Tuesday, Aug 22nd

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Festival of Holi

Festival of HoliHoli is a spring festival celebrated in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad, South Africa,  UK, US, Mauritius and Fiji. The festival celebrates the arrival of Spring by throwing colored powder and colored water on each other. Holi is also known as Dhuli Vandan, Dhulheti, dhulandi or Dhulivandan. The festival is celebrated on Falgun Poornima which falls in February or March. The day before Holi is also known as Chhoti Holi or Holika Dahan and is celebrated by lighting up bonfires. The bonfires are in celebration of burning of Holika, Hiranyakashyap’s sister who sat on a burning pyre with Prahlad. Holika had a boon that she would not burn in fire, however, it was Prahlad, a devotee of Vishnu, who escaped without any injuries while Holika burnt to death. In South India this is also known as Kama Dahan to commemorate the burning of God Kama or the God of Love. Legend has it that when Shiva’s consort Sati died, he was inconsolable and carried the body of dead Sati around. Alarmed at Shiva’s state, the other god’s of Trinity, Brahma and Vishnu approached Kama Dev to shoot his arrow of love on Shiva. As Kama Dev shot his arrow of love at Shiva, an irritated Shiva opened his third eye and burnt Kama Dev to ashes. It symbolizes burning of impure desires and lust in the burning pyre.
The festival of colors has also influenced Western music videos like Linkin Parks’s Thousand Lights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51iquRYKPbs