Google celebrated Holi, the Indian festival of colours, by bringing about a beautiful and colourful doodle. The doodle, which is a vibrant mix of resplendent colours, shows one woman throwing colours on another while the other is seen saving herself from the splash of colours. It also shows another woman eating the sweets and savouries that this festival is famous for.
Holi is one of the most awaited and celebrated festivals across the sub-continent with people drenching themselves and others in colours. This festival is also, many times, called the festival of love as people forget all their differences and resentment against each other and apply ‘gulaal‘ (coloured powder) to each other.
It is also a festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. The vibrancy of colours also brings about optimism and hope in everyone’s life, making Holi a festival of happiness and joy.
History of Holi
There are many legends behind the reason for celebrating this festival. The most popular one is that of Holika and Prahlad.
The legend has it that there was once an egoistical demon king called Hiranyakashyap, who wanted every person in the world to worship only him. His son Prahlad, though, was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu – one of the principal deities in Hinduism. This greatly angered and disappointed Hiranyakashyap, who looked for various ways to kill his son. However, Prahlad was always saved by Lord Vishnu.
As a last resort, Hiranyakashyap decided to use his sister Holika to kill his son. He knew that Holika had received a boon that allowed her to come out of any fire unharmed. Holika beguiles Prahlad into sitting on her lap and then takes her seat in a blazing fire. Holika, however, was oblivious to the fact that the boon would work when she was in the fire alone. So, she pays the price for her evil deed by losing her life. On the other hand, Prahlad, who was chanting the name of Lord Vishnu all through, comes out of the fire unscathed.
So, Holi gets its name from ‘Holika’ and is celebrated as the triumph of good over evil. The festivities of Holi begin a day prior to the actual festival date where effigies of Holika are burnt. This is called ‘Holika Dahan’ (the burning of Holika) and symbolizes how immoral and sinister being burnt.
Holi is also synonymous with great food – a host of delicacies, desserts, and snacks are made on this day.
Today, the festival is not just celebrated in India but across the world with Holi parties being held in major cities such as London, Amsterdam, and New York.
This Holi, let us pledge to finish off the evils of the world such as climate change and global warming from the Earth. Let us also keep off any malice, greed, and anger away from our hearts and embark on a new journey of love, happiness, and positivity.
From all of us at team Newsum, a very happy, colourful, and prosperous Holi to everyone!