Hindu community celebrates Holi in Pakistan

downloadISLAMABAD, March 16 (APP): The Hindu community based in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad Sunday celebrated Holi festival by smearing ‘Abeer’ or red vermilion powder and throwing colour and water-filled balloons at each other.Talking to APP, President Pakistan Hindu-Sikh Social Welfare Council, member Punjab minority council, Jagmohan Kumar Arora said the main Holi celebrations were held at Krishna Mandir Rawalpindi. Over 200 members of the community celebrated their festival of colours.The event started at 6 pm and continued till 10 pm.At the end food was distributed among the participants.The event is the Festival of Colours in the Hindu religious calendar, and it signifies new beginnings, leaving behind Winter and welcoming Spring.

The festival has been linked with the burning of Holika. It revolves around the mythology of the demon king Hiranya Kashyapu ordering his sister Holika to enter a fire with Pralhad, son of the demon king and a devout follower of Lord Bishnu, in her lap so that Pralhad would stop chanting the name of the Lord.
The catch was that Holika wouldn’t burn in the fire because of a boon she had received from god. But it so happened that the fire burnt Holika whereas Pralhad remained unharmed and came out of the fire still chanting the name of god.

Then onwards, the festival is being celebrated by smearing colour in enjoyment.There is also a saying that Lord Bishnu had told Holika that the boon she had received would be meaningless if it was misused.

Elders believe that any premonitions can be avoided if “Tika” made from the ashes of the ‘Chir’ is put on one’s forehead or kept in the house.
Revelry in the form of pelting pedestrians with water-filled balloons from the upper windows of houses usually marks the festival.
Besides its historic and religious significance, the festival is linked to the well-being and prosperity of the locals. It also promotes tourism and trade.

Source: Associated Press Of Pakistan