Holi, being such a colorful festival, has various aspects that make it so significant for our lives. Though they might not be so visible, a closer insight and a little thought will show the significance or the importance of Holi in our lives. The reasons, why we should enjoy the festival of Holi range from socio-cultural to religious to biological.
Therefore, when its time for Holi, do enjoy the festival to the fullest by participating in it with full enthusiasm in every tradition, big or small, related to this festival.
So, let us find out some of the reasons or importance or significance of the Festival of Colors.
Mythological Importance of Holi
The Festival of Holi gets us close to our religion and our mythology because it is essentially the celebration of various legends and stories associated with the festival.
The most famous of all (probably) is the legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap. The legend says that there once lived a devil and a very powerful king, Hiranyakshyap. He considered himself a God and wanted everybody in his province to worship him.
To his great rage, his son, Prahlad began to worship the Lord Vishnu. He tried to convince him to stop worshiping the Lord Vishnu and start worshiping him. But all of Hiranyakshyap’s efforts went in vain.
Finally, he decided to kill his own son. To kill his son, Prahlad, Hiranyakshyap asked his sister, Holika, to help. She was to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap. Holika had a boon that she can enter fire unscathed.
The story has it that Prahlad was saved because of his extreme devotion for the Lord Vishnu while Holika died and paid a price for her sinister desire. The tradition of ‘Holika Dahan’ comes from this legend.
Holi also celebrates the love between Radha and Krishna. It was the extreme delight that Krishna took in applying color on Radha and other Gopis. This later became a trend and a part of the Holi festivities.
Some mythological stories also state that Holi is the celebration of the death of Ogress Pootana who tried to kill infant, Krishna by feeding poisonous milk to it. She was asked to do so by Krishna’s uncle, Kansa.
Another legend, which is extremely popular in the Southern parts of India is that of Lord Shiva and Kamadeva. According to the story, people in the south celebrate the sacrifice of Lord of Passion, Kamadeva, who risked his life to revoke Lord Shiva from meditation to save the world.
Another popular legend is that of Ogress Dhundhi who used to trouble children in the kingdom of Prithu (or Raghu). She was ultimately chased away by the children on the day of Holi. Showing their belief in this legend, children to date play pranks and hurl abuses at the time of Holika Dahan.
Cultural Importance of Holi
The celebration of the various legends associated with the Holi reassures the power of the truth. The moral of all these stories is that the ultimate victory of good over evil. The legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakashyap also points to the fact that the extreme devotion towards God always pays. God always takes care of his true devotee.
All these legends help people to follow good conduct in their lives and believe in the virtue of always being truthful. This is extremely important in the modern-day society when so many people resort to evil practices for small gains and almost always torture the one, who is honest. The festival of Holi helps people to believe in the virtue of being truthful and honest. It also helps us to fight away the evil.
Besides, the Holi is celebrated at a time of the year when the fields are in full bloom. People are expecting a good harvest. This gives people a good reason to rejoice and submerge themselves in the spirit of Holi.
Social Importance of Holi
The festival of Holi helps to bring the society together and in turn, strengthen the secular fabric of our country. The Holi is celebrated by non-Hindus also as everybody likes to be a part of such a colorful and joyous festival.
Moreover, the tradition of the Holi is that even the enemies turn friends on the day of Holi. They forget any feeling of hardship that may be present there. Also, on this day, people do not differentiate between the rich and poor. Everybody celebrate this festival together with a spirit of bonhomie and brotherhood.
In the evening, people visit relatives and friends. They exchange gifts, greetings, and sweets. This helps in revitalizing relationships and strengthening emotional bonds between people.
Biological Importance of Holi
It is interesting, and at the same time, it may be surprising for many, to note that the festival of Holi is important for our lives and body in many other ways than providing fun and joy.
We need to thank our forefathers, who started celebrating the festival of Holi at such a scientifically accurate time. And, at the same time, they incorporated so much fun at the festival.
Holi comes at a time of the year when most people have a tendency to feel lazy and sleepy. This is natural for the body to experience some tardiness due to the change in the weather.
Besides, the colors when sprayed on the body have a great impact on it. Some biologists believe that the liquid dye or Abeer penetrates the body and enters into the pores. It (if a good quality Abeer is used) has the effect of strengthening the ions in the body. It adds health and beauty to it.
There is one more scientific reason for celebrating Holi. It pertains to the celebration and tradition of Holika Dahan. The mutation period of winter and spring induces the growth of bacteria in the atmosphere as well as in our bodies.
When the Holika is burnt, the temperature rises to about 145 degrees Fahrenheit. During the tradition, when people perform the Parikrama (circumambulation or going around) around the fire, the heat from the fire kills the bacteria in our body and thus cleans it.
The way Holi is celebrated in the southern part of our country, the festival also promotes good health. Because the day after the burning of Holika, people put Ash (Vibhuti) on their forehead. They would mix Chandan (Sandal Paste) with the flowers and young leaves of the Mango tree and consume it to promote good health.
Some people also believe that playing with colors helps to promote good health. This is because colors are said to have a great impact on our bodies and our health.
Even some Western-Physicians and Doctors believe that for a healthy body, colors too, have importance besides the other vital elements. The deficiency of a particular color in our body causes ailment. It can be cured only by supplementing the body with that particular color.
People also clean their houses on Holi which helps them in clearing up the dust and mess in the house. This, in turn, gets rid of mosquitoes and other pests. A clean house makes the residents feel good and generate positive energies.