Meaning of Holi – What does the term Holi mean in Holi Festival?



Holi is the festival of colors and is observed during the spring season in India. Ever wondered what does the term Holi mean?. The meaning of Holi festival is traced back to the Vedic era and is rooted in agrarian economy of the country.

The word Holi also refers to Holaka or Holakah, means chickpeas or pulses half parched in the pod. It is believed that during the Vedic period farmers made an offering for good harvest. The offering involved throwing of wheat, barley, jowar and other such crops into sacred fire.

At the end of the ceremony, the ashes collected from the sacrificial fire were rubbed on the foreheads and it was scattered in all directions. It was also scattered in the farm fields for a good harvest. Hence the term Dhulendi used to refer to Holi in many places. The play with colors on Holi day is referred as Dhuleti or Dhulendi in many regions.

Today many people believe that the term has its origin in Demon Holika who was consumed by fire when she attempted to harm Prahlada, the ardent to devotee of Vishnu.