Mar 23, 2016

Holi - the colorful spring festival in IndiaIndienaktuell

March 23, 2016
(Google translation)
On the last full moon day of the month Phalguna - between the end of February and mid / late March - celebrating India the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The Holi festival is one of the oldest, most popular and certainly most colorful of all Indian festivals. It was originally a harvest and fertility festival, but to Holi also the victory of good over evil is celebrated. Old disputes are to be buried, overcome social trenches and existing friendships and relationships are renewed.
The festival of colors begins with the lighting of bonfires on the eve of the first holiday of this in some regions up to ten-day festival. In this fire a straw figure is burned, a symbol of the demoness Holika. In this ritual burning "right" religion between prince Prahlada and his father is most reminiscent of the legend of the dispute over the. However circulated several stories that are considered mythological background of Holi.
The Holika-Prahlada legend
The child prince Prahlada had refused his father Hiranyakashipu divine honors and worship him, because he was a faithful follower of Lord Vishnu. The refusal angered the father so much that he wanted to kill his son, but Prahlada was protected by Vishnu owing to his unshakeable faith against everything the father undertook. Finally, the king, who was very angry because of this failed assassination attempts handle to a Playlist: His sister Holika, who was protected by special forces from the fire should jump with Prahlada on the arm into the fire and kill him like that. But Prahlada sang the names of Hindu gods, while Holika sprang with him into the fire, and defied so miraculously to the fire. Because of his unwavering devotion and fidelity to God Vishnu he escaped without a single injury. His aunt Holika burnt however, because she and her brother had not considered that their protection against the fire only acted when they went into the fire alone.
The history of Dhundhi
Another story tells of a man-eating giant that threatened the children in the Kingdom of Prithu. By severe mortification the monster was protected by various blessings that they made virtually invisible.Only insults of little boy and pranks as well as weapons and arrows could break through its barrier due to a curse by Lord Shiva. So decided courageous young village one day to drive them with insults and boy brushing forever. They were intoxicated with Bhaang (cannabis) and followed Dhundhi to the border of the village. They beat drums, made a lot of noise, cursed and insulted her until Dhundhi actually took flight forever.
The Kamadeva Myth
Holi is a very joyful celebration. Photo: Harsha KR
This myth is told that had married the goddess Sati, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati, one of the first sons of the chief god Brahma, Lord Shiva against the wishes of her father. Enraged Daksha invited them not to take a big, important meeting. Although Shiva warned and tried to stop, Sati went nevertheless.Once there, she realized that she had done wrong.She jumped into the fire and died. When Shiva heard this, he was very angry, but controlled his anger, withdrew completely and began to meditate. He neglected his duties. Quick thereby became the world out of joint. Sati was reborn as Parvati and was now trying to regain Shivas heart in its new form and return it to life and to his duties. But it did not succeed. So asked Parvati Kamadeva, the God of love to help. This shot his love arrow in Shiva's heart, but Shiva was characterized so disturbed in his trance and confused that he opened his third eye and thus Kamadeva, the God of love burned, and killed. Later Shiva realized his mistake and gave Kamadeva immortality in invisible form.
The Radha Krishna legend
Holi is celebrated in commemoration of the immortal love between Lord Krishna and Radha. The young Krishna had complained to his mother Yashoda that he was so dark and his beloved Radha so fair-skinned.Yashoda advised him then to smear Radha's face with color. So he could change her complexion in any color that he liked. Krishna, who was known that he was placed in his youth to any strike, did what his mother had told him only he expanded the game and threw colored powder all Gopis (cowherdesses). This version of history is above all in the villages around Mathura, birthplace of Krishna, popular.
Rituals during Holi celebrations
A smaller than Krishna disguised boy throwing colored powder in the amount. Photo: JKP Barsana Dham
Hailed is at least two, even ten days in some areas such. B. in Varanasi. On the first day you get together with your friends and relatives and sprinkles and pelted each other with colored powder or colored water. Due to the colorful faces and clothes it falls then difficult to recognize someone or classify somehow. So also social differences by caste, social status, age or gender cancel practical. People hug each other on this day, wish "Happy Holi", make gifts and dine opulent - and as so often during festivals in India, they also enjoy doing many sweets.
And at some point the beautiful colors are washed off. Photo: Amol Sood
Holi in Germany
Meanwhile, this colorful festival is very popular with many young people in Germany - but without the religious background. There Holi celebrations in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Cologne and in other German cities, the not in our weather conditions in February / March, but most take place in the summer.
The next Holi in India is around 23-24. March 2016

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