Kids’ Org.: Holi hai…
Children with the coming of March you must be desperately waiting for holi so that you can play with water and colours with your friends. Infact Holi announces the arrival of spring and the passing of winter. It is fun filled, boisterous and popular festival of India, celebrated on the full moon day of Phalgun of Hindu calendar (March). Holi is a festival of colours. It is an ancient festival and finds a mention in old Sanskrit literature. On this day everybody is in high spirits. It is a day when old grievances and tensions are forgotten.
But do you know children why is Holi celebrated? There was once a demon king by the name of Hiranyakashyap who won over the kingdom of earth. He was so egoistic that he commanded everybody in his kingdom to worship only him. But to his great disappointment, his son, Prahlad became an ardent devotee of Lord Narayan and refused to worship his father.
Hiranyakashyap tried several ways to kill his son Prahlad but Lord Vishnu saved him every time. Finally, he asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap. For, Hiranyakashyap knew that Holika had a boon, whereby, she could enter the fire unscathed.
Treacherously, Holika coaxed young Prahlad to sit in her lap and she herself took her seat in a blazing fire. The legend has it that Holika had to pay the price of her sinister desire by her life. Holika was not aware that the boon worked only when she entered the fire alone.
Prahlad, who kept chanting the name of Lord Narayan all this while, came out unharmed, as the Lord blessed him for his extreme devotion.
Thus, Holi derives its name from Holika. And, is celebrated as a festival of victory of good over evil.
|On the morning of Holi , groups of people, men, women and children move from house to house singing songs, smear each other with bright coloured powder known as gulal, throw water filled balloons at one another and drench each other with coloured water using phickaris. They all participate in the merrymaking irrespective of differences, if any. Youngsters seek the blessings of the elders and enjoy the delicacies such as gujhiya, besan ki papadi, etc.
In places like Mathura and Vrindavan where Krishna cult flourishes, the festival is celebrated with great vigour and tradition. Especially famous is the Lathmaar Holi of Barsana and Nandagoan. In Bengal this festival is known by the name of Dol Jatra or Dol Purnima. On this day the idol of Mahaprabhu Chaitanya is placed in a palanquin and is taken around the main streets and devotees smear Krishna´s idol with gulal.
In Maharashtra Holi is commonly known by the name Shimga and Rangapanchami. The fisher folk celebrate it by singing, dancing and merrymaking. In Tamil Nadu Holi is known by three different names that is Kamavilas, Kaman Pandigai and Kama Dahanam.
In several states of Bharat, especially in the north, effigies of Holika are burnt in the huge bonfires that are lit on the eve of Holi. Folklore and dances are performed around the fire to welcome the new season. There is even a practice of hurling cow dung into the fire and shouting obscenities at it as if they are shouting at Holika. Then everyone shouts Holi-hai! Holi-hai! Further, people take a little fire from the bonfire to their homes. It is believed that by following this custom their homes will be rendered pure and their bodies will be free from disease.
International Women's Day is celebrated every year on eighth day of March. It celebrates womanhood and pays tribute to the indomitable spirit of women across the globe.