Celebration of spring: A look into Holi

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Maanya Mahesh and Srija Ayeireddy celebrating Holi at the Hanuman Temple.

Suhas Konijeti, Reporter

When I took my first step into the Hanuman Temple; seeing all the colors and people, I was able to experience a wave of joy, love, and positive energy; I couldn’t believe that such a beautiful festival actively occurs with such unanimous people. 

Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is an ancient Hindu celebration of the Hindu God Krishna and the legend of Holika and Prahlad. To celebrate Holi, friends, and family gathers and shower each other with colorful powder. 

Holi marks the beginning of spring, and is a celebratory day for many to meet new people, play, laugh, forget, forgive, and mend broken relationships. The celebration also serves as a blessing for a prosperous spring crop season.

According to the Holika Legend, the demon king Hiranyakashipu pushed his subjects to worship him as a deity because he was adamant about his religion. His son, Prahlad, refused to do so and instead chose to worship the actual Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu tried to kill his son numerous times out of hatred but was always defeated by Lord Vishnu.

During one of these plots, Hiranyakashipu hatched a scheme with his demonic sister Holika to assassinate Prahlad. Holika possessed a fire-resistant cloak, and she intended to drag Prahlad into the flames with her, then remove the cloak and expose Prahlad to the flames. However, her plot backfired, and the cloak flew from Holika to Prahlad, shielding Prahlad while burning the Holika.

As a result, the day before the Holi Festival, which falls on the final full moon before the spring equinox, has been designated as the day for the burning of the ashes of Holika, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.

Independence High School (IHS) sophomore Maanya Mahesh describes her excitement about celebrating Holi.

“I’m so glad I got to celebrate Holi this year. I’ve always celebrated Holi but I couldn’t last two years because of Covid, so it was really great to gather with everyone and have fun.” Said Mahesh “It was very fun and cool to celebrate again after a while,” 

Maanya Mahesh and Srija Ayeireddy celebrating Holi at the Hanuman Temple

IHS sophomore Srija Ayeireddy expresses her feelings about Holi.

“It feels great to be able to practice my culture with so many other like-minded people,” said Ayeireddy. “I really do appreciate festivals like Holi because it feels like I can connect with my culture along with so many other people.”

Ayeireddy also talks about her future celebrating Holi

“I’m definitely going to continue celebrating Holi.” said Ayeireddy “Holi is definitely something that I will continue to cherish when I grow up and have a family of my own.”