Celebrating the arrival of spring, Holi (also known as the Festival of Colors) honours the enthusiastic themes of love and new life. The name is derived from the custom of throwing coloured powder and water at friends and family, which takes place in March – particularly, in the northern and western parts of India. Not only does the celebration include the amusement of colours but it also includes the lighting of bonfires which is believed to symbolise the destruction of evil.
How is the Festival Carried Out?
The Holy Festival of Holi commences with a prayer to Lord Shiva – who is believed to be the destroyer of all evil and darkness yet restorer of the good. Starting off the prayer by asking for forgiveness for any sins committed during the year and then praying for blessings from lord Shiva, devotees should keep on chanting this mantra: Om mahashivay somay name (which implies bowing down to your own self as Shiva resides in all as own consciousness). After doing this, devotees should offer flowers and fruits to Lord Shiva and also should perform Shiva aarti.
With very different accounts of the origins of the Festival, one tale narrates that an evil king in Ancient India became too powerful and began demanding that his subjects worship him as their God. However, to his astonishment, his own son Prahlada refused to worship the king and continued to demonstrate faithfulness to Lord Vishnu. Through the help of his sister, Holika, the ruthless king decided to kill his son Prahlada.
Holika possessed unique powers and was alleged to be unsusceptible to fire. Therefore, she tricked Prahlada into sitting on a big sizzling pyre with her, but appallingly, when the pyre was lit, Prahlada’s devotion to Vishnu let him walk away without any agony. Ironically, Holika burnt to death in spite of her immunity to fire. The festival originates from Holika with the lighting of the fire to showcase the eradication of evil.
Organised all over India and other parts of the world, Holi is also a time to forget inhibitions, get creative and have fun! Most recently, the city which is home to multitudinous cultures – Dubai – has its prominent, vegetarian restaurant MyGovinda’s hosting a terrific beachside Holi celebration – the Colour Beach Party that promises to take merry-making to a whole new level. Taking place on 11th March at Dubai’s La Mer North Beach from 11 am to 11 pm, the 12-hour full-day party is set to be an exhilarating experience, bringing an exciting galore of popping colours, eclectic flavours, and plenty of entertainment.
For more details, check out their Instagram Page!