New York Life is proud to serve the Asian Indian community in the United States. We are deeply committed to providing products and services to help Asian Indians achieve their financial goals. In order to better understand one of the many interesting cultures the Company serves, please enjoy this article on the Asian Indian festival, Holi.
Holi, a spring festival is celebrated the day after the full moon in March. During the festival people in the country run on the streets smearing each other with brightly hued powders and colored water.
Holi has been known to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land. However, there are also many legends concerning its origins. One of them tells the story of Prince Prahlad, the God-fearing son of the evil King Hiranyakashyapa. In spite of fearful persecution by his father, and his demon aunt Holika, Prahlad did not give up worshipping the God Vishnu. The persecution got to a point where Holika and her brother conspired to kill young Prahlad.
Holika, who was thought to be immune to fire, was to take Prahlad and enter a blazing furnace built especially for his destruction. In the end, Holika was the one burned to ashes by divine intervention, while Prahlad came out unscathed. However, just before dying, Holika realized her sins, and asked Prahalad to forgive her. As a gesture of forgiveness, Prahlad proclaimed that Holika’s name would be remembered at least one day in the year. According to this legend Holi celebrates Holika's repentance. Huge bonfires are burned on the eve of Holi as its symbolic representation.
Holi is also marked by vibrant processions, accompanied by folk songs, dances and a general sense of happiness. The festival is a favorite for being the most colorful and joyous of all. During Holi, people offer sweets to each other, and apply rich colors, known as gulal, on each other’s face. Gulal anticipates the colorful and happy times of spring. During Holi people from different social strata come together to celebrate, forgetting past differences and grievances.
So, get your gulal go out and celebrate. Happy Holi to all from New York Life!
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