Yesterday, I realised there are only 22 days left to Holi (now 21 days to 27th March) and and I have been crazy excited then. So today I thought I’ll share my excitement with you guys!
Holi is a religious festival celebrated in India and by Hindus all over the world. The story of this festival is that there was once a king called Hiranyakashyap who could not be killed. He became so egoistic that he demanded everyone pray to him instead of the gods. However, his own son – Prahalad, refused to do so and was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. This angered the king to such an extent that he tried many ways to kill his own son but always failed as Prahalad was always saved by Lord Vishnu. Finally, he decided to ask Holika (his elder daughter) who had a boon of never catching fire to sit in a pyre of fire with Prahalad in order to make sure he burns and dies. Dddn’t happen. Holika died instead and thus Prahalad was rewarded for his devotion to the lord. Holi also marks the oncoming of Spring for Hindus.
What Happens? On the eve of Holi, a huge fire is burned ( like a bornfire) and this is called Holika Dahen to mark the death of Holika and survival of Prahalad.
The next morning, the colours are out.
Holi is mainly played with colours and water in the morning. And the whole and sole aim is to drench people in water and smear their faces with as much colour as possible. There is even a Hindi saying that goes: ” Bura na mano, Holi hai.” which basically means “Don’t get upset, it’s Holi.”. In fact, people who don’t play Holi don’t step out of their houses also.
After you have taken out and worn your oldest clothes that you will need no more and doused your entire body with coconut oil (forms a layer between your skin and colours thereby protecting it), you are all set.
See below the “weapons” used for Holi: Colours, buckets, water guns and water balloons. (Some people choose to play with eggs and tomatoes too. Not my scene)
Once you are out there, its an all out and out war. People sneaking up on people with buckets full of water, water balloons hitting you and you have no idea where they came from, constant running to the water pipe anytime colour gets in your eyes, and followed many a times by dancing and finally lunch. Or evening tea depending on what time you are done.
I remember, when I was a little kid, we are at a family friend’s house who was having a huge holi party. Suddenly one uncle ran around giving water colour to everyone. Water colour is basically a special type of colour that is usually dark and is mixed with water to make.. surprise surprise… watered colour!!! Anyway, I was really hungry when this uncle just came, opened my palm, put some in it and ran to give it to other people too. I was sooooo hungry, I didn’t realise it was colour and instead thought of it as something to eat and swallowed it straight away. Mom came a while later and realised what I did and made me rinse my mouth thoroughly for the next 10 mins.
Anyway, here is a little sneak peak: