Happy Holi26, Mar, 2013, by Seema Bhatnagar
Spring, when nature is at its best in colorful attire with arrays of colors all over, on every tree and plant, Holi, adds a zest to this intense play of colors. Holi, a festival of colors, falls perfectly in a season when nature wants everyone to play with colors. It falls on a full moon of Phalgun mass (month), according to Hindu Lunar calendar, marks the onset of summer and an end of chilly winter. It is mainly celebrated in northern part of India, that too especially in Vrindaban, Mathura and Agra belt of U.P. Interestingly, it is almost a month long festival in Mathura and Vrindaban and the first colors are played with Lord Krishna on Basant panchmi which falls somewhere a month before Holi. Also, with this, harvesting season begins across north India.
Holi is a festival which symbolizes expression of love through colors. Legends tells us that Lord Krishna used to play Holi with Radha and her sakhees (female friends) in Barsana (a birth place of Radha). It is said, that Lord Krishna, who is an eternal lover, used to express his love towards Radha and her sakhees (female friends) by playing colors with them and since then Holi is celebrated to symbolize love and harmony amongst people.
There are numerous other Holi legends also, check out here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi .
Let's get natural
When nature bestows us with so many colors then why should we use artificial colors to harm Mother Nature. Let's be more responsible towards nature and make use what it offers us as colors. Following are some natural colors which you may use as Gulal (dried colored powder) for purpose of playing Holi.
- Sandalwood powder mixed with turmeric powder for yellow color with scent.
- Roli a red colored powder, which is used for putting tilak in all poojas.
- Neel, which is a blue colored powder used as a fabric whitener.
- Henna powder for green color.
- Dried and powdered Marigold petals.
- Dried and powdered Rose petals.
Let's be more sensitive and thoughtful towards others while playing Holi. Make sure, you do not hurt others by using colors which are laced with chemicals and may cause skin allergies. Apply colors only on face and do not try to fill eyes, mouth and ears with colors.
Better restrict yourself to play with dry colors only and avoid using water. By the way, using water is another form of wastage. If you really can't stop yourself from using water then use water boiled with beetroots or flowers rather than mixing chemical colors into it. Teach your kids also to be more sensitive and not to throw water filled balloons straight on face, as it might result in a grave injury to eyes.
Do not force or compel others to play, if somebody doesn't want to play, you may simply exchange wishes. Really, there is no fun making other person uncomfortable and off mood. Always, remember, Holi is an expression of your love towards others and not taking any revenge by stuffing eyes, mouth and head with chemical laced colors. Be subtle. gentle and soft while expressing your love and wishes.
How do I celebrate?
We all family members simply sit together and exchange Holi wishes and put colors on each other's faces. Since I do not have friends with whom I can play holi so I remain at home only. So, nothing much except eating and eating.
I am very fond of home made Gujiya especially hot and freshly made. So many times, I have burnt my tongue by eating it too hot. I just can't describe that heavenly moment, when the hot Gujiya melts in mouth.
It is so tasty and fresh that it becomes irresistible. Like every year, this year also we have Gujiya, mathee and Kaanji ready at home by my mother. Yes, I also extend my help in this preparation. Helping her really enhances my knowledge in traditional cuisines. By doing this over many years, I have developed a special skill of braiding the edges of Gujiya. Though moulds are available in market to replace this braiding but I make sure that we do at home. You may here check out Gujiya recipe, where you may see the braiding done by me.
My Holi Wishes
May this festival of colors fill your life with colors of love, joy, harmony, wisdom, success, abundance and prosperity. May you become more tolerant and loving towards others despite knowing differences.
Enjoy Holi with sweets, music, colors and togetherness of family and friends.
Do you know, Holi constitutes an important part of Indian classical music? Those of you who are fond of listening music and especially Indian classical, enjoy here some melodious Holi based Indian classical music.Rang Darungi - Pandit Channulal Mishra
Shobha Gurtu - Hori ( Holi ) - Aaj Biraj Mai Holi Re Rasiya
Abida Parveen - Aaj Piya Khelen Aaya
Girija Devi - Holi Ka Dadra - Raag Gara - Udat Abir Gulal
Have a safe, Happy , fun filled and colorful Holi.
With tons of love, wishes and regards.Seema