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April 16, 2014

Homework Help: essay again

Posted by apoorva on Thursday, October 18, 2007 at 12:33pm.

i'm so sorry i'm posting the same thing over and over again. this is my whole essay except the conclusion. can you please read it all together and see what i can add more please.



Festival of Colors

India is known as a land of diversity because of its many cultures and celebrations. One of my favorite festivals to celebrate is called Holi, which is a celebration of the victory of good over the evil. Holi is “an ancient East Indian Festival held at the time of the full moon in March” by the Hindus. The Holi festival is celebrated with various types of events spread throughout the week, which include bonfires, dancing, and singing. This happy occasion is known as the Festival of Colors because it involves children, friends, and neighbors gathering on the streets together, and a riot of color takes over. Colored powders are thrown into air and are smeared on faces and bodies. While the colors associated with Holi are the main part of this celebration, the true reason for celebrating Holi is to keep the evil spirits away. Not only is Holi a joyous, colorful festival to celebrate with friends and family, but it is also meant to celebrate the death of winter and evil, whereas the colors used in this festival represent the arrival of spring.

The literal meaning of the word Holi is burning. There are different legends and myths to define the meaning of this word, because different cultures in India have their own perspective of how Holi is defined. I’m from southern India, so we believe the legend of Holi revolves around a demon king, Hiranyakashyap, whose dream was to have everyone worship only him. However, his son, Prahlad, was devoted to another king, known as Lord Vishnu, the protector of those who love him. The king then ordered his sister, Holika, to kill his son by burning him in a fire. Holika had a gift which she could throw herself in fire and come out without any damage on herself. She, however, was not aware that the gift only worked when she enters the fire alone. When she and Prahlad jumped in the fire together, Holika paid for her mistakes by burning to death, whereas Prahlad was saved by his protector, Lord Vishnu. Therefore, one of the reasons why Holi is important to the Indian culture is to celebrate the victory of good over evil.

The celebration of Holi only takes place for a week, but the preparations for various events begins almost forty days before the festival. One of the main events during this week is when everyone goes to a temple and performs a ritual to represent the death of Holika. Days before the ritual, people start gathering materials that can be burned such as, wood, dried leaves, twigs, and branches of trees. On the day of the ritual, a great wood pile is stacked outside the temple entrance where everyone gathers around in a circle to begin the event. In the middle of the pile, a combustible statue of Holika and a non-combustible statue of Prahlad are placed side by side by the priest. Then, on the eve of Holi, the pile of wood and statues are set on fire and the group of people starts chanting a mantra which signifies the death of Holika. On the next morning, the ashes are collected and smeared on the worshippers’ skin as an act off purification. The fire and the burning of the statue of Holika are meant to clear the atmosphere from evilness. However, the heat resulting from the fire also portrays that winter is behind and the beautiful days of spring are ahead.

The actual festival of Holi takes place the day after the ritual. Days before Holi begins, the markets and shops are filled with bags of different colors, such as red, green, orange, blue, magenta, and many more. This sets the mood and makes everyone in the community look forward to the day of Holi, because that is when the real fun starts. Everyone who desires to participate in this event decide on a place and time to meet, and they all get together to have some fun and to make new memories. Children, in particular, enjoy this part of the festival as they throw colored powder at everyone in their reach. Water balloons are thrown at friends and neighbors in the spirit of fun, and sometimes they even get soaked from a bucket of colored water thrown at them by their friends, which causes laughter and some teasing.
The spirit of Holi is color, because it is a portrayal of the spring season. In a metaphorical sense, Holi represents the bright colors of the sky, the beautiful flowers blossoming, and the bright, yellow sun shining from up above giving the world a life. The bright colors symbolize energy and joy that life offers everyone. The red color represents purity; the green color brings out the inner strength; the blue brings out the calm and the peacefulness in everyone, and the yellow makes one want to express their devotion to God. The sight of Holi is beautiful to watch as the entire atmosphere gets filled with colorful powders. The energy of the kids and the adults as they are playing and singing in their loudest voice is the spirit of the festival, which makes this occasion so delightful and memorable.

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