Holi! Festival of colours! A grand welcome for spring to blossom and a warm goodbye hug winter.
We shout ‘Bura na mano Holi hai’ and throw colours at each other. Pink, red, green, even yellow. The festival of colours walks in with whole new energy within us. We all get together and celebrate Holi with immense enthusiasm and love. We laugh together. Play together. Every shred of our lost hopes falls back in place. We look for new hope around us. We help each other as if there never was any kind of gap between us. We unite to celebrate Holi as one.
Let’s take this opportunity and teach children about the good and bad, the divine and evil. It’s time to pass on the wisdom to your children. Let’s tell them the tale of Holi.
Legend behind Holi
Once upon a time, there was a king, Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu was an Asura, the King of daityas. With his immense power and conquering history, he made a new friend. A friend who could destroy anything and everything, EGO. He commanded every single person in his kingdom to worship him and only him.
Hiranyakashipu worshipped Lord Brahma. He pleased Lord Brahma with a strict fast and chantings. He meditated for hours. Though, his desires and intentions weren’t right. In return for his penance, he asked for a boon to be immortal. Lord Brahma couldn’t say ‘No’. He also couldn’t deny the fact that ‘Everything that is born is meant to die’. So he granted Hiranyakashipu’s alternate wish.
He was blessed with a weird, yet, a powerful boon. It was as good as being immortal. He was blessed to rule all the living and non-living entities. Blessed to not be killed by God, Demon, Human or animal. Blessed not to die in the day or at night. Blessed not to die in any room or out in open. Blessed not to die on the ground, underground or in the sky.
Even after all the success, Hiranyakashipu wasn’t truly happy. He was frustrated by one person who didn’t worship him, his own son Prahlad. Prahlad was devoted to the supreme reality, Vishnu himself. Prahlad would spend his days chanting ‘Hari’ (Another name of Lord Vishnu).
Prahlad denied his father’s command. He continued worshipping Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu didn’t like Prahlad’s spiritual inclination. He felt self-pity and misery. He warned Prahlad about not uttering the Lord’s name. Of course, that didn’t work.
Holica, sister of Hiranyakashipu, came up with a plan. She advises Hiranyakashipu to burn Prahlad with Holica herself. She had a boon of not getting hurt by Fire. As per the plan, they arranged the woods. Holika sat on the woods with little Prahlad in her lap. When the fire was set, Prahlad began to chant ‘Hari’.
As per the plan, the fire went on. Holika was set on fire even after having the boon of not getting hurt by fire. This happened because her intentions with other people weren’t wise. She planned on hurting someone else. The fire went off, turning the wood into ashes. Everyone watched Prahlad walked out of it. He was safe and fine. Prahlad’s devotion to the Lord was pure. He continued putting his faith in Lord Vishnu. Prahlad later ruled the kingdom as the mighty kind.
Now, this was a little review of the story we know. The core point is to make children aware of the reasons behind our traditions and celebrations. There are also many things you can teach them while telling this story. Here are a few points to guide your child to understand and truly enjoy the festival of colours.
What can you teach your child about Holi?
1. Moral values
Make your child understand the moral values followed by Prahlad. He believed in the Lord. His faith wasn’t shattered by any kind of torture. The same way you need to teach your child to have his/her own moral values. The values you teach children. The values your children develop as they grow up. If they simply focus on them, they will achieve everything they need.
2. Never have EGO
Ego is one thing that can destroy everything. Ego not only blinds us, but we are unable to see our own good side. Teach children when the ego is developed we forget what and how other people feel. All we focus on is doing wrong to them. Teach children to be complete without a shred of ego in them.
3. Believe and don’t lose your calm
No matter how bad someone behaves with you, you shouldn’t lose your calm. Believe in yourself. Believe in any force, or energy you follow. Make children be strong to face any difficulty in life. When children are young they deal with simple issues. Issues like; Where did I lose my eraser? Or Why is my best friend talking to that girl/boy? But, once they grow up they will have to face some big problems. Now, we can’t ignore this. Children will grow up someday. So let’s take this opportunity and help children be strong.
4. Never do wrong to anyone
The story depicts how if we plan something bad against someone or wish bad for them, it will eventually turn around and walk back to you. Like a boomerang. Teach children that no matter how bad someone behaves with us there is always a calm and cool way to deal with it. There is no need to hurt anyone. This will only hurt you more.
5. Good side will always win over the evil
Sometimes it might seem like the bad person is winning. They keep on winning every little argument. No one blames them as they are clever enough to hide their wrongdoings. This aches us. But, in the end, no matter how powerful a wrong person is, he loses. That moment everything will fall in places. So teach your child to never lose hope.
6. Accept others and their views
Every person on this planet is different. Even if two people might share the same taste in food or colours, they are still different. Teach your child to be patient and open to other people. Children might not have the tolerance to do that, but neither do adults. So practice patience with them. Teach children that sometimes we might only see one side of the coin. If someone else is showing us the other side of the coin, have patience and listen. There are chances that the other person is actually right.
Belief is the only thing that keeps us going. Teach your child to believe. It doesn’t matter what energy you follow or which divine lord you are devoted to. The only thing that matters is to believe. Believe that it is going to work. Teach children that they might be having some up-downs right now but it will work. Above all, what is life if there are no ups and downs?
8. The meaning of wood fire
Holika is burnt in the form of woods and dried grass. It is believed that burning wood in Holi means burning negative energies. It means the end of Denial, Dishonesty, Deceit and every bad thing that exists. Every bad emotion that stops us from becoming a better person is destroyed.
9. Make your own decisions
Hiranyakashipu might not even think of burning his child in the first place. Holika suggested that. She did so with her own intentions to hurt Prahlad. Teach your child to make wise decisions. In any relationship, a third person shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions for you. You should be open for the opinions but not bestow the decision making a factor. Of course, this is beneficial for children once they grow up. Right now unless parents guide their children, children won’t e able to make decisions. S guide your children to make wise decisions right from the beginning.
10. Importance of colours
Every colour plays its own part in life. Red stands for love, while yellow for friendship. White stands for peace while black stands to remove negative energy. Teach your child about the colours. When we throw colours at each other and play in Holi. We colour other people with emotion and positivity. So make them choose the colours. Above all, don’t forget to teach your child to use natural colours. They are eco-friendly and don’t hurt the skin in any way.
11. Holi craft
Holi isn’t limited to only colours and burning the woods. Children can also explore DIY projects for this Holi. Help them make holiday greeting cards for family and friends. Deliver these cards the old way. Guide them to make envelopes with a small colour splash on the corner. Make your child deliver these cards to the address of their friends and family. You can also guide your child to make homemade all natural colours for Holi. Make a HOLI banner for your front door. This lightens up the mood of every person who enters your home.
These are just a few ideas and thoughts. If you want to teach your child something else about Holi, do it. Something that you yourself have learnt as a child or even now as an adult. Something that your granny taught you about Holi when you were sitting on her lap. This Holi let us all gather and make children look at a new aspect. Let’s celebrate this Holi not only as a festival but with the honour to learn a lot. Let’s teach our children good morals and values. This Holi, let’s spread peace, love and humanity.
Happy Holi! Have fun and a safe splash of colours.