Festivals are a welcome relief from the humdrum and monotony of everyday existence. The people of Uttar Pradesh add color to their lives by celebrating their festivals with great merriment. When Holi is celebrated, bright colors and happiness soak each and every corner of the state and bring much joy to the lives of the people.
Description of the Holi Festival in Uttar Pradesh
There are certain rituals that are associated with the festival of Holi. A day before Holi, a bright bonfire is lit. It is referred to as Holika or Chhoti Holi. It symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. There is a very interesting story associated with this. The demon king Hiranyakashyap had conspired with his sister Holika to kill his son Prahlad. Prahlad's only fault was that he was a very big follower of Lord Narayana. However he was not successful in his mission. His son was saved by the grace of God whereas his sister was consumed by the fire.
All the people participate to light the fire. A pot of new barley seeds is kept under the pyre. When the fire burns out, these seeds are consumed by the people. Often predictions are made about the future harvest on the basis of the condition of seeds or the direction of the flames. The ashes of this fire are considered very auspicious and often either the ashes or the smoldering fragments of wood are taken back home. They light their fires at home with these embers and keep the ashes which they believe will protect them against diseases.
On the day of the festival, the air is filled with gulal and abeer of various colors. Youngsters apply it on each other and on the feet of the elders of the family. Pichkaris of various shapes and sizes crowd the markets. The sight of everybody pouring color on each other and whole heartedly participating in the mirth makes a perfect picture of happiness.
Gujiya, mathri, laddoos are consumed in plenty on the occasion of Holi. Bhang or Cannabis is also consumed by the people. On the banks of the River Ganges, people sit drenched in colors and prepare thandai with the cannabis and this has a very intoxicating effect. The fun is indeed unlimited.
Time for celebrating the Holi Festival in Uttar Pradesh
Holi is the festival of colors and is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phagun as per the Hindu calendar. It generally corresponds to the month of March in the English Calendar.