Seasons, they come and go and with it brings the endless possibilities. Life comes with its share of joy and pain, happiness and hardships and what better way than nature itself letting us know that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Human civilization through the ages has tried to find meaning in an otherwise seemingly meaningless world. Therefore, we invented festivals and rituals, and although one may find most of it futile if seen strictly from a scientific viewpoint and yet in these rituals and costumes, there has been a deep embedded philosophy, without which our life seems colourless. What a world it would be without colours? Can you imagine a world in just shades of black and white? And so every spring, we open our arms in joy, for we exclaim in joy, “Holi hai!”
But, do you know why holi is celebrated in India? So, holi, as we know, is the festival of colours and has a rich and deep tradition in Indian ethos. Holi marks the beginning of spring or ‘basant’ and has always been associated with harvest. Hence, it is accompanied by the idea of prosperity and happiness in our lives. Another tradition dates to centuries back and is rooted in Hindu mythology. As per this school of thought, Holi symbolizes the celebration of divine love between Radha and Krishna. Another important aspect of holi is the triumph of good over evil and so most holi celebrations are incomplete without burning the ‘Holika Dahan’. Every year, Holi is celebrated during Purnima or full moon day and although it’s an Indian festival, it resonates with everyone now globally.
So, what is the impact of holi in our lives? Holi shows that life may be mundane and come with its share of heartbreaks and problems but holi is a reminder that our lives are beautiful and it’s never too late to start over. You may be someone, who has lost a loved one or undergoing some treatment or going through a financial loss. Yet, for that brief period, you may forget all your inhibitions and sorrow and welcome a new beginning. Holi gives us the opportunity to burn down all the negativities inside our soul and step forward with a ray of hope and lots of positivity. Each colour has a different significance, a different grammar of meaning and if we can truly embrace the idea behind holi, our lives, even if momentarily, can turn brighter and vanish away all negative aspects of our lives.
Now, as we know, happiness and health have a direct correlation. Once we feel happy from inside, once we nourish positivity in our homes and our hearts, our mental and physical health also improves. So, the primary benefit of celebrating holi is releasing those neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. The other notable benefit includes improving our social relationships with friends and family. Holi provides the scope of bringing people close to each other, as they try to shun away all negative emotions and embrace each other wholeheartedly.
At the same time, one must also keep in mind that holi is no excuse for not obeying consent or willingness of the other person to play holi. Moreover, one must also maintain a caution when it comes to using what kind of colours one would use to celebrate holi. In the market, there are lots of colours available but one must use only safe and herbal colours. This is because using cheap colours can be toxic and cause harm to our skin and hair.
Nonetheless, holi is a festival that welcomes everyone, despite differences in religion or culture. In the words of Dr. Vikash Kumar Agarwal, senior Onco Surgeon of V Care Cancer Center, “holi unites people in the celebration of joy and ignites the good force in us to showcase that sadness cannot last.