krishna Paksha Pratipada with gaiety and abandon, music, singing and colors.
Holi is celebrated as the triumph of good over evil, of Mata Holika’s sacrifice, and as a prayer to God to protect them (as he had protected Prahlad).
It also marks the end of the winter season, and the start of the warmer days.
In this 4 part series on the Holi Festival, we will be sharing about Holi, what to do as well as rituals and the stories (katha) behind this festival, the Other Days related to it, and the (yummy) food served at each ceremony/day.
The preparation and lead-up to Holi are started 40 days earlier, on Vasant Panchmi, by erecting a staff on the designated place (a cross road, or a common place) where the burning of Holi is to take place.
Holi is celebrated over 2 days – known as: Holika Dahan and Holi Parv.
On the day of Holika Dahan – women keep a fast for the welfare of Prahlad)
The day is begun with the Puja of Hanuman’ji, Bhairon’ji, and other Devtas. After the arti, pray to your own God.
After the Puja, a container with a little oil is taken, and is blessed by the children of the house (by touching the container) and the oil along with some coins is left on a brick at a crossroad while taking (chanting) Bhairon’ji’s name.
The bonfire is set alight with a stick amidst beating of drums and singing. The burning stick, immediately after lighting the bonfire, is taken away and put out (snuffed out) in a nearby pond (or any container of water) as a symbol of Prahlad being saved.
First some food is kept separately in the name of the Devtas ( and this is given to a Brahmini). Then the Bhog to the Gods/ Devtas in your house. Then everyone partakes of the feast/food.
The next day is known as Dhulika, that is Holi Parv. This is the fun part of Holi –
The day is begun by taking ashes from the bonfire of Holi and applying a tilak amidst chanting of Vedic Mantras.
Then Holi is celebrated – with joy, singing and applying color on each other.
The Holi celebrations culminate with a sumptuous lunch.
Coming up… The Lesser known rituals & practices (you may have to go shopping)… 8 Forgotten Holi Rituals
you can read all 4 parts of the series here.
Week 10 Prompt: Festival
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