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Cultural Significance of Holi

Holi festival is one of the most colourful Indian festivals that are celebrated during spring time in India. Holi is celebrated on Falgun Purnima (full moon day) in the month of March. This festival is celebrated with full fervour not only in India, out India as well. This amazing festival involves a lot of fun and frolics that is unmatched with any other festival all over the world. Like any other festival celebration in India, on Holi as well exchanging sweets, Holi Gifts and spending fun filled time with loved ones is of great importance. However the facts you must know about the colorful fest are:

The Legend of Holi
There are innumerable legends and stories associated with Holi. The name of the festival has originated from demon sister "Holika". This festival has the ritual to follow lighting bonfires with dry twigs and leaves to commemorate Holika Dahan. This ritual gives us the message of warding off all evil spirits and welcoming of good spirits.

The famous legend of Hiranyakashipu- Prahalad story goes as fierce demon king had ambitions to rule on heaven, earth and hell. He vanquished the worship of Lord Vishnu in his entire kingdom. His son "Prahalad" was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. He refused to foloow his father's order and continued to worship Lord Vishnu. This infuriated his father, demon king Hiranyakashipu so much that he ordered his demon sister Holika to set ablaze Prahalad. He was protected by divine forces and came unscratched out of the blaze and demon Holika was burned to death. Hence forth, this legend signifies the triumph of goodness over evil power.

The Radha-Krishna Myth
The beautiful colours of Holi also signify the traditional Ras Leela of Radha-Krishna along with Gopis. This mythological story goes as Krishna was dark skinned and Radhika had fair complexion. Young Krishna was very jealous over this fact therefore he had smeared colours on the face of Radhika. Since then, Holi festival is celebrated to mark as an occasion to apply colours on his beloved's face.

Holi Celebration as Vasanta Utsav
In several parts of India, Holi is celebrated as Vasanta Utsav which means spring festival. Holi colours are known by different colours of gulaal and abir. The onset of spring also marks blooming of flowers. Thus, the arrival of Holi signifies joy and abundance.

Temples and households are cleaned and decorated with flowers and rangoli during Holi. People plan for cultural gatherings in nearby localities. Visit loved one's houses in order to greet with gulal and sweets. They smear each other with various colours and exchange warm greetings of Holi. Dance and music are also integral part of Holi festival.