Holi, a prominent festival of India is celebrated with fervor marked by colors during which people meet each other and enjoy the good time. It is celebrated in full moon (purnima) in bikram samvat in phagun month every year which is somewhere in between Feb last to early march every year. The festival starts with holika dahan or the huge bonfire that community makes at night to depict the triumph of good over evil and then followed by the colorful play which is called as dhulendi or dhuleti. These traditions that mark this festival are derived from the Hindu legend of Vishnu which relates to killing of demon king Hiranyakashyap who gained the special boon that he could not be killed under most circumstances. Getting arrogant with such powers, he demanded his worship as god which his son Prahlad refused. However, Prahlad was taken on a pyre of fire by his evil aunty Holika for being killed. Prahlad came out unscathed while Holika was killed and hence the legend.
Colors, Gifts and Sweets Mark the Holi Fervor
In modern times, the festival of holi has become popular even beyond the Hindu community and people want to be part of the colorful theme and indulgent enjoyment that abounds. This festival specially appeals children who could be seen with their ‘pichkaris’ or the water guns and soaking them as also their peers outdoors. Abeer and gulal are the most demanded colors during holi and no one escapes the touch of it! This festival is also celebrated in some regions as basantotsav as it marks the start of the spring here in India in early March. People and families then exchange gifts and sweets with each other as a mark of goodwill greetings and happiness and thus witness the zenith of Hindu culture.
While sweets of diversity are consumed, the most notable and demanded one is the traditional ‘gujiya’ – a specific handmade product that contains sweetened ‘mava’ and dry fruits and fried in oil. A distinct value is added when most such sweets and namkeens (snacks) are made by every household through hand and the preparations begin days before. Lately, we find that more and more people have got busy in their routines find little time to engage in preparations and prefer buying readymade products. However, there is no letting down of fervor and children choose from among the best of water guns in the market to enjoy holi in the best ways.
People Engage in Indulgent Shopping During Holi
While the traditions have continued with pomp and fervor through centuries, this festival has found much appeal in the market and economy that gets hyped in India through indulgent shopping sprees by people. The demand for fashion attires, accessories, jewelry gets up in the run up to holi while heavier buying of automobiles and electronics is also noted. The vendors offer their mega shopping windows with attractive discounts that boost the sales further. New ideas and products are offered in market that appeals the potential buyers.