Holi Celebrations – What We Do and What It Is Meant to be! #HappyHoli
Holi – a festival celebrated with colours. Just say the word Holi and it makes one feel exuberant and cheery. Festivals in India are often a celebration of the victory of good over evil and Holi is also to celebrate the same virtue. Legend or myth, Holi is celebrated with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm by the people of all ages.
According to a famous belief, Holi is celebrated to pay respect to Lord Vishnu, who killed an arrogant king called Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu was one arrogant King, who after being blessed by the god, became so obsessed with power that he wanted people to start worshiping him. He started to believe that he was immortal and thus, wanted to be worshiped like God. His son Prahlad never followed his orders and was an ardent worshiper of Lord Vishnu. Hirnanyakashipu, conspired to kill his own son with the help of his sister Holika, who according to a boon was immune to fire. Holika, took Prahlad, the cruel king’s son, in her lap and sat on the pyre with the intention of burning him. But, it was Holika who got burnt and Prahlad came out of the fire unhurt. Lord Vishnu then killed Hiranyakashipu, he had been blessed but that didn’t mean that Hiranyakashipu was immortal.
On the day before Holi, a bonfire is lit which signifies the burning of Holika. It is believed that the evils burn in the bonfire when the Holika is lit. People take rounds of Holika to seek blessings and to pray for good omen. And on the day of Holi, people play with colors, flowers and water.
Holi is a beautiful festival; just imagine getting together with the people you love and playing with colours and water, without any worry or care. It is one festival that can be inexplicably rejuvenating and awfully exhausting. But, with time, only exhaustion is left as joy and fun have vanished somewhere.
Holi, that once was a festival of positivity and joy, has gradually turned into something very negative and vile. It has become a tool for hooligans to harass people. Men, who have not been introduced to morals by their families, become devils on the day of Holi.
Parents do not let their daughters go out during Holi period as soon as they turn 13 or 14, women cannot go out on the day of Holi worrying that anything unpleasant is very likely to happen and kids get exposed to harmful colours, all in the name of Holi. Playing with eggs, grease and permanent colours is a common phenomenon. But, harassing women, molesting them, touching them inappropriately is also a part of this positive festival now. Getting drunk, spiking people’s drinks or food or crossing limits, also come in the periphery of celebrations.
I was disgusted when I read that balloons filled with semen were thrown at women. Is there a level lower than this? Is this why our ancestors started celebrating this day? It had started with the intent of encouraging harmony, to educate the coming generations about our history and also to make them aware of the values that our culture is founded on but we have manipulated the real meaning and essence of this festival.
It is the responsibility of parents to teach their sons adequately, so that they know the difference between the right and the wrong, between pranks and harassment, and between banter and insolence. This one write up is not enough to change an entire generation that has lost direction and purpose but if it can make just one person reconsider their behaviour then it is a victory.