Holi is a major Hindu festival of India, celebrated in the Hindu calendar month of Phalgun. The festival lasts for one night and one day, beginning on a Purnima (full moon day) in Phalgun. It usually corresponds to the March month of the Gregorian calendar. Holi is a festival of joy and love and is fervently celebrated in the Indian sub-continent, especially in India and Nepal. It is also called a festival of colors, as people take to streets and play with colors. Unlike most Hindu festivals, Holi doesn’t involve veneration of any of Hindu Gods or Goddesses and is thus purely celebrated for fun. Though, the night before Holi, a ritual of Holika Dahan is carried out, in which people burn their discarded belongings in a bonfire.
Long and Short Essay on Holi Festival
Essay 1 (250 words)
Holi, the ‘Festival of Colors’ is celebrated in almost all parts of India with great excitement. As per the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated on the full moon day of the ‘Phalgun’ month and in the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar. People celebrate the festival by coloring each other’s faces with dry as well as watercolors. People also enjoy the festival by singing folk songs and dance.
The Celebration of Holi
One day prior to Holi, a ritual named ‘Holika Dahan’ is conducted in which a large heap of the bonfire is burned in cities and villages. The ‘Holika Dahan’ symbolizes the burning of evil and negative powers and revisits the story of Holika, the evil sister of Hiranyakaskyap who tried to kill his nephew Prahlad by sitting in the bonfire. But by the god’s grace Holika who had a boon of immortality was burned to ashes and Prahlad was saved unharmed. People also make rounds of Holika while chanting devotional mantras and singing bhajans to seek health and prosperity.
During the day, people play by splashing watercolors on each other. Children throw watercolors by using water cannons or ‘pichkari’ to enjoy the festival. In the evening, people dress up in attractive attire and visit their friends and relatives and hug them by applying ‘gulal’, the dry colors. People also sing folk songs and dance to the tune of famous Holi songs.
Holi is the festival that spreads love, brotherhood, harmony, and happiness and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It is the festival during which people forget their rivalry and hug their enemies forgetting all the hatred and negativity.
Essay 2 (300 words)
Holi is the most favorite festival of all as it brings lots of joy and happiness. It is celebrated every year especially by the people of the Hindu religion as a very important festival. It falls at the start of the spring season generally in the month of March (or Falgun). Everyone waits for this festival with lots of enthusiasm and with special preparations for celebrating it.
Why do we celebrate Holi?
There is a great story of Prahlad behind celebrating Holi. Once Prahlad (who was a great devotee of God) was tried to be killed by his own father as he denied worshiping his own father in place of God. His aunt, Holika, sat in the fire by keeping him in her lap on the order of Prahlad’s father but he was saved by God as he was a true devotee and Holika was burnt in the fire even after she was booned to never get harmed by fire. From that day, people following Hinduism started celebrating the festival of Holi every year to remember the triumph of good over evil.
Burning of Holika
A day before the colorful Holi festival, people burn a heap of woods and cow dung cakes in the night resembling the burning of Holika to remember that day. Some people follow the special ritual of burning the waste of ‘Sarson ubtan’ massage of each family member in the Holika assuming that it will remove all the evils from house and body and bring happiness and positivity to the home.
People play with colors with their family members, relatives, friends, and neighbors. Kids of the house enjoy this day by throwing color filled balloons to each other or using pichakari. Everyone hugs and apply ‘abeer’ and ‘gulals’ to the forehead showing their love and affection to each other. Special preparations are done for this day like arrangements of sweets, chips, namkeen, dahi bade, Pani puri, papad, etc. Holi is the festival that spreads love and harmony among people.
Essay 3 (400 words)
Holi is a colorful and most important festival in India. It is celebrated annually in the month of March (Falgun) on Purnima or ‘pooranmashi’ by the people of the Hindu religion. People wait for this festival very eagerly and enjoy playing with colors and eating delicious foods. Children come out of their homes in the early morning with colors and pichkari to enjoy with friends. Women of the houses start preparing things for the Holi celebration especially delicious dishes, sweets, chips, namkeen and other things to welcome their neighbors, friends, and relatives on Holi.
