Spring is around the corner…and to herald the change of season, India celebrates Holi – the festival of colours. With its deep-rooted significance to Hindu mythology, this festival has different legends associated it with it.
The most popular is the story of Radha and Krishna. Upset with his own dark complexion that was in stark contrast to Radha’s fair skin, Krishna complained to his mother. To pacify her son, Yashoda told him to apply colour on Radha and try to change her complexion. Ever the mischief-maker, Krishna did as he was told, and applied an array of coloured powder and water to Radha and her fellow gopis. This playful gathering has since been commemorated as a festival that celebrates the immortal love of Radha and Krishna.
Another legend deals with the lesson of good over evil. The mighty demon king Hiranyakashyap conquered the three worlds of heaven, earth and underworld. Arrogant and proud, he assumed he could defeat Lord Vishnu too, and become an even powerful god, and therefore ordered his subjects to worship him. His son Prahlad, a devotee of Lord Vishnu, refused to follow this law and incensed, the king ordered the boy be thrown down a mountain and killed. Prahlad continued to pray to Lord Vishnu, who appeared at the last moment and saved the boy. Seeing this, Hiranyakashyap then asked his sister Holika (who had the ability to walk unharmed through fire) to help. Aunt and nephew were made to enter a fire together. However, the condition for Holika to walk out unscathed was that she enters the fire alone. It is believed that Lord Vishnu saved Prahlad again, while Holika perished. Commemorated through the Holika Dahan, bonfires are lit to commemorate the deliverance of Prahlad.
Spring heralds renewal and I believe that we should be sensitive to the transformation that surrounds us, thereby improving our own wellness and wellbeing.
With colours and traditional local culinary delights, come and celebrate the festival of colours, on March 13, with us at ITC Hotels, because when you come to think of it, there’s no better way to begin the week!