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Behind the Colors

Every new AES student may experience their first Holi here at our school, and if you’re anything like me you’ll agree that Holi is the most AWESOME celebration. The thing that makes this celebration unique is more than just the colorfullnes, it’s how everyone comes together to play and have fun. To most expats at AES, Holi is an excuse to miss school and a celebration to have fun, but there is whole story behind these colors that is worth knowing about.

The colors in Holi are used to represent the coming of spring. The colors come from flowers that will blossom with bright natural dyes during the spring. Unfortunately in many places this isn’t the case anymore, people have started to use synthetic colors. Just look around the halls at school to see the still dyed hair of your classmates to know the danger of these synthetic powders.

Holi gets its name from Holika, demon king Hiranyakashyap’s sister. Hiranyakashap had received a boon from lord Vishnu making him to be killed by man or animal. This made him feel better than others, and so desired to be worshiped by all and people should stop worshiping Vishnu. His son Prahlad continued to worship Vishnu and his father got angry, so he threw his son off a cliff, but he survived. Hiranyakashyap ordered his son to jump down a well, but still nothing. When he tried to poison his son, the poison turned into nectar once entering his mouth. Next he ordered elephants to trample over Prahlad, but he wasn’t harmed. Even when Prahlad was put in a room with poisonous, angry snakes, he didn’t get hurt.

Hiranyakashyap knew that Holika his sister was had a chant received from the gods against fire, so he demanded her to bring Prahlad into the fire with her, so that he died and never worshiped Vishnu and she survived. But he didn’t know that her chant against fire did not work for one hour during the day, and this was happened to be the hour she took her nephew into the fire. While sitting on the pile of wood before it was burnt down Holika said that she would be worshiped if she died. And so as the fire started to burn Holika died and Prahlad survived till the very last spark.

From that day on everyone on the day of Holika’s death celebrated Holi which was the defeat of good over evil.

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