In Russia, as well as almost all over the world, this is not the first year.
– Father George, in honor of which the holi festival of colors is set?
– Holi is a Hindu pagan religious holiday. It is set in honor of the burning of Kholiki, on whose behalf he received the name. According to Hindu mythology, Holik was the demon and sister of the demon king Hiranyakasipu. He imagined a lot about himself and demanded from his subjects that they should only bow to him. However, his son Prahlada continued to worship the Hindu “god” Vishnu. Hiranyakasipu was very unhappy about it. Once Holika took her nephew to her lap and sat down with him in the fire. She was wearing a magical cloak that protected her from fire. And she wanted to kill her nephew in this way. However, the cloak flew off of her and covered Prahlad, and Holik was burned alive.
– How is it celebrated in India?
– In India, the holi festival begins the night before, when the effigies Kholiki are burned in a large bonfire. Historically, the next day, the Indians smeared themselves with ashes from these fires. Over time, the ashes began to be painted or replaced with powder of different colors, which they still do. So the coloring is a symbolic application of the ashes of a burned demoness upon itself. On this day, special drinks and dishes are also used, which include juice or cannabis leaves.
“How safe is it to throw paints at each other?”
– During the holiday in India the number of victims of multicolored dust increases annually. In most cases, it is asthma, allergies, skin problems and even loss of vision. Natural paints are rarely used for this action even in India – various chemical mixtures are used. But even with the use of hypoallergenic paints, the eyes remain unprotected.
– Who is promoting this holiday in Russia?
– There is information that the Hare Krishnas and other neo-Hindu sects are engaged in planting holi in Russia, hiding behind names like “Society of Indian / Vedic Culture Lovers” and so on. The ultimate goal of Holi dispensation is to recruit members to their neo-Hindu religious organization.
– Is there really no commercial and “rave” components?
– Of course, there is. A lot of money is spinning at festivals, and most young people come to have fun, not knowing what pagan holiday they are involved in. But it would be wrong to reduce everything to commerce alone. Look: in 2005, when Holi had just begun to appear in Russia, it was held in Moscow by Hindus and Hare Krishnas. In Surgut, the festival of colors of 2014 was directly organized by the Hare Krishnas, who handed out idolatry cakes and asked to sing: “Hare Krishna!” The same thing happened in Taganrog. In Novokuznetsk, the festival of colors, Holi, was timed to coincide with the “new year according to the Indian calendar.” Finally, I would like to ask why the name of the festival of colors contains the word “holi”, indicating its pagan origin?
– And when Holi is celebrated in India?
– Holi is always celebrated on the last day of the full moon of the lunar month of Falgun, which falls at the end of February or the beginning of March. Therefore, the Indians consider it also the holiday of the onset of spring.
– Why is holi, being a celebration of the onset of spring, held in Moscow in the summer?
– Great question. I would add others to it: Why do the organizers of the holiday in Russia hide its religious origin and significance? Is it worth it to smear yourself with colored mud in honor of the pagan festival of India, established in memory of the demoness burnt alive? Should I put my own health at risk if even in India the holiday is accompanied by an outbreak of asthma and allergies? Should we support the initiatives of neo-Hindus aimed at spreading an alien religious culture in Russia? Many, probably, heard, as a child, their mother told them: “Do not take any dirt into the house!” Wise advice. He directly refers to attempts to instill in Holi celebration in Russia.
– Father George, let’s ask the last question that is relevant for people, even if they are baptized, but little versed in matters of faith: can a Christian participate in pagan holidays?
– Not. This is a grave sin that is a betrayal of God. Even in the Old Testament, it was described how the Israelites who had adopted a pagan feast in honor of the “goddess of heaven” sinned. God, through the prophet Jeremiah, says: “Children gather firewood, and fathers make fire, and women knead dough to make cakes for the goddess of heaven. But do they grieve me? says the Lord; Do you not be ashamed of yourselves? ”(Jer. 7: 18–19). With this sin, the Israelites brought trouble to their people, were defeated and driven into Babylonian slavery.
It is not surprising that many martyrs of early Christianity gave their lives for the right not to participate in pagan festivals. Such stories are full of the whole history of the first centuries of Christianity. For example, Saint Arkhip from among the 70 apostles was, along with his parents, brutally stabbed with knives and stoned at Colosse in the reign of Emperor Nero for refusing to participate in the pagan feast. Under Emperor Maximinus, Saint Athenogen, Bishop of Pidahfoi, was killed along with ten of his disciples. One day the ruler Philomarch arrived in his hometown of Sebastia, who decided to arrange a pagan feast. Most of the inhabitants of the city were Christians and refused to participate in this holiday. Philomarch began to torture Christians, forcing them to obey, and when he learned that their inspirer was Bishop Afinogen, he killed the saint with his ten disciples.
So if you are a Christian, think: is it worth it to commit a sin and change your faith simply in order to get dirty with colored mud?