The True Colors of Holi

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The whole festival, which is the Indian spring festival of love, is celebrated with all devotion and enthusiasm on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. The main highlight of holi for millions of Indians across the country is the image of Goddess Lakshmi painted on rice. This divine image symbolizes the eternal circle of love and connection between the lovers. On this day, many Indian women decorate their homes and vermilion pots with rice and dry fruits. A special red dot is painted over the image to represent the color of love.


It is believed that Lord Krishna accepted his mother’s eternal connection with him when he took the body of his beloved Sita and emerged from her to join his beloved brother Subhadra on earth. To complete his mission, he presented his wife with the garland of flowers and a garland of cloth around the loins of Sita. Lord Krishna then left for heaven along with Sita in the chariot of fire. This legend explains that after accepting the vows of eternal love for Sita, Lord Krishna took the form of a tree and flew away to the abode of Sita. When his beloved wife saw this divine image of Lord Krishna, she became very pleased and touched his foot with her hands, requesting him to come back and spend the night with her there.


While sitting under the shade of a mango tree, the couple was approached by a cowherd and his retainer. They were asked to give up the delicious dinner they had just enjoyed earlier and go to the far corner of the garden where they would enjoy the true meaning of love. The image of Sita with the garland around her loins and the red dot around her image representing the color of love was the object of desire of the cowherd. The couple refused to comply, realizing the mistake they had made when accepting the invitation. The cowherd then announced that he would return with the image of Sita after sunset on the auspicious occasion of Dhanteras.


The next day, on reaching Sita’s home, he met her without any obstruction. Sita welcomed him with folded hands, and he knelt down on the vermilion ground. He kneeled at her feet and offered her the red dot with the garland, saying “opatha”, or “Mana” in Sanskrit. She was extremely delighted when he offered the sacrifice that she had been waiting for. Lord Krishna then disappeared from Sita’s sight, but not before she saw a sudden flash of light and heard the voice of Lord Krishna saying “Namaste”.


This is an incredible story that describes the true essence of Valentine’s Day. The red dot representing the Lord Krishna and the round red flower representing Sita have an altogether different meaning. On the auspicious occasion of “Image Holi”, these two colors are associated with the ever-burning flame of love and affection between two lovers and are symbols of eternal bliss.


Images of red dot were traditionally used on all occasions, be it a birthday, wedding, or some other auspicious occasion. A combination of red dots, flowers, and a small figure of Lord Krishna representing the Holy spirit make for a very auspicious day. In the west, however, the use of this color scheme originated from the year 8th century BC. At that time, the civilization of that era did not recognize the significance of the colors red and yellow as the significant colors of the day.


Even after the western world got hold of the true meaning of Image Holi, it retained the ancient red dot design. India has always remained true to its cultural heritage, observing Holi on different dates in different parts of the country. While celebrating “Image Holi”, people decorate their homes with bright colored cloths and accessories that resemble the colors used in the traditional holi festival. They also put fresh flowers and fruits on their dinner tables. All these embellishments and decorations of the house symbolize the joyous celebration of “Image Holi”.


The main focus of the “image holi” decorations is the large red dot that is painted on the forehead of the red ribbon. This signifies the bond between the east and the west, and the unity between the living beings. The red dot represents the Lord Krishna, and the bow and the arrow that represents Lord Krishna’s chariot. To complete the look of the house, people decorate their guest stands with the yellow color that symbolizes the sun.

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