γιατί …. ακόμα και "η μάσκα, αν δεν κρύβει πίσω της ψυχή, δεν κάνει ούτε για μάσκα"
Holi Festival in India 2019
Τον ερχομό της άνοιξης γιορτάζουν χιλιάδες Ινδοί στην πόλη Μπαρσάνα, με αρκετό γέλιο, χορό και τραγούδι σε ένα… πολύχρωμο φόντο.
Πρόκειται για το Φεστιβάλ Χόλι, γνωστό και ως «Γιορτή των Χρωμάτων», το οποίο λαμβάνει χώρα στις αρχές της άνοιξης.
Every year the streets of India become a riot of colour and frivolity as people across the country celebrate Holi. Dating back throughout the centuries, it’s a festival that is highly significant to the Hindu religion and has, in recent years, been adopted by countries across the globe as a fun event that brings people together and celebrates unity and harmony. Whether you’re planning to visit India and experience Holi firsthand or are simply interested in learning more about the festival, here you’ll find a wealth of information to help you better understand this important celebration.
What is the Holi festival?
Holi is a spring festival that essentially celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Coinciding with the end of winter and the beginning of a new season, it is treated as a time to give thanks for a good harvest. It is also considered a time to come together and end any conflicts you might have in your relationships with others.
What is the history and religious significance of Holi?
It is not known exactly when Holi originated but there is mention of the celebration as early as the 4th century in ancient Sanskrit texts and poems. It has always been known as a festival of colour with the word ‘Holi’ deriving from the name of the Hindu demoness ‘Holika’.
Legend has it that Holika was the sister of the arrogant demon king Hiranyakashyap, who demanded that everyone in his kingdom worship him. His son, Prahlada, remained loyal to Lord Vishnu, which enraged his father. In an attempt to kill his son for his treachery, Hiranyakashyap had Holika trick Prahlada into entering a burning pyre, knowing that his sister would be unharmed for she was immune to fire. Prahlada entered the fire chanting Lord Vishnu’s name and he was blessed with his life, whereas Holika unknowingly sacrificed her own as she was only immune when entering fire alone.
It is thought that Lord Vishnu then appeared and killed Hiranyakashyap in an act of good over evil. The next day people gathered around the debris of the fire and smeared their faces with ash. Over time this morphed into the use of coloured powder.
Krishna is also associated with Holi due to his blue skin, which was a result of the she-demon Putana poisoning him with her breast milk. Young Krishna was worried that girls would not like the colour of his skin and so his mother encouraged him to playfully colour the face of Radha so that they would be equal. Their relationship is honoured in the act of applying coloured powder to friends, family and even strangers.
How is the Holi festival celebrated in India?
Holi festival begins with large bonfires where people gather to watch the burning of Holika effigies. Religious rituals and prayers are carried out in the hope that evil will be destroyed in the fire as Holika was. The following day is when the real fun starts as people hit the streets to throw coloured powder at anyone they can. Water makes the powder go further with participants using water guns, water-filled balloons and even sprinklers to create the right environment for fun. These celebrations take place across cities, towns and villages, in urban parks, pedestrian streets and local temples. Small parades of musicians provide the soundtrack with drummers and singers moving from one place to another.
After the day of entertainment, families and friends gather to spend time in each other’s company and share delicacies such as thandai – a creamy and delicately spiced milk drink, gujiya – sweet dumplings filled with dry fruits, and kachoris – round, puffed pastry filled with lentils and fragrant spices.
When is the Holi festival celebrated?
The Holi festival takes place over two days across India and also Nepal, where there is a large Hindu population. In some parts of India the festival is celebrated over the course of two weeks. It starts on the day of the full moon in the month of Phalguna, the twelfth month of the Hindu calendar. This coincides with the period between late February and mid March in the Gregorian calendar.
Forthcoming dates of the Holi festival
Holi will be celebrated on the following dates over the next few years:2019 – Thursday 21st March 2020 – Tuesday 10th March
Το ινδουιστικό θρησκευτικό φεστιβάλ γιορτάζεται κυρίως σε Ινδία, Μπανγκλαντές, Πακιστάν και Νεπάλ, αλλά και σε χώρες όπου υπάρχει διασπορά Ινδών και πληθυσμών οι οποίοι έχουν ως θρησκεία τον Ινδουισμό.
Η γιορτή Χόλι έχει ρίζες το Σανκριτικό δράμα Ρατναβάλ 7ου αιώνα και αποτελεί συνδέεται με τη γονιμότητα, αλλά και την καλή συγκομιδή.
Σύμφωνα με την παράδοση, οι άντρες τραγουδούν προκλητικά τραγούδια για να κερδίσουν την προσοχή των γυναικών, οι οποίες τους κυνηγούν με ράβδους μπαμπού.
Οι συμμετέχοντες ρίχνουν χρωματιστή σκόνη και χρωματισμένο νερό ο ένας στον άλλον.