Happy Holi

Holi is the festival that marks the end of winter and beginning spring. It’s the Indian new year. People forget all their differences and in a friendly spirit of unity and brotherhood celebrate this fun festival. It’s that time of the year when people renew and refuel their relationships with friends, family and community. Negative emotions like envy, ego, rivalry and enimity are forgotten and forgiven.

“Holika Dahan”(bonfire) is celebrated a day before “Dhulandi”(playing with colors). During “Holika dahan” people gather wood, dry branches and hay to perform “yagya” like bonfire. It symbolizes the victory of good “Prahlad” over evil “Hiranyakashyap”. Women folk pop whole-grains covered in chaff and offer “ghee”(clarified butter) to the burning pyre. “Dholak”(Indian drum) is played, songs and dances are performed around the fire on the eve of Holika dahan. The fire is symbolic of purging the self of negative emotions like envy, ego, rivalry and enmity.

The next day on “Dhulandi” people wear old clothes and play with colors(gulal), spray and pour water on one another for fun. They throw water balloons at one another in a light hearted spirit. They intentionally drench others with buckets full of water in a light vein. Special regional delicacies are cooked, consumed and shared among friends, community and neighborhood. The fun frolicking activities are practiced to encourage forgiveness, unity, brotherhood and communal feelings among all.