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Holi festival kicked off in town

Holi festival kicked off in town

Sunday, March 31, 2013, 15:10 GMT+7

The Indian Business Chamber in Vietnam (Incham) on Sunday held the color festival of Holi at the Riverside Residence building in Phu My Hung area in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7.

“The event, the celebration of unity, is an opportunity to forget all the differences people are having.” “It honors all the colors of joy, love, friendship, happiness, and smiles,” said the organizer.

There are over 200 people, including Indians and their Western and Vietnamese friends, joining the event, doubling the number last year, said Mohan Ramesh Anand, Incham vice chairman.

Every year, thousands of Hindus worldwide participate in the Holi festival which celebrates the beginning of the new season - the spring. It is a festival that commemorated good harvests and fertile land, as the 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. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw colored powder at each other, and celebrate wildly.

The word Holi originated from "Holika", sister of Hiranyakashipu. In the old Hindu religion – Vaishnavism – Hiranyakashipu is the great king of demons, and he had been granted a boon by Brahma, which made it almost impossible for him to be killed.

Consequently, he grew arrogant and attacked the Heavens and the Earth. He demanded that people stop worshipping gods and start praising respectfully to him.

According to this belief, Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada, was a devotee of Vishnu. In spite of several threats from Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada continued offering prayers to Vishnu.

As a result, Hiranyakashipu tried many ways to kill Prahlada, by poisoning him, having him trampled by elephants, and imprisoning him in a room with poisonous snakes, but all of Hiranyakashipu's attempts failed.

Finally, he ordered young Prahlada to sit on a pyre in the lap of Holika, Hiranyakashipu's demon sister, who also could not die.

Prahlada readily accepted his father's orders, and prayed to Lord Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, it turned out that Holika was the one who was burnt to death, while Prahlada survived unharmed.

The salvation of Prahlada and burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi.

Thoai Tran


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