Holi - the festival of colors is one of the most popular festivals of the country. Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of 'good' over 'bad'. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renews sweet relationships.
On this day, people hug and wish each other. Spraying colors, dancing on traditional Holi songs, rhythmic drum beats and wild processions are the common scenes that one comes across during this festival. With the festival of colours, Holi, ushering in the Indian spring, the country is looking forward to enjoying the pleasant weather before summer arrives. To celebrate the spirit of spring.
When a new year begins and homes in India have their walls adorned with calendars welcoming it, the first date Indians look for is that of Holi - the grand festival of colours. Ushering in spring, Holi is the first major festival of the year and is celebrated with zeal and fervour throughout India. The legend of Holi starts with Lord Krishna, who was jealous of his soul mate Radha’s fair complexion, as he himself was very dark. Young Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about this prejudice of nature, and to placate him, his doting mother asked Krishna to apply colour on Radha’s face and change her complexion according to his choice. The playful and mischievous Krishna complied, thus heralding the popular tradition of applying colours which became the festival of Holi.
The application of colours has in a way become an expression of love, and everyone, from young to old, wake to the call of ‘Holi Re!’ singing and dancing to the beats of dholaks. Kitchens bustle with fervent activity, with delectable dishes and finger-licking sweets being readied for the occasion. Coloured powder is playfully smeared on each other, then the water, coloured and scented, using pichkaris or squirt guns add to the fun, with family and friends getting drenched. Musical soirees, called ‘Hori’ are sung, depicting the epic love story of Radha and Krishna. Then there is the much awaited occasion of churning bhang (cannabis) to make intoxicating shakes, which inject in the rejoicers an energy of so preternatural a proportion that even the unearthly hours of the night come alive to their songs and dances. Thus, India welcomes the new year and spring with this most vibrant of festivals, where, albeit breifly, the humdrum of life sparkles with energy and joy in the gay abandon of colours and song.