The celebration of Spring is common across many peoples of the world. The Western world has Easter, a merger between the Judeo-Christian celebration of the resurrection of the Redeemer. And India has Holi, an ancient Hindu celebration of love and colour, which has become popular among non-Hindus in Asia, as well as other communities outside of the country. In recent years the festival has spread across Europe and the United States. People set Red Flush online casino slots aside after a long winter, and celebrate the spring – and love – in the most colorful way possible.
The origins of the Holi festival can be traced back to the Prahlada-Puri Temple of Multan in the Punjab region. According to the legends, King Hiranyakashipu (meaning “clothed in gold”) was the ruler of Multan. He was nearly invincible due to a blessing he earned before – this made him arrogant, thinking that he was a god. He demanded people to worship him, and him alone. This has drawn the disagreement of many, including his son Prahlada, who remained devoted to Lord Vishnu. Of course, king Hiranyakashipu was infuriated by this defiance, and subjected his son to cruel punishments. But the boy remained unwavering in his devotion. Finally Holika, the boy’s evil aunt, tricked Prahlada into sitting on a pyre with her. Wearing a magical cloak that protected her from the fire, Holika was safe, but Prahlada was unprotected. But the cloak fled from the demoness to the boy, protecting him from the fire, while Holika burned. King Hiranyakashipu was infuriated by this, and he smashed a pillar with his mace. But Lord Narasimha, one of Vishnu’s avatars, appeared, and killed the evil king.
The bonfire, signifying the pyre from which the boy Prahlada was saved, remained an important part of the Holi festival. The night before the Festival of Love, people light bonfires to remember the wonderful event. In the past everyone contributed with a piece of wood to the bonfire – today wood and other combustible materials are gathered around community centers, temples and other open spaces to build it. An effigy signifying Holika is placed on top of the pyre. On the night before Holi, the bonfire is lit, and people dance and sing around it to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
The Holi festival begins in the morning after the Holika Dahan (burning of Holika). The day is dedicated to joy and happiness, and – of course – color. Children and adults walk around armed with dry or liquid paints, spraying others and spreading the cheer all over they go. By the end of the day, all participants and bystanders look like a canvas for an overly happy and cheerful modern art painter.