Holi is the world’s largest cultural festival. It is a festival of melody and fire. Festivals associated with water and fire are celebrated in more than 70 countries and across all continents around the world. Our Holi is believed to be the oldest of these festivals. Most festivals associated with fire and water are celebrated to welcome spring. Holi is also a form of spring. It is also called Vasantotsav.
A tradition like Holika Dahan, which symbolises the victory of good over evil, exists in many other countries. In Egypt on the night of April 13, people burn their ancestors’ old clothes in the fire. In Germany, an effigy symbolising evil is prepared and torched on Easter day.
Africa’s ‘Omena Bonga’ Festival
The festival of ‘Omena Bonga’ is celebrated in some countries of Africa. This festival is celebrated like Holika Dahan. According to mythology, the festival symbolises burning of depostic king. While burning it, people also dance and celebrate to welcome the arrival of new crop.
In Italy, radica festival is celebrated. On this occasion people light bonfire and later apply colours on each other.
The new year begins on April 13 in Thailand. In African countries, people throw colour water on each other on March 16 and celebrate this day as birthday of Sun.
Pichkari in use in India for last 1100 years
It is believed that pichkari is being used in India for the last 1100 years. In 1896, NASA engineer Lonnie Johnson patented it. But in our country, there is evidence available to prove that pichkari is being used for last 1100 years.