The festival of Holi is celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March every year. Holi is a religious festival celebrated by Hindus all over the world. Holi is considered as second biggest festival on Hindu calendar after Diwali. Holi is also known as festival of Colors.
Holi was originally a festival to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land, but is now a symbolic commemoration of a legend Prahlad from Hindu Mythology.
The festival is also associated with the eternal love of Krishna and Radha, and hence, Holi is spread over 16 days in Braj region. Places related to life of Lord Krishna are known as Braj regions. Holi rituals in Braj regions – Mathura, Vrindavan, Gowardhan, Gokul, Nandagaon and Barsana – are the most famous one. The Lathmar Holi – the traditional Holi festivity in Barsana is world famous.
In most regions Holi festival is celebrated for two days. The first day is known as Jalanewali Holi – the day when Holi bonfire is done. This day is also known as Chhoti Holi and Holika Dahan. Holika Dahan is referred to Kama Dahanam in South India. The second day is known as Rangwali Holi – the day when people play with colored powder and colored water. Rangwali Holi which is main Holi day is also known as Dhulandi or Dhulendi. The other less popular pronunciations of Dhulandi are Dhuleti,Dhulheti.
On first day bonfires are lit after sunset at Right Holika Dahan Muhurta. Main Holi day when people play with colors is always next day of Holika Dahan or Holi bonfire. Next day in the morning people play Holi with dry and wet colors. People play Holi with dry colored powders which are known as Gulal. Wet color is applied on the face and is made on the spot by mixing little amount of water with dry colored powder. More enthusiastic Holi folk mix dry colored powder in full bucket of water to drench complete body in wet color. Holi is marked by colourful parades accompanied by folk songs, dances and a general sense of relaxed fun. On the occasion of Holi morning, the streets fill with people running, shouting, giggling and splashing.
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