Holi is not simply about fun and frolics of throwing colours at one another and declaring that spring has come so that it would sound pleasing and intellectual to the western or modern or secular mind.
Holi is celebrated for many reasons indeed; one such `Truth' we overlook is the victory over those who attempt to convert us from our faith/path!
The story of Prahlad is clear.
[[Hiranyakashyapu decreed that he be worshiped as a God and this was enforced to the extent of being obeyed by everyone in his kingdom with the exception of his son Prahlad. Prahlad refused to see his father as a god and stayed devoted to Lord Vishnu.
This made Hiranyakashipu very angry and he made various attempts to kill Prahlad.]]
DOES this story familiar in the history of India??
Yes Holi is a celebration of FAITH in our God; but it is also a victory over those who would try to sway us from the worship of our God.
This is the other message of Holi in my opinions.
Your faith is your own (just as Prahlad) and let no man bribe you, force you or sweet talk you out of it. Let no man sway you from your religion (just as Hiranyakashyapu tried to do).
Let Holi inspire you to delve deep into your faith, meditate upon God.
Conversion is wrong.
Its grossly evil.
Forcing us against our will is wrong.
Our will must therefore be strong
So let Holi inspire that strength.
Let the story of Holi inspire you.
The effect of forced conversion on individuals and society is clear to see from the story of Prahlad.
Many died for their right to pray to Vishnu.
Many Yajnas (pooja) were destroyed and many probably converted (sounds very familiar! How many temples have been destroyed in the name of conversion?).
But Prahlad gives a clear message to us all.
Even unto death we will not convert from our chosen path of worship of God.
The Holi bonfire is not just symbolic of YOUR unconditional love and FAITH -- it is a yajna which is performed by the community en mass; who come together once a year and do pooja together to God.
We do not come to see Holika burn Prahlad since no effigy is burnt therein.
Holika is not worshipped and she is not a goddess (as one person posted on their website).
The bonfire is nothing like that of the Dussera bonfire where clearly we come to celebrate the death/removal of `evil' (ie in the form of Ravan.)
At the bonfire we make special prayers and perform small pooja.
We pray to our respective God –Vishnu Shiva, Krishna, Mataji etc.
Perhaps Holi has never been presented like this before, but I think it should as the story is clear and our celebratory actions are clear.