Originally Holi was a spring festival which was celebrated for good harvest and fertility of the land. Every year thousands of people participate in the festival from all over India and also in many parts of the world. Hindus believe that Holi represents the color and vibrancy of spring which is most pleasant of all seasons. As they bid adieu to the cold and dry winter they are welcomed by the mesmerizing spring which is not only pleasing to the senses but is also a season of fertility and bloom. The nature pulsates with life and is at its colorful best. The colors of Holi represent this brilliance and vivacity of nature, replete with picturesque beauty. However, this is not the only reason why Holi is celebrated. There are several legends associated with this Hindu festival, all of which date back to centuries, to an era were Gods were known appear on Earth. Read through the article know about the history of Holi.
History and origin of Holi
Holi in Ancient Hindu Inscriptions
Early Vedas and Puranas such as 'Narad Purana' and 'Bhavishya Purana' have a detailed description of Holi. Archeologists excavated a 300 BC stone at Ramgarh which has the mention of 'Holikotsav', meaning the celebration of Holi inscribed on it. This hints that Holi was originated even before the birth of Christ. Many other ancient references include King Harsha's 'Ratnavali' which talks about Holikotsav.
Holi in Ancient Paintings and Frescoes
Some ancient temples in various parts of India contain sculptures on their walls illustrating Holi celebrations. A 16th century painting discovered in Ahmednagar is on the theme of Vasanta Ragini - spring song or music.
Read about the history and origin of Holi festival in India.