The famous spring festival of colors, Dhulandi is celebrated throughout the nation with unparalleled enthusiasm. People splash one another with colored powder called Gulaal, while singing and dancing merrily.
The legend behind this colorful celebration of Dhulandi is connected with a famed devotee of Hindu God Narayana- Bhakt Prahalad. As per the legend, Prahalad was a son of a demonic Asura king named Hiranyakashyap, whose brother Hiranyaksipu was killed by the Varaha incarnation of Lord Narayana.
Infuriated by the death of a dear brother, Hiranyakashyap decided to kill every devotee or supporter of Lord Narayana he may encounter. And as the fate would have it, his son himself started following the teachings of Lord Narayana becoming an ardent devotee of him.
He tried several times and in many to waver his son’s faith in the god, and when that didn’t happen he decided to kill him off. His sister, named Holika decided to help his brother in this appalling deed. She was given a boon by Lord Brahma that fire could not harm her as long as her intents are pious. Both the siblings decided to use this boon against Prahalad forgetting about the condition mentioned above.
A pyre was arranged, and Holika went in the middle of it carrying the young boy Prahalad.
By the grace of Lord Narayan, or perhaps because of the forgotten condition the boon backfired, and Holika started to burn alive while no harm was encountered by the boy.
This event restored the stifled faith of other Narayana devotees and they openly celebrated this victory of good over evil by singing, dancing in merriment while throwing colored powders in the air.
Since then the festival of Holika dahan, and Dhulandi is celebrated on the last day of Hindu Calendar month of Falgun.
Different regions celebrate this festival in different manners. In Jaipur, the special feature of the festival is the ‘Elephant Festival’ that includes parade of elegantly ornamented elephants. But alike most other places the prominent feature of the festival in Jaipur as well is the colors that fill the sky, air, and ground of the city.
People participate in this colorful festival with utmost gusto, throwing colors in the air and at one another, until the whole scenarios looks like nothing but a huge canvas filled with bright colors.