“What makes things memorable is that they are meaningful, significant, and colorful.” – Joshua Foer
Vivid hues taint the sky as the season of spring ushers with the kaleidoscopic festival of Holi. The festival originated in India and dates back to ancient times, perhaps even as far back as the 4th century.
Known as Rangpanchami in Maharashtra to Lathimaar Holi in Mathura, it is a festival that every traveller must experience while in India. As with every festival in this country, Holi too has its fair choice of edibles and sweet meats and no one can forget the intoxicating ‘bhang’ that is characteristic to this festival.
Holi is all about having fun. What better way to celebrate the end of the cold weather than to smear each other with rich colors that match nature? On the second day of Holi, Indian streets are filled with thousands of people gathering and throwing gulal (coloured powder) into the air.
The evening before the riot of colour takes over, the air is filled with the scent of charring wood as a bonfire is lit which is symbolic of the destruction of the demoness Holika by the God Vishnu. Prayers are recited, songs are sung and people dance around the bonfire as they celebrate the victory of good over evil. By the morning of the next day, people gather together in their areas as they smudge each other with the vibrant colours. The sound of typical Bollywood music can be heard from every corner as the festivities begin.
Traditional sweets and intoxicating drinks coupled with a cloud of bright pigments can be seen for miles. The festival brings people together from all age groups, faiths and is a humble reminder to leave worries and differences aside to celebrate life.
Tips for a safe and enjoyable Holi:
– Use generous amounts of coconut oil on your body and hair, so that the colour is washed away easily later.
– Wear clothes that you do not wish to wear ever again. They will be unrecognizable after the splash of colours.
– Play Holi in groups and only with people you know.
– Lastly, do not forget to just let go and have some fun!