Holi – the festival of colours, is celebrated by all of us (the people of Indian origin). Ever since the early childhood days, we have grown up celebrating this festival. I remember the times when nearing holi my granny used to ask me the reason behind the celebration of this festival and she herself used to answer the same by narrating us a story. This became a tradition just as the festival itself. So, while sharing the childhood memories of this festival I would like to begin from that part.
The word “Holi” derives from the word “Holika”, the demon sister of Hrinyakashyap, who was a very powerful ruler who emerged victorious in almost all his battles. This gradually made him believe that he himself was the lord. However, his son Prahlad, a devotee of Lord Vishnu (one of the Gods as per Hindu mythology) did not agree and remained devoted to Lord Vishnu, worshipped him instead of his father. This annoyed Hrinyakashyap and he subjected Prahlad to inhumane punishments to which he was being protected against by Lord Vishnu. Such was his belief and faith on his devotion.Nothing happened to him. So finally, Holika thought of assisting her brother in killing Prahlad. They planned to set Prahlad on fire. Holika wore a cloak and initiated the proceedings but soon the cloak flew and rested on Prahlad. As a consequence Holika burnt and Prahlad survived. His faith on his deity remained firm and restored. The bonfire that is created each year is a symbol of the victory of the good over the evil. The next day, when the flames cooled down, people applied ashes on their foreheads and since then it became a tradition and coloured powder replaced ashes.
Now coming to the preparatory part for the celebration of this festival, various delicacies are prepared, sweets are distributed to the kith and kins, people meet and greet each other. Here I share some of the pictures of some dishes prepared by me this year that I have grown up seeing my mother and grandmother prepare.
On the day of Holi we applied colours to each other. For us, the day began with touching our elders feet and applying some colour on their feet as a token of respect and seeking their blessings. Then all of us left together to visit our relatives and friends to play holi with them. For hours long, we kept playing holi with vibrant colours that gave us immense pleasure and happiness. Even today, it does. But what comes next is a herculean task, to remove the colour of our bodies and it again takes hours, or rather days to completely get rid of it, although we used to apply oil and creams on our entire body in order to lubricate the body and nail paint on our nails to prevent them from being multicoloured. It is believed that oiling helps to remove the colour easily but even after all these precautionary measures, it doesn’t go off for days and weeks. Such is the extent of holi we play. I wonder what would happen in case we don’t resort to these precautions.
P.P.S. – Do watch the video to live the spirit of Holi.
Last but not the least, wishing all my readers and fellow bloggers a dry happy and colourful Holi.