Holi (Hindi: होली Punjabi: ਹੋਲੀ) is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus as a festival of colours.
Every year, thousands of Hindus participate in the festival Holi. The festival has many purposes. First and foremost, it celebrates the beginning of the new season, spring. Originally, it was a festival that commemorated good harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colors and saying farewell to winter. It also has a religious purpose, commemorating events present in Hindu mythology. Although it is the least religious holiday, it is probably one of the most exhilarating ones.
During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw colored powder at each other, and celebrate wildly. As one of the major festivals of India and Nepal, Holi is celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun which is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar. Continue reading
Indian Caste System
If a Hindu person were asked to explain the nature of the caste system, he or she might start to tell the story of Brahma — the four-headed, four-handed deity worshipped as the creator of the universe.
According to an ancient text known as the Rigveda, the division of Indian society was based on Brahma’s divine manifestation of four groups. Priests and teachers were cast from his mouth, rulers and warriors from his arms, merchants and traders from his thighs, and workers and peasants from his feet.
Even today, most Indian languages use the term “jati” for the system of hereditary social structures in South Asia. When Portuguese travelers to 16th-century India first encountered what appeared to them to be race-based social stratification, they used the Portuguese term “casta” — which means “race” — to describe what they saw. Today, the term “caste” is used to describe stratified societies based on hereditary groups not only in South Asia but throughout the world. Continue reading