There are various legends entwined within this festival. However, the most common is this...
There was once a demon king named Hiranyakashyap who declared that everyone in his kingdom should worship only him. However, his own son, Prahlad was an ardent devotee of Naarayana (Lord Vishnu) and refused to worship his father. Hiranyakashyap became enraged and swore to kill the boy. He made several attempts but each one failed. Finally, he went to his sister to enlist her help. Holika had received a boon and was believed to be indestructible by fire. However, instead of the boy being burned up it was Holika herself who was devoured by the fire. Lord Vishnu protected Prahlad and later destroyed Hiranyakashyap.
Holi is thus a celebration of the victory of good over evil and the triumph of devotion.
Now, you may be wondering where the color has come from...Lord Kirshna was rather flirtatious as a young man. In the spring time He enjoyed throwing color on his beloved Radha and other gopis (a cow-herd girl). This flirtatious play became popular with the people and became associated with the Holi festival.
So, in celebration of Holi...here's some pictures from the other year!! ENJOY!!
|The day before they celebrate with color the women come to the bonfire site and offer puja...worship|
|The women wrap string around the pier to hold all the evil in when it is burned.|
|One day this mother will be teaching her child to pray to Jesus|
|This was Suzy and I when we were leaving our house with clean faces...soon to be covered in color!|
|This is my friend Joti. She is on my language route and took me to get my nose pierced.|
|This is Joti's son...handsome young man, isn't he?|
|Getting colored is rather fun!!|
|I captured this one as we were going up the hill and they were coming down. He was about to smother my cheeks in color|
|Even the dogs get in on the fun!!|
|Sometimes I wonder if the kids have more fun during these festivals...|
|But then I see men like Kishan, our shoe maker...and think, nope it's an equal enjoyment|
|Notice the woman with all the color as well?|
|Just look at that joy on her face!|
|Oh yeah. And they throw water too, so all the color blends together into a nice black paste that when dry resembles stiff leather|