Talk about a kaleidoscope of color. Today marks the date of the colorful Indian festival Holi, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil—in high pigment fashion. Read on to learn a little bit about the history of this effervescent event, and how Delysia can help you celebrate!
India is an incredibly vast and diverse country, so it’s hard to pin down the exact origins of the Holi celebration, since various legends purport to inspire the event. But one particularly popular Holi legend is the story of Holika and Prahlad. It goes a little something like this: there once was an evil king named Hiranyakashyap. This king was so powerful—and so full of himself—that he thought he should be worshiped like a god. So imagine the king’s displeasure when his own son, Prahlad, refused to worship him, instead remaining devoted to the true god, Lord Naarayana.
Now, King Hiranyakashyap didn’t take to this too kindly. In fact, the evil king had a plan to punish Prahlad and get rid of him once and for all. The king called on his sinister sister, Holika, to help him with the task. Holika had a special ability: she could walk into a burning fire and emerge unscathed. So, the king told Holika to carry Prahlad into a fire so that his son would burn up. But things didn’t turn out the way the king planned. When Holika entered the fire clutching Prahlad, she was the one burnt up, while Prahlad escaped the fire without a burn on his body.
What happened? Turns out there was a particular rule about Holika’s special ability that she and the king were unaware of: to avoid being burnt up, Holika could only enter a fire alone. So she was reduced to ashes, while the pure-hearted Prahlad was spared a fiery death by the god Lord Naarayana, who rewarded him for his unwavering devotion.
That’s why today the Holi festival celebrates the victory of good over evil. On the eve of the festival, big bonfires are burned to commemorate Prahlad’s triumph over Holika’s wickedness. On the day of Holi, people in India and Nepal shower town streets with vivid colorful powders, and a joyful spirit permeates their towns. The old and young alike take part in the colorful celebration, chasing each other with water guns and water balloons filled with highly pigmented H2O. The happy, colorful celebration also marks the end of the cold winter season and welcomes the light and warmth that spring brings.
Want a little taste of the country that gave us the Holi festival in your own home? Indulge in Delysia’s Indian Truffle Collection, which includes a highly spiced collection of curry, ginger, and garam masala chocolates. The fiery flavors are sure to remind you that warmer months are coming soon!