In the month of May, we will share a story and prayer request each day for our 31 days of prayer for India. Please join us in praying for India. Stay tuned for more ways to pray.
Holi is one of the most widely known festivals in India and is often called the festival of colors. During Holi people from all walks of life celebrate in the streets with bright colors and water balloons. Typically celebrated in March or April, Holi welcomes in the spring season, which is a season of renewal.
No Holi celebration is complete without the special menus of sweet dishes and cool summer drinks. Once Holi has begun, it is hard to find someone who is not covered in the bright colored powder that makes Holi famous throughout the world.
For many, Holi is a time to remember a spirit of oneness and devotion to the gods. Several mythical events portray good versus evil and commemorate certain Hindu gods. People often burn offerings from the recent harvest to invoke Agni, the god of fire. Some take fire from the large bonfire to rid their homes of disease. Many believe that being covered in color and then washed by water represents ridding oneself of hatred and gaining love for all people, even those of a different caste.
Some say that the Hindu religion views Holi as a day that celebrates life by allowing the Hindu believer a “free day” to sin and not have punishment. Others say it is a time to celebrate oneness with everyone, even those from different castes.
Holi is also a time when people welcome in the spring season, which is a season of renewal. It is a time for the non-religious to have fun in the color, but it is also a time for the deeply-religious to perform yearly rituals. Many believe that being covered in color and then washed represents ridding oneself of hatred and gaining love for all people.
The bonfires that light up the country on the first day of the holiday is a time when Hindus burn Holika as a symbol of society’s evils. Holika, the demoness, and Prahlada, Vishnu’s devotee, are the main deities of Holi who are worshipped during the festival.
Pray for Holi participants to hear about oneness with the True God and become part of his family.
Pray for Christians who participate in Holi to have opportunities to build relationships and share the gospel at a time when togetherness is valued.