Holi is one of the most popular festivals of India. Though originally a Hindu festival, Holi has garnered so much popularity that this festival of colour smudges the boundaries between caste, creed and religion. It is the colours that add vitality and vigour to this festival and make it the most unique festival to reckon with.
There is a strange kind of energy and mysticism that is involved in this festival and most of the heady experience is because of the use of colours between people of all age groups. The youngsters bow down to the elders and touch their feet with colours as a mark of respect. It is such a festival that brings in the best in people and makes them forget their own differences so that they become one with entire human race. So they smear each other with abir as well as water colour. But the important thing remains that it is a festival of colour so colours are exchanged between people forgetting internal differences.
Originally the festival of colours was started by Lord Krishna who used to play Holi with his lady love Radha and other gopis. Folklore says, Lord Krishna often used to complain to his mother Yashoda about his dark complexion and the fact Radha was endowed with a much fairer complexion. So his mother had jokingly once suggested that he could smear colours on Radha and change her complexion to whichever colour he wanted. Lord Krishna, who is noted for his naughty behaviour, liked the idea a lot and often used to smear colours on Radha playfully. This playful gesture on Lord Krishna and Radha’s part is what is considered to be Holi for us. Now it is a full-fledged festival for not only Hindus but all Indians at large. Even Christians, Muslims and Parsees participate in this festive occasion. So the essence of this festival of colour is complete when it is played between lovers. It is a very special occasion when the best and the happiest spirits of people come out and playing of Holi is always associated with a joyous and high spirited mood.
The custom of consuming bhang is often associated with Holi. Along with the gay spirit involved with playing of Holi, the consumption of bhang increases the mood of happy intoxication and further alleviates the fun of Holi.
And along with the colours that are exchanged, even Nature seems to participate in the festival of colours. Holi takes place in the spring season and so even nature is at its colourful best with a riot of colours all across the branches giving us a reason to believe that even Nature is celebrating the festival of colour with humanity.
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