1. Names of Holi
The first day of Holi season is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi while the second day is known as Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi or Dhulivandan.
2. Holika Dahan is celebrated the Night before Holi
In Indian mythology, it is said that Holika, the sister of King Hiranyakashipu and aunt of Prahlad, was burned when she tried to burn Prahlad. Thus, Holika Dahan is celebrated. This burning ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. The days before the Holi festival, people start gathering wood and combustible materials for the bonfire in open spaces. On top of the pyre, there is an effigy to signify Holika. This year, Holika dahan will be on 23rd march 2016, and will start at 6:30 pm to 8:53 pm, for a duration of 2 Hours 22 Minutes.
3. The love of Radha & Krishna
As per legend, Holi is celebrated in the name of Love between Lord Krishna and love of his life Radha. It is said that young Krishna had often complained to his mother Yashoda about his dark complexion and that Radha was so fair. Tired of his worries, Yashoda told Krishna to color Radha in any color he wants and see how her complexion would change. From Till date, Holi is commemorated and celebrated as a festival of love.
4. Involvement of Lord Shiva
As per another legend, Holi is also associated with the involvement of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is known for his meditative nature. He spent many hours in solitude and deep meditation. Kamdev, the Lord of Passion, decided to test his resolve. He appeared in front of Lord Shiva in the form of a beautiful nymph. This makes Lord Shiva very angry and he shot fire out of his third eye and burn him to ashes. This often refers to the Holi’s bonfire.
5. There is a special kind of Holi named – Lath (Lathi) Mar Holi
In Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, a special kind of Holi is celebrated by the locals, named Lath (Lathi) Mar Holi, where thousands of Hindus and tourists come together, each year. Women and men wear traditional costumes. They play Holi with a stick and a shield. Women try to touch men with sticks and where men have to protect themselves with the shield.
6. Playing Holi with Flowers
A very special Holi is also celebrated in Pink City Jaipur, where instead of color or gulal powders, flowers are used to play Holi.