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The Mass Media

Welcoming the Spring Hindu-style

Welcoming+the+Spring+Hindu-style+
Welcoming the Spring Hindu-style

Have you ever had the desire to run and dance through the streets, throwing colored powder and liquid on those who pass while enjoying a drink laced with the leaves and buds of a female cannabis plan? Well, once a year the Hindu population of the world does while celebrating one of their most important festivals, Holi. A celebration that is reflective of their vibrant, colorful, and lively culture. Holi usually takes place in March and the specific date alters annually, depending on the lunar calendar.  On the eve of Holi, Holika Dahan, an effigy of Holika is burned in a large bonfire.  Holika, a demoness, is a significant emblem of wickedness and her destruction represents the demise of evil. 

The concept of Holi comes from an ancient story pertaining to the familial issues between Holika’s nephew, Prahlad, and her brother, Hiranyakashyap.  Hiranyakashyap, was an egotistical demon king who thought of himself as a god.  He commanded everyone to worship him, but his son, Prahlad, was an ardent follower of Lord Vishnu and he refused to recognize his father as a god. Although Prahlad’s life was constantly at risk for rebelling against his father, Lord Vishnu’s protection left him unharmed.  This miracle was exhibited when Hiranyakashyap asked Holika, who was impervious to fire, to sit with Prahlad on her lap in middle of some flames. Prahlad continued to pray to Lord Vishnu and he was protected while Holika was burned. In some areas of the world, Holika Dahan is carried out with coconuts instead of effigies thrown into the bonfire. The burned exterior of the coconut embodying Holika while the unharmed interior of the fruit is a symbol of Prahlad.  Holi is a celebration of good triumphing over evil and also represent the termination of the winter season and rebirth with the coming spring. It is an opportunity for people of all ages and sexes to throw out social taboos and restrictions and engage in a giant color filled party.