Holi - Arlington, VA

Holi - Arlington, VA
Krishna - Radha - Skin Color
Once there lived a little boy named Krishna. He was, well, dark colored and hence considered a misfit in the society. He had a crush on a beautiful girl named Radha.  She was an out-of-world beauty and she secretly loved Krishna too. But she knew Krishna was so self conscious and disappointed about his color and wanted to cheer him up. Wanted to tell him that color of skin doesn't matter, but rather how beautiful your heart is what matters. So she playfully makes fun of his color, knowing how it would make him feel less than others. This feeling would eventually make him come out strong and show others in the community that the color of his (or anyone's) skin has got nothing to do with the respect they get. And obviously he does that. One day, while Radha continues her charade, he lashes out at her, takes some black paint and smears across her face, along with her beautiful friends. As a way of saying, "Well, who is ugly now?". The crowd learns the lesson, and apparently starts respecting him and other 'ugly' children on the block... 

Holika - Prahlada - Vishnu
Another lore widely popular is the story of how a devoted worshiper, Prahlada, was saved by Lord Vishnu from the evil clutches of Holika. Once there lived a little boy named Prahlada and he is the son of a demon, Hiranyakashyapa. Being a demon's son, he is expected to praise his father which Prahlada ignores and praises Lord Vishnu instead. Holika, on the orders of the demon abducts Prahlada and jumps into a pyre. Fire doesn't know self and non-self. Right? Fire burns everything. But that lesson which Holika learned in her life didn't help her, for under the spell of Lord Vishnu the fire devoured Holika and left the little boy, Prahlada unburned. The crowd which was so disappointed to see a devout follower engulfed by fire was elated to see him walk out of it with a beautiful smile on his face. To praise the Lord, the crowd starts smearing the ashes of Holika on each other, dancing, singing, enjoying the win of Good (god) over evil (demon). Henceforth, every year, the full moon day of the last month of Indian Lunar year, the people celebrate the good's win over evil by smearing colored powder over each other.
There are several other stories and folklore which explain the celebration of the festival, but these two connect with me. Feel free to Google the festival and teach me too...

You may also like

Back to Top