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Happy Holi Images, Messages And Quotes As Millions Celebrate The Festival Of Colours
Holi is the Hindu festival of colour, when powder of every colour is smeared, sprayed and thrown on revellers (Picture: Getty)
March 2nd, 2018 | 10:52 AM | 464 views
The joyous Hindu festival of Holi has arrived in a blaze of glory and a cloud of neon colour.
The 2018 festival kicks off today, Thursday March 1, and ends tomorrow, Friday March 2.
Known as ‘the festival of colours’, the celebrations are a riot of chaotic fun, and involve people throwing brightly-coloured powder at each other in the streets.
But why is it celebrated? And why is it held at this time of year?
What is Holi?
Holi is a Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil, and the coming of spring.
It lasts for a night and a day, taking place on the last full moon of the Hindu lunar month Phalguna.
The first day is called Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the second as Holi, Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi, or Phagwah.
Though it is an ancient Hindu festival, it has become popular with non-Hindus in South Asia, Europe and North America, among other places – and it’s easy to see why.
What are the Holi rituals?
The celebrations begin with revellers gather buy a bonfire and perform religious rituals, praying their evil be destroyed just like Holika, sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was destroyed in a fire.
The next morning, water guns are loaded, baskets of powder filled and coloured liquid is poured into water balloons.
In parks, outside temples and on the street, anyone and everyone is fair game in a giant colour battle, with rainbow ammunition chucked at the young, old, rich and poor.
Drums and instruments are brought along, triggering singing and dancing, while food and drink are consumed, including some which contain bhang (marijuana).
Then, as the hours pass, people sober up and head home to change into their finery, before visiting family and friends to exchange sweets.
The festival originates from one main story about the arrogant King Hiranyakashipu, who asked to be worshipped thinking he was invincible, and punished his son Prahlada for remaining loyal to the god Vishnu instead.
When Prahlada’s evil aunt tried to trick him into sitting on a burning pyre, thereby getting rid of him for good, her magic cloak flew off her back and protected Prahlada instead, meaning she burned to death.
Meanwhile the god Vishnu appeared as a half human and half lion, took Hiranyakashipu away and destroyed him with his claws.
In the Braj region around Mathura, north India, the festivities can last over a week and there’s a unique ritual where men go around with shields and women have the right to playfully beat them with sticks.
What do people eat at Holi?
There are several popular snacks that people make and exchange on Holi.
Milk-based treats Kulfi and Thandai are always a hit, as are stuffed and spiced flatbreads called Puran Poli.
But the top munchie is undoubtedly gujiya, little fried folds of dough stuffed with coconut, khoya (dairy product) and jaggery (cane sugar).
How do you say Happy Holi?
In Hindi, you pronounce Happy Holi as ‘holee mubaarak’.
The Hindi words are written as ‘होली मुबारक’.
courtesy of METRO
by Olivia Waring
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