Holi – the festival of colours is celebrated in every corner of India. The festival is all about celebrating with colours, communicating with everyone and sharing happiness with each other. Hundreds of Holi celebration events are organized every year where people come and celebrate with their friends and family members. Now, the question is how to organize Holi Celebration during Corona? With the rising number of Covid-19 cases, it now seems quite difficult to gather hundreds of people in one place. Everyone should follow the states and Centre’s Covid-19 guidelines while planning for a celebration. Having a mask on and maintaining a safe distance from the others – these are the most useful Things to remember in Holi celebration during the pandemic.
Why Holi is celebrated?
Holi is a famous Hindu festival. It’s popular as the “Festival of colours”, “Festival of love” and the “Festival of Spring”. It’s a popular festival among the Hindu people from ancient times. Holi celebration begins one night before Holi with the festival of “Holika Dahan”. The next morning, the actual celebration starts with Holi Colors.
It’s a Spring festival that completes with colours. People throw colours and drench each other with water. Coloured-water guns, water-filled balloons are used to play Holi. Friends or absolute strangers, children, elders, rich or poor – nothing matters when Holi Colors have started the celebration. Open streets, temples, parks, building complexes – everywhere people used to celebrate. Musical shows often take place in such big communities. Usually, natural Colors are used instead of artificial ones.
There is a ritual of visiting family and friends with the boxes of sweets. Once the Gifts and Sweets distribution ritual is over, people then share foods, drinks and other special Holi delicacies.
The Holika Dahan story: It’s a festival where people gather at one place, perform rituals altogether in front of the bonfire. People compile dry branches and leaves of trees, set up into the fire and start the Holi celebration events. Then they start praying to God that their internal demon and the surrounded evil power be destroyed the way Holika was demolished in the fire. The Story of Holika Dahan states how Holika – the sister of the demon King Hiranyakashipu was destroyed in a fire. The demon king had a son – Prahlad who was a true devotee of Lord Vishnu. By celebrating the Holika Dahan ritual, people here celebrate the symbolic victory of good over the evil power – the victory of Prahlada over demon Hiranyakashipu.
If you ask why is holy celebrated – multiple stories you will learn. The most popular among them are the below-mentioned theories.
- It celebrates the divine love of Radha and Lord Krishna. There is a story popular in the Braj region – Brindavan, Mathura etc. the Holi ideas according to the story state, in his youth, Lord Krishna has despaired if the fair-skinned Radha would love him as he is dark-skinned. Yashoda – the mother of Krishna asked him to approach his love, ask her to colour his face – whatever the colour she wanted. After that ritual, they two became a couple. Ever since such a playful colouring ritual has been celebrated as Holi.
- According to the Bhagavata Purana, Holi celebration events signify the triumph of the good over evil – when Vishnu appeared in the Narasimha Avatar to take the triumph over the demon king Hiranyakashipu. He had a son Prahlada – a true devotee of Lord Vishnu. The demon king had earned a special boon – giving him five special powers. With the help of these powers, Hiranyakashipu became arrogant and wanted everyone to worship only him. But Prahlada disagreed. Then the angry demon subjected his son to cruel punishment. Then Holika came and tricked the boy to be burned into the fire. But Prahlada survived and Holika burned. Then Vishnu appeared as the Narasimha avatar to destroy Hiranyakashipu.
Play safe Holi: follow the Covid-19 guidelines:
Holi Celebration during Corona should be restricted in public areas. According to the newly published guideline, many states have already banned all private and public celebrations of Holi and the related Gifts and Sweets distribution rituals. It’s more important to ensure safety for people. Strict action is being taken against the offenders. A few Things to remember while planning for a Holi celebration during the pandemic.
- Wearing a face mask is mandatory during the Holi celebration events. Avoid attending the celebration if you are suffering from cold, cough or mild fever.
- Make sure no one with such symptoms attends the celebration.
- Play in smaller groups with your close ones instead of attending a large gathering with many strangers.
- Try to play with dry colours instead of water colours.
- When it comes to natural vs artifical color, always go for natural and herbal colours.
- Avoid hugging and handshaking, strictly maintain social distancing.
- If possible, keep children away from such Holi celebrations.
- Wash your hands, mouth and face before eating anything with your hand.
- If you are going to your relative or friends’ house for Gifts and Sweets distribution, make sure you always put your face mask on.
Keeping them in your mind, you can play a safe Holi during the Covid-19 pandemic. We should prepare ourselves to adapt to every adverse situation that comes to our lives.