Saturday, 10 March 2012

Holi - The Indian Festival of Colour

Coloured powder paint ready to throw. © Copyright photo: 
It's HoliThe Indian festival of colour which marks the coming of Spring. It's tradition to light bonfires and roast grains, popcorn, coconut and chickpeas. Holi is a colourful festival, it's a time for fun, dancing and singing. People celebrate by going into the streets and throwing coloured powder and paints at each other. 

People celebrating in the streets of north India. © Copyright photo:

Hola Mahalla
Sikhs also celebrate where in the Punjab it's known as "Hola Mahalla" or the festival of Nihangs. Guru Gobind Singh started the festival for Sikhs to practice their military exercise and practice battles. Sikhs celebrate through martial arts led by Gurdwara nishan sahibs.

Nihangs - Sikh warriors celebrate Hola Mohalla with coloured powders, Punjab, India. 
© Copyright photo: 

Cleaning a pan ready for Hola Mohalla - the festival of Nihangs in Punjab, north India. 
© Copyright photo:   

History of Holi
It's believed that the festival's origin comes from Krishna who was a mischievous boy that threw coloured water over the milkmaids. The fun and jokes developed into Holi, the tradition of lighting bonfires symbolises good overcoming evil and is about the king's son prince Prahlad. His auntie Holika was immune from fire and tricked her nephew Prahlad into sitting on her lap in a bonfire to kill him. But as she was using her powers for evil, her plan failed, instead the flames killed Holika and Prahlab was unharmed. Today in some parts of India effigies of Holika are burned and the bonfires ashes are thought to bring good luck. 

The tradition of lighting bonfires in India symbolises good over evil. © Copyright photo:
Text Select Disable

No comments:

Post a Comment