Holi is the festival of colors and is one of the most beloved festivals in our Hindu culture. Holi is predominantly celebrated in India, but owing to globalization, the celebration of colors has reached all parts of the world and is celebrated everywhere with great zest and enthusiasm. Holi is about getting together with people and painting them with colors. In our Indian traditions, the colors used are made from organic materials.

The festival of Holi is celebrated differently in different parts of the country. On the northern side of India, Holi is celebrated for seven days. In Maharashtra, Holi is celebrated for three days. Holi arrives at the beginning of spring and is also a thanksgiving festival for a good harvest. To celebrate Holi in its true essence, you must know how to perform the Holika Dahan and how to perform the Pooja.

Process of Holika Dahan
The Holika Dahan takes place on Holi in the evening. This ritual involves building a large bonfire and gathering around it to sing songs and prayers. The preparations for Holika Dahan start about 40 days in advance. People forage for good quality wood to light the fire. The ritual takes place at a pre-decided auspicious time, according to our Lunar Calendar. Before starting any ritual in our culture, we must offer our prayers to a Brass Ganesha Idol in our household shrine.

The pyre is built in the evening, and after praying to Ganeshji, the bonfire is lit. Lord Narasimha (half-man, half-lion; an avatar of Vishnu) is worshipped, followed by offering prayers to Lord Krishna and Prahlada. People gather around in a circle to sing songs and prayers and offer chants in the name of God to help them find their inner peace. People offer flowers and incense sticks to the Gods and sing while playing percussion instruments like Brass Decorative Bells and tambourine. The singing and dancing continue throughout the night. People make traditional Indian sweets and distribute them amongst friends and families. The bonfire or Holika Dahan is symbolic of the victory of triumph over evil and the spiritual cleansing of people. Holi is also a significant festival as it marks the arrival of spring and suggests gratitude for a good harvest.

Next-Day Celebrations
The day after the Holika Dahan, people get out on the streets and start playing with colors. These colors can be powdered or water. They use water guns and balloons to celebrate with colors. People wear their old and torn clothes to come out and paint the town red. Everyone loves this festival as it is a prime catalyst for spreading happiness and joy.

Author's Bio: 

It is a beautiful festival as it brings people closer and can help in spreading positivity. This bright festival of colors is a treasure to our nation and has now become a global favorite. Holi is now celebrated all across the world, using the same rituals and colors. People often end their celebrations by having big family dinners that end in music and dancing.