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An experience with holi a hindu festivity

Celebrated with a Google Doodle, it is best known around the world for the powder that revellers throw on each other, leaving festival-goers coated in colour by the end of the day. Although the festival originated in India and is still widely celebrated there as a religious festival, it has been adopted in many places around the world. Here is everything you need to know about it, from where it came from to why the powder, known as gulal, is thrown. When is the Holi Festival?

  • During this festival people visit each other's houses, distribute sweets, and greet their friends;
  • The colors used which were once made naturally from flowers are now often artificial;
  • Holi celebrates the story of a pure-hearted devotee, Prahlad who underwent many trials to maintain his faith as well as the burning of carnal desires by Shiva to reach a higher level of love.

Every year the festival celebrations begin on the evening of the full moon that comes in 'Phalguna' between the end of February and the middle of Marchcarrying on into the next day.

This year, it begins on March 1, the first of two full moons in March.

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Festival-goers traditionally gather around a bonfire to celebrate the victory of good over evil. They perform religious rituals, which include prayers that any evil inside of them is destroyed.

Holi Festival 2018 in pictures: India celebrates the festival of colours What is the story behind Holi? Holi's different celebrations come from various Hindu legends, although one is widely believed to be the most likely origin.

The demon king was granted immortality with five powers: When the king found out, he asked his sister Holika for help; in their plan she would wear a cloak which stopped her from being harmed by fire and take Prahlad into a bonfire with her.

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However the cloak flew from Holika's shoulders while she was in the fire and covered Prahlad; he was protected but she burnt to death. He took the form of Narasimha, who was half-human and half-lion; he met him on a doorstep, which is neither indoors nor outdoors; he appeared at dusk, which is neither daylight nor dusk; he placed his father on his lap, which is neither land, water nor air; and he attacked him with his lion claws, which are neither projectile nor handheld weapons.

While Hiranyakashipu and Holika came to represent evil, Vishnu and Prahlad came to represent good. The story shows the victory of good over evil, which is why it is tied to the festival.

Holi Festival 2018: How the thwarting of a Hindu demon king led to the colourful celebration

The other most popular origin of the festival is the legend of Krishna. The Hindu deity, embarrased by his dark blue skin, told his mother he was worried his love Radha would not accept him. Historically, the gulal was made of turmeric, paste and flower extracts, but today synthetic versions are largely used.

Red reflects love and fertility, blue is the colour of Krishna, yellow is the colour of turmeric and green symbolises spring and new beginnings.