Holi – the festival of colors – is undoubtedly the most fun-filled and boisterous of Hindu festivals. It’s an occasion that unleashes unadulterated joy and mirth, fun and play, music and dance, and, of course, lots of bright colors!
Happy Days Are Here Again!
Like all Indian and Hindu festivals, Holi is inextricably linked to mythical tales. The famous one is the story of Holika-Hiranyakashipu-Prahlad.
The story of Holika-Hirnyakashipu-Prahlad
The festival derives its name from Holika, the sister of the mythical megalomaniac king Hiranyakashipu who commanded everyone to worship him. But his little son Prahlad refused to do so. Instead he became a devotee of Vishnu, the Hindu God.
Hiranyakashipu ordered his sister Holika to kill Prahlad and she, possessing the power to walk through fire unharmed, picked up the child and walked into a fire with him. Prahlad, however, chanted the names of God and was saved from the fire. Holika perished because she did not know that her powers were only effective if she entered the fire alone.
This myth has a strong association with the festival of Holi, and even today there is a practice of hurling cow dung into the fire and shouting obscenities at it, as if at Holika.
Dhulandi is the second day of Holi celebrations and people play with Holi colors on the festival day. Dhulandi’s 2014 date is March 17.
During Holi, practices that might otherwise be offensive, are allowed. Squirting colored water on passers-by, dunking friends in mud pools amidst teasing and laughter, getting intoxicated on bhang and reveling with companions are all perfectly acceptable. In fact, on the days of Holi, you can get away with almost anything by saying, “Don’t mind, it’s Holi!” (Hindi = Bura na mano, Holi hai.)
Another major highlight of Dhulandi is the drinking of a special drink called thandai, which is consumed along with bhang. For many Holi is not just a festival of colors but an occasion to revel in ‘Bhang ki Thandai.’ Bhang is made from the leaves of Hemp and is considered to be the least intoxicating of the cannabis preparations in India. But it is capable of giving you a day-long high and is sold openly during Holi festival. Bhang ki Thandai is also given as a prasad in certain temples during the festivals.
Special Dishes for the festival
There are a host of traditional delicacies that are relished on Holi Festival, making the occasion even more enjoyable. Gujiyas are one of the most common sweets and Holi celebrations are considered incomplete without relishing Gujiyas.
Gujiyas are cooked as samosas but in a distinct shape, a stuffed mixture of grated and roasted dry fruits, khoya (milk product), and coconuts etc.
Author: Krunal A. Chauhan
ALVS & FCS Software Engineer – International Operations Transport & Logistics
Las opiniones vertidas por el autor son enteramente suyas y no siempre representan la opinión de GMV
The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of GMV