Friday, November 16, 2012

Flashback Friday #3 - Holi in NYC

Hello readers! It's Friday again and you know what that means - Flashback Friday! Today we are going back to NYC again. You may be asking yourself 'Mark, you talk about New York quite a lot. Whats up with that?' Well, I travel there a lot (almost twice a year for the past 4), my sister lives there and I may be moving there myself, and on top of all that it is just an awesome place! Plus, I will be going there next week so this serves as precursor to that trip. Today we get to look back on a special event I got to experience on one of my trips to the Empire State - Holi, the Hindu festival of colors. This celebration normally lasts several days during the month of March and officially ushers in spring, the celebrated season of love. The significance of the holiday and respective festivities lies deep in Hindu scripture and belief. The story starts with a great King of Demons named Hiranyakashipu. This Demon King had a son named Prahlada who prayed to the God Vishnu instead of his own father. In classic ancient God style Prahlada's father ordered him to be burnt alive for his insubordination and being without fear Prahlada followed his father's orders, but prayed to Lord Vishnu for protection. Vishnu heard his prayers and kept him safe while allowing Hiranyakashipu's demon sister Holika (Prahlada's Demon Aunt I guess) to burn alive instead. The salvation of Prahlada and burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi. The festivities include the burning of bonfires on the eve of the holiday as well as the throwing of colored powders and scented perfumes at one another. This you can see in the photos above and as you can imagine it was quite a 'colorful' time had by all! Perhaps one day I will get to celebrate again, but for now I will enjoy the memories. Thanks for reading and Keep it REAL!

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