Holi

Holi is the most colourful festival of the Hindus. It celebrates the arrival of spring and death of demoness- Holika. It is celebrated for two days. On the first day bonfires are lit and on the second day people smear gulal on each other face.

When Celebrated:

During the Hindi month of Fagun.

Occasion:

Holika was sister of King Hiranyakashyap and has got a Vardaan(a wish was granted to her) that she won't get burnt in fire. Prahalad was the son of King and he preached the name of Lord Vishnu and worshipped him, the thing which annoyed his father. King tried to kill his son in many ways but failed so finally he wanted to take advantage of the Vardaan granted to her sister. Holika took Prahalad on her lap and she sat on a Pyre and fire was set. To the shock of everybody she was burnt and Prahalad was saved as he took the name of Lord Vishnu. On the day of Holika dahan also wooden Pyre is made and worshipped and finally been set on fire.

Celebration by devotees:

People perform puja of the sacred Wooden pyre set up in their localities and when it is set on fire then also the take circumambulation of sacred fire and worship it. One the next day of Holika Dahan, people play HOLI with smearing gulal on each other, singing traditional songs and dancing.

Celebrations at Shree Jabreshwar Mahadev Mandir:

Holi Preeti Sammelan: Holi Preeti Sammelan is organized on the day of Holika Dahan. Snacks, Thandai and other food items are there for devotees. Thandai is the main drink(sharbat) served this time. A Daphli programme is also organized at Preeti Sammelan with everybody enjoying the colourful environment.

Holi Preeti Sammelan

Holika Dahan: On the day when Holika Dahan takes place, ladies perform puja form the morning of the wooden Pyre decorated on the ground and worship. Thereafter in the evening first the Aarti is performed of wooden pyre and then it is set on fire. Devotees take the circumambulation of the sacred fire seven times and take some part from the wooden pyre, bake Chana with Sugarcane and take fired coal/wood at their home for Puja.

Holika Dahan

Dahi Handi Govinda Programme: The more popular ceremony of Dahi-handi(breaking a pot full of milk and its derivatives) takes place with enormous zeal and enthusiasm on the day when Holi is played. The handi is a clay/ earthenware pot filled with butter, milk, curd and it is positioned at a convenient height prior to the event. Sporting young men and boys come forward and construct a human pyramid by standing over each other's shoulders till the pyramid is tall enough to enable the topmost person to reach the pot.

Dahi Handi

The topmost person on the human pyramid tries to break the handi by hitting it with a Coconut, and when that happens, the buttermilk is spilled over the entire group, symbolizing their achievement through unity.

This ceremony replicates Krishna's love for milk and butter. In his childhood, the Lord Krishna alongwith his mates used to raid the houses of his neighbours in search of milk and butter. It is a common practice in India to tie up food articles in a pot suspended from the beams of the roof so as to prevent domestic animals like cats and dogs from despoiling them. We are told that every day after the men and womenfolk left for their farms, the naughty and adventurous Krishna along with a band of his mates would build a human pyramid and plunder the caskets of milk and butter much to the chagrin of the owners.

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