By Luxmy Sivarasa of the Hindu tradition
Hindus celebrate a number of festivals throughout the year.
The main purpose of celebrations is to create a special atmosphere, focus on spiritual matters, and avert malicious influences to renew and purify the society.
Festivals can last for a few days to weeks. Each day has its own significance and set of rituals.
A handful of festivals are celebrated by Hindus who live in Victoria, Australia and that has been acknowledged by the wider community and the government. Indeed, Holi festival was celebrated recently on 28 and 29 March by Hindus as we slowly come out of the pandemic.
It has been celebrated in the Indian subcontinent for centuries, marking the beginning of Spring, symbolic of the triumph of good over evil.
Even though there are many versions of stories in ancient Indian literature for Holi, the commonly accepted story is that an evil king became vigorous and forced people to worship him as God.
However, his son Prahlada, who was a devotee of Hindu deity Lord Vishnu, continued to worship God Vishnu.
The angry king along with his sister Holika planned to kill Prahlada.
Holika, who is immune to fire, deceived Prahlada to sit in a pyre with her.
When the fire was lit, Lord Vishnu helped Prahlada to walk away and Holika was burned to death despite her immunity.
From Holika, the festival derives its name “Holi”.
On the day of Holi, people throw red, green, blue and yellow colored powder into the air and splash them on others.
Red symbolizes love and fertility, green denotes new beginnings, blue represents the Hindu God Krishna and yellow represents the native turmeric powder, which is often used as home remedy.
Holi powder is made of cornstarch and food colors.
No Hindu festival is complete without sweets, so devotees will distribute home-made sweets to family and friends.
May this festival of colors fill colors in your life. This Holi, may you be blessed with happiness and good health.