Holi is a festival celebrated by the Indian subcontinent and the Indian diaspora across the world. In some Indian states, Holi is known as Dolyatra or Basanta-Utsav. The festival of Holi is celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March every year. Holi is also associated with the immortal love of Krishna and Radha, and hence, is spread over 16 days in Vrindavan as well as Mathura – the two cities with which Lord Krishna shared a deep affiliation. Apart from the usual fun with coloured powder and water, Holi is celebrated as it is Spring time in the Indian subcontinent.
Holi Story: The Legend of Holika and Prahlad
Holi has various Indian legends associated with it. A popular legend is that of demon King Hiranyakashap and his sister Holika. He was very egoistic and commanded that everyone should worship only him. But to his great disappointment, his son Prahlad became an ardent devotee of Lord Visnnu and refused to worship his father. Hiranyakashyap tried many times to kill his son Prahlad but Lord Vishnu saved him every time. Finally, he asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap. Holika had a boon, whereby, she could enter the fire unharmed. Holika deceitfully persuaded young Prahlad to sit in her lap and she took her seat in a blazing fire. Holika did not know that the boon worked only when she entered the fire alone. Prahlad, who kept chanting the name of Lord Vishnu, came out unharmed, as the lord blessed him for his utmost devotion. Prahlad felt sorry for Holika and named this festival after her. This festival signifies the triumph of Good over evil.
Celebration takes a Marketing turn
Colours fill the air as people apply Gulal, which is colour made out of flowers and added fragrances, to their near and dear ones. Days before Holi, the markets are flooded with colours of every shade and hue. This sets the mood of the people until the actual day of Holi. It is a colourful sight to watch piles and piles of bright red, green, pink and yellow colours line up every where on the streets.
This is a period when people spring clean their homes. This means redecorating and refurbishing their homes and throwing out the old. What an opportunity for a marketer to cash in on those additional sales. This is also a period when marketers in India and other subcontinent countries, integrate this phenomenon into their product offers for the enthusiastic people celebrating Holi. Even for marketers in Australia there are immense opportunities for targeting these audiences during the Holi period. Festivals and events across the country allow for the purest form of direct marketing. A targeted message from a marketer reaching over 100,000+ attendees at the Darling Harbour Holi Mahotsav during the Holi festivities in Sydney, cannot be underestimated.
These newer channels of reach are growing in importance as new migrants, 457 Visa holders, International students join in for the celebrations with the Australian Indian residents.