It’s that time of the year that I have been eagerly waiting for and yes! its the time when we celebrate Holi in almost every part of our country, irrespective of language and religion it is celebrated by one and all. It’s the festival of colors, fun, happiness and brotherhood. We love to celebrate Holi with our friends, relatives and loved ones.
Why is Holi Celebrated in India?
Holi,’the festival of colors’ is celebrated on a full moon day in the month of Phalgun (according to the Hindu Calender) and that includes later part of February and First part of March. Like all other Indian festivals, this festival conveys the message of the victory of good over evil. Holika or Bonfire is lit on the day prior to Holi in North India to celebrate this victory. There is also a legend attached of how Lord Vishnu saved Prahlad from a demon named Holika by burning it to ashes. The festival Holi is also associated with the legends of Sri Krishna who used to play with colors with his friends in Vrindaban and Gokul. Here in our country before we play Holi, we offer it to our Gods and Goddess and then to the elder members of our families. Since it’s celebrated on a full moon day we perform prayers and special Puja (religious rituals) and only after that we start playing Holi. Holi is also celebrated with great enthusiasm and in a elaborate manner at Bolpur Shantiniketan and its known as Basanta Utsav (Spring Festival) which was introduced by Rabindranath Tagore.
How do I celebrate Holi?
Holi for me is about fun and a get together, a reunion with my loved ones. These festivals keeps us chained to one other. In our very busy schedule it’s very difficult to even manage a little time to visit our loved ones. In my state Assam we get two days holiday for celebrating Holi. The first day we offer holi (or abir as we say in Bengali) to our Gods and Goddess and perform a small ritual at home. After that I offer holi to my mother since she is the eldest member. We generally put a pinch of Holi on our elder’s feet or a small tikaa on the forehead to show respect and love. My mother arranges for sweets for guests, friends and relatives who come to visit us to play with colors. The first day I play clean and dry. Generally on every Holi my cousins arrange for a holi bash at their homes, so after all formality at house, I attend their party and there where all you can see the craziness going on. The next day again we visit our friend’s and relatives place to celebrate Holi. As Holi comes only once a year I try to enjoy each and very moment of it. I personally don’t like playing with water but than you can’t avoid it when small water balloons , water missiles, Pichkaris ( water guns to shower waters on holi ) will hit your face, you need to return the attack.
How to be careful about buying Holi or Abir?
Nowadays lots of colors or abir are available in the market, most of the sellers claim that they are 100% organic and they use only vegetable dyes. But don’t get convinced by what they say. It’s very difficult to make out which ones are organic and which are not. Make sure you are not allergic to these colors. Once my mother suffered from serious skin rashes after playing holi, it took her almost a year to get properly cured. I suggest to buy organic colors from a good store. Nowadays Eco friendly Holi colors are also available in the market. Visit the main market and do a research of the available qualities and than go for buying the one you think is the most appropriate.
How I take care of my skin and hair during Holi?
The best way to protect your skin from colors is to apply a layer of good quality moisturizer or baby lotion or plain glycerin mixed with little water ( just to avoid greasiness). I always do that. I apply it all over my neck, face, hands. In that case the colors won’t have a direct attack to my skin. You can do the same. You may be conscious about the quality of color you are using but your friends or relatives may be not. It’s better to prevent your skin from any damage. I also suggest to carry a dry cloth or simply use your dupatta or a scarf to dust off the extra colors from your skin. Whenever I go out of the house during Holi I carry a scarf or a dupatta with me.
If you are thinking to cover your hair than drop that plan as your friends will make you take you off that cover and than pour tons of color on your hair and some more as a punishment for trying to cover it. If you don’t believe me- Go see it for yourself. This is the fun and all these makes Holi so special. For my hair I apply a light coating of coconut oil and that forms a protecting layer between harsh colors and my hair. Before washing my hair with water I first dust off the extra dry colors, as it makes washing the hair way easier. Do try it for yourself this time.
What kind of clothes I wear during Holi ?
In movies you will see people wearing all white for playing holi. But I love my white clothes a way too much and I know how difficult it would be to wash off those colors from my clothes. Especially who will take the pain!! So I prefer wearing either a kurta with a pair of jeans so that I can move freely. Avoid wearing clothes which tend to get see through if people shower you with water. I avoid clothes like loose trousers, chiffon tops, cotton white shirts, etc. In case you are wearing something like that , please be careful with your inner wear. There is a chance of clothes getting see through. Rest is up to you wear whatever you feel you are comfortable in.
Be safe, play safe during Holi! Some points to remember –
- The most important message to spread during Holi is to stay safe, especially for ladies and girls. Play within your circles, if you don’t know someone coming to put colors on you don’t hesitate to say “no”.
- Keep an eye on your children, tell them before going to any Holi party to stay near you wherever you go. They may not listen to as kids also love to play holi and it’s difficult to control them during these time, but you need to be extra careful.
- Sometimes I see some kids don’t like playing holi and some random uncle or your neighbor’s friend or may be one of your friends’s friend or some distant relative drags the kid and forcibly try to put holi on their face, if something happens like that, give your kid some time and space, once he/she grows up they will get plenty of time to play holi. I think it’s okay to let them be.
- Just apply a small tikaa on their forehead and I suggest either of the parent to do it. Even after that the kid refuses to come near colors, than I guess you give him/her some time and tell about the meaning of the festival and why is it played. I’m sure your kid will understand it. Sometimes kids are scared of colors and they think it’s harmful, it had happened with me too but now see I am the one who plays most in my family as my mother says.
- Don’t let unknown people put colors on you, not everyone has a good intention.
- Avoid putting colors on your pets or animals on the road. Remember Holi is your festival not their. The chemicals in the colors may harm their skin. Don’t hesitate to tell the insensible ones if you see them throwing colors on animals. Even children sometimes do that, tell them not to do that and make them understand the reason behind.
- Carry your valuables like mobile phones, wallet, cards etc. on a waterproof pouch and then put it on a sling bag. It will stay safe with you.
My Favorite HOLI playlist
Indian festivals are incomplete without non-ending Bollywood hits. Well my favorite Bollywood songs that I love dancing to are- “Balam Pichkari jo tune mujhe mari…” from Ye Jawaani Hain Deewani, “Soni Soni” from Mohabbatein, “Aaj na chodenge bas hunjoli khelenge hum holi”, the most favorite of all “Raang Barse” from Silsila, without dancing to this track my Holi is incomplete. All this makes Holi all the more colorful and vibrant. This is what makes India really incredible and awesome.
Well friends that was all hope you liked the post and found it useful. Wish you all a very Happy and Safe Holi! Stay blessed and enjoy. Also share how you love to play holi and celebrate with your friends.