Celebrating Holi And Dhuleti

deb1

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11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
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My sister is working for the embassy in India. Recently she sent me a letter about two holidays called Holi and Dhuleti. Apparently they are called the festival of color. On the embassy, some of the families and the gate guards got in a balloon fight. Instead of water the balloons were filled with color substances that left my sister and her children very brightly colored.

Does anyone know anything about these holidays?
 

WriterofWords

Has Fainting Chickens
13 Years
Dec 25, 2007
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We have a huge celebration at the University of New Mexico every year because of the large Indian population.

The main day, Holi, also known as Dhuli Vandana in Sanskrit,also Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated by people throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other. Bonfires are lit the day before, also known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion. Holika Dahan is referred to as Kama Dahanam in South India.
Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in the later part of February or March. In 2009, Holi (Dhulandi) was on March 11 and Holika Dahan was on March 10. In 2010, Holi is on March 1 and Holika Dahan was on February 28.

In Vaishnava Theology, Hiranyakashipu is the king of demons, and he had been granted a boon by Brahma, which made it almost impossible for him to be killed. The boon was due to his long penance, after which he had demanded that he not be killed "during day or night; inside the home or outside, not on earth or on sky; neither by a man nor an animal; neither by astra nor by shastra". Consequently, he grew arrogant, and attacked the Heavens and the Earth. He demanded that people stop worshipping gods and start praying to him.
Despite this, Hiranyakashipu's own son, (Prahlada), was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. In spite of several threats from Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada continued offering prayers to Lord Vishnu. He was poisoned but the poison turned to nectar in his mouth. He was ordered to be trampled by elephants yet remained unharmed. He was put in a room with hungry, poisonous snakes and survived. All of Hiranyakashipu's attempts to kill his son failed. Finally, he ordered young Prahlada to sit on a pyre on the lap of his sister, Holika, who could not die by fire by virtue of a shawl which would prevent fire affecting the person wearing it. Prahlada readily accepted his father's orders, and prayed to Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, everyone watched in amazement as the shawl flew from Holika, who then was burnt to death, while Prahlada survived unharmed, after the shawl moved to cover him. The burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi.


Radha and the Gopis celebrating Holi, with accompaniment of music instruments
Later Lord Vishnu came in the form of a Narasimha (who is half-man and half-lion) and killed Hiranyakashipu at dusk (which was neither day nor night), on the steps of the porch of his house (which was neither inside the house nor outside) by restraining him on his lap (which is neither in the sky nor on the earth) and mauling him with his claws (which are neither astra nor shastra).
In Vrindavan and Mathura, where Lord Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna). Lord Krishna is believed to have popularized the festival by playing pranks on the gopis here. Krishna is believed to have complained to his mother about the contrast between his dark skin complexion and Radha's (Shakti or energy that drives the world) fair skin complexion. Krishna's mother decided to apply colour to Radha's face. The celebrations officially usher in spring, the celebrated season of love.
There is alternate story detailing the origin of Holi. This story is about Kamadeva, a god of love. Kama's body was destroyed when he shot his weapon at Shiva in order to disrupt his meditation and help Parvati to marry Shiva. Shiva then opened his third eye, the gaze of which was so powerful that Kama's body was reduced to ashes. For the sake of Kama's wife Rati (passion), Shiva restored him, but only as a mental image, representing the true emotional and spiritual state of love rather than physical lust. The Holi bonfire is believed to be celebrated in commemoration of this event.
Holi is a festival of radiance (Teja) in the universe. During this festival, different waves of radiance traverse the universe, thereby creating various colours that nourish and complement the function of respective elements in the atmosphere.[3
 

Olive Hill

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 19, 2009
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What do you want to know? They're Hindu traditional celebrations (also celebrated by some Buddhists and Sikhs) there are as many varied stories as to their origination and the reason they're celebrated as there are sects of Hinduism and probably a few more.
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deb1

Songster
11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
2,560
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NC
Wow. Amazing information. My sister said that this was her favorite holiday that she has celebrated in India. An older Indian woman who works for my sister started the colored water balloon fight. I won't put up the photos because I don't think my sister would like me to, but the pictures she sent were fun. Lots of bright colors on my drenched nieces and nephew. LOL
 

verity

Songster
11 Years
Sep 8, 2008
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Clemmons
check out the movie, "Outsourced" --- it has some great 'color holiday' scenes --- it's a super movie (and it made me much more understanding when I am phoning 'customer service' --)
 

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