Holi is also known as the festival of colours. It is a spring festival celebrated across everywhere in India and many nations abroad. It is also popularly known as Dolyatra or Vasantutsav. The most popular Holi celebrated in India is in Braj, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. This festival is celebrated by people by throwing colors powder and splashing each other with colorful waters. The day before the holi bonfires are lit and holika dahan is done remembering the death of Hiranyakahipu’s sisters Holika’s death when tried to kill Phralad, devotee of Vishnu, who escaped with not a single scar. The festival celebrations is done at the end of the winter season, generally on the last full moon day of the month Phalguna.
According to Hindu philosophy Hiranyakashipu was a demon king who did not believed the existance of God and forced people to treat him equivalent to God. But despite of his effort to terrorise people his own son Prahlad refused to do so. So Hiranyakashipu employed all the possible methods to kill his son, but all in vain. Later he asked his sister, Holika to take prahlad with her and sit on burning fire, since she was resistant to fire. But Holika died and prahlad escaped. This death of Holika is celebrated as holika dahan and the name Holi originates from here.
Holi is celebrated in each and every part of India. In Bihar it is celebrated with color playing and burning of a hay resmbling Holika Dahan. In Uttar Pradesh Lath Mar Holi is celebrated. The tradition is that women chase men with sticks and men provoke them by singing songs to attract women. Holi is celebrated with lots of fun in uttar Pradesh. In Bengal it is known as Doljatra and is celebrated by singing, dancing and spraying colored waters on each other.
The spring season ,when this festival is celebrated is said to cause viral fever. Throwing of Ayurvedic natural colors for playing Holi has medicated features. A special drink called Thandai is made on this day sometimes added with Bhang too. But nowadys the colors used ae mostly artificial which leads to skin rashes or more serious skin infection. The colors are toxic or even carcinogenic .Hence use of natural colors is highly recommended.