/hoh"lee/, n.
the Hindu spring festival.
[1905-10; < Hind holi < Prakrit holiya < Skt holika]

* * *

Hindu spring festival.

It is held on the full-moon day of Phalguna (February–March) and celebrated with reckless abandon. All distinctions of caste, age, sex, and status are disregarded. Participants throw coloured powders on each other, and street celebrations are noisy and riotous. The festival is especially associated with the worship of Krishna, and it is considered an imitation of his play with the wives and daughters of the cowherds.

* * *

▪ Hindu festival
 Hindu (Hinduism) spring festival celebrated throughout North India on the full-moon day of Phalguna (February–March). The festival has many characteristics of a saturnalia, as does carnival in certain Christian countries. Participants throw coloured water and powders on one another, and, on this one day only, license is given for the usual rankings of caste, gender, status, and age to be reversed. In the streets the celebrations are often marked by ribald language and behaviour, but at its conclusion, when everyone bathes, dons clean white clothes, and visits friends, teachers, and relatives, the ordered patterns of society are reasserted and renewed.

      The festival is particularly enjoyed by worshippers of the god Krishna. Its general frivolity is considered to be in imitation of Krishna's play with the gopis (wives and daughters of cowherds). In Vraja (Braja in modern Uttar Pradesh), rituals of reversal culminate in a battle in which the women of the natal village of Radha (Rādhā), Krishna's mistress, pummel the men of Krishna's village with staves; the men defend themselves with shields. A major expression of Holi's mood of relaxation is the Dolayatra (“swing festival”), in which images of the gods are placed on decorated platforms and are swung to the accompaniment of cycles of songs sung only in the spring season. But the most memorable rite in many locales is the kindling of an early-morning bonfire, which represents the burning of the demoness Holika (or Holi), sister of Hiranyakashipu, who enlisted her in his attempt to kill his son Prahlada. It was Prahlada's unshakable devotion to Vishnu that had alienated him from his family. The burning of Holika prompts worshippers to remember how Vishnu (in the form of a lion-man) attacked and killed Hiranyakashipu, showing that faith prevails.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Holi — Festival of Colours Lord Krishna playing Holi with Radha and other Gopis Observed by Hindus, mainly in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Slough …   Wikipedia

  • Holi — in Pushkar, Rajasthan …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Holî — (होली) Miniature représentant la holî Autre nom Fête des couleurs Phâlgunotsava Observé par les hindous Signification Célébration de l …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Holi — Holî Holî Miniature représentant la holî Autre nom Fête des couleurs Phâlgunotsava Observé par les hindous Signification Célébration de l équinoxe de printemps. Dat …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Holi — Radha y Krishna, y sakhis jugando Holi, siglo XIX. Día de celebración 20 de marzo de 2011 8 de marzo de 2012 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Holi —   die, , Frühlingsfest der Hindus, am Vollmondtag des Monats Phalguna (Hindukalender) im Februar/März. Holi ist in Nordindien Krishna, in Südindien dem Liebesgott Kama gewidmet. Ursprünglich ein Fruchtbarkeitsfest, wird es heute (besonders in den …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Holi — Holi, ein indisches Fest zu Ehren des Krischna, welches am Vollmondstage des Monats Phalgun (Febr. bis März) nach Art der römischen Saturnalien gefeiert wird …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • *holi — ● holi nom masculin Grand festival célébré en Inde le jour de la pleine lune de février mars. (Il est une occasion de réjouissances, avec levée des restrictions de castes, de sexe et d âge.) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Holi —    The Holi festival takes place on full Moon day in the Indian month of Phalguna (February–March) in most North Indian areas. It is very ancient, probably celebrated (with the name Holika) before the Common Era began.    One early form of the… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Holi — [ həʊli:] noun a Hindu spring festival celebrated in honour of Krishna. Origin via Hindi from Sanskrit holī …   English new terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”