Holi, an auspicious festival celebrating the victory of good over evil, is commemorated every year on the day after the full moon. This year, Holi will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 8th 2023.
Popular even among non-Hindus, on the day of the most vibrant of all Hindu festivals, many gather to shower each other with colored powders while singing and dancing, march the streets, as well as sharing Holi delicacies. Read on to learn more about the history of Holi, what you can do during the day, and the events you can attend here in Melbourne!
As with many traditional holidays and events, the festival of Holi has a rich history. Holi is based on the legend of Hiranyakashipu, a mighty monarch who was despised for his harshness and thought of as a malevolent deity. He demanded that everyone worship him, but his own son Prahlada, a follower of Lord Vishnu, refused to do so.
Hiranyakashipu attempted to slay his son several times because of his disobedience, but nothing ever worked. So, he turned to his wicked sister Holika for assistance. Holika was immune to fire, which was a unique ability. In order to get rid of Prahlada once and for all, she deceived him into joining her on a pyre, where she intended to burn him to ash. But her ability was rendered useless by her malevolent motives, and she instead was reduced to ashes. Prahlada, on the other hand, acquired her immunity to fire and was spared. The first day of Holi is hence known as Holika Dahan and represents the triumph of good over evil.
The phrase, “Festival of Colors” is a reference to Lord Krishna’s (Lord Vishnu’s reincarnation), and his youthful mischief. He was very fond of pulling practical jokes on rural girls by dousing them in water and painting them with various colours.
What You Can Do
There are few ways to celebrate Holi, as follows:
- Collect and Stack Wood for the Bonfire: People begin gathering wood and other combustible materials for the bonfire a few days before the event. Afterwards, in community centres, parks, or other open areas, the flammable items are assembled into a pyre. A figure of Holika is placed on top of the pyre and set on fire in accordance with the mythology.
- Holika Dahan: Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi is commemorated on the first day of the celebration. People congregate around the pyre after dusk, do puja (prayers), and then light it. Around the pyre, people even sing and dance in celebration of the victory of virtue over evil.
- Playing with Colors: On the second day of Holi, people gather to douse each other in colours, celebrate, and have fun. Items such as dried paints, water cannons, and water balloons filled with coloured solutions are often used. Many also choose to celebrate by dancing and singing, carrying musical instruments through the streets.
Festivals in Melbourne
Considering the second highest number of immigrants in Australia are of Indian descent, many Indian festivals are also celebrated here in Australia, Holi included. For those unable to travel home this year, here are 2 Holi-related events held in Melbourne that you can partake in and still experience the colourful festivities!
This event will be full of music, dance, colours, and more! Open to everyone, ticket prices start at $16.91.
Where: Treasury Garden – Lawn 4
Time: 12 PM – 9 PM
Expect a day and night event with Live DJs, colours, food trucks, and stalls. Ticket prices start at $22.59.
Where: Ron Barassi, Snr Park
When: Sat 11th Mar 2023, 12:30 pm – Sun 12th Mar 2023, 10:00 pm AEDT
Coming Back Home
Despite the many festivities of Holi happening outside of India, nothing beats celebrating this vibrant of a festival at home. Don’t worry, we have a special Holi-Sale for you! From only $599, you can fly to India this month and celebrate all the warm colours of home. Visit us now at https://gauratravel.com.au/ and let us provide you with your best way home or call us anytime as we are available round-the-clock for you!
Visit us now at: https://gauratravel.com.au/ and let us provide you with your best way home.