Holi – The Festival of Colors
Holi is a festival of joy and happiness that spreads color and pleasure in the life of everyone. People throw watercolors or colored powder (gulal) to each other and break all the barriers of discrimination between them. The significance behind celebrating this festival is the great history of Prahlad and his aunt Holika.
History of the Festival
Long ago, there was a devil king, Hiranyakashyap. He was the father of Prahlad and the brother of Holika. He was boon by Lord Brahma that he cannot be killed by any man or animal, neither by any weapon nor inside the home or outside or in the day or night. Getting such power he became very arrogant and ordered everyone including his own son to worship him instead of God.
Because of his fear, people started worshiping him except Prahlad as he was a true devotee of Lord Vishnu. After seeing such type of behavior of Prahlad, Hiranyakashyap made a plan with sister Holika to kill Prahlad. He ordered his sister to sit in the fire by having Prahlad in her lap. Holika did so, but fortunately, she got burnt in the fire and Prahlad was not harmed and even not touched by the fire as he was under the protection and blessings of God.
From then, people started celebrating this event as the Holi festival after the name of Holika. This festival is celebrated to remember the victory of goodness over evil power. In the night or evening, a day before Holi, people burn a heap of wood in the nearby areas symbolizing the burning of Holika.
Everyone enjoys this festival by singing, dancing, playing colors, hugging each other and eating delicious food. Holi is the festival that brings people closer and spreads love and brotherhood among people. People spend the festival with their friends, family, and relatives with great joy and enjoy the special delicacies of the occasion.
Essay 4 (500 words)
Holi is a very famous festival of colors celebrated every year in the month of ‘Phalgun’ or March by the people of India with great joy. It is the festival of lots of fun and frolic activities especially for the children who start the celebration a week before and continue a week after the festival. Holi is celebrated by the people of Hindu religion all over the country especially in North India in the month of March.
Legend and Story behind the Festival
There are many stories and legends behind celebrating Holi in India for years. It is the festival of great importance and significance. According to Hindu mythology, it is considered that the Holi celebration was started long ago when Holika was burnt in the fire while trying to kill her own nephew in the fire.
It is believed that there was a demon king called Hiranyakashyap, father of little Prahlad who tried to kill his own son in the fire when Prahlad denied to worship him as Prahlad was a great devotee of the Lord Vishnu. When Hiranyakashyap failed in many of his strategies to kill Prahlad, he ordered his own sister, Holika to sit in the fire by taking Prahlad in her lap as she was booned for never getting harmed by fire.
However, this strategy was also failed as little Prahlad was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and he was saved by his God. Holika was burnt in the fire and Prahlad was saved. From that day, people of the Hindu religion started celebrating Holi every year.
Holika and its Customs
The day before Holi, people make a heap of woods on the crossroads and burn it symbolizing Holika and celebrate ‘Holika Dahan’ ceremony. People also take many rounds of the burning Holika and worship it to get blessed with prosperity and good health by burning all the sins and diseases in the fire. There is also a custom in north India where people massage the body using mustard paste and then burn it in Holika hoping to get rid of all diseases and evils of the body.
How do we celebrate Holi?
The next morning after ‘Holika Dahan’, people celebrate the colorful festival of Holi by getting together in one place and throwing colors to each other playfully. Holi preparations start a week before the main festival. People, especially children, are highly enthusiastic who start buying different colors a week before the day.
Even they start playing with colors with their friends, neighbors, and relatives with ‘pichkari’ and small balloons. The celebration gets started in the morning when people with lots of colors visit their friends and relatives and color them. Holi delicacies comprise of ‘gujhiya’, sweets, ‘Panipuri’, ‘Dahi bade’, chips, etc which are enjoyed by the guests and as well as by the hosts.
Holi is the festival which is mostly focused on spreading brotherhood and love. The colors used in the festival are bright which showcases the prosperity and happiness. Holi also symbolizes the triumph of good over evil which is the soul of most of the Indian festivals. It also teaches us to follow the righteous path and to stay away from the evils of society.