Holi, the colorful festival of spring, is the time for fun and pranks. It is a festival to let your hair down and do what you like, say what you like, meet, tease and play with colors with the people around you. The best part is that all the offences and anger are dissolved with one boisterous shout of 'Bura na mano, holi hai!' (Don't be angry, it is Holi!), which is considered to be a part of the tradition of the merrymaking. The festival is celebrated on the full-moon day of Phalguna in North India, while it is stretched up to a week in some parts of North-east India, typically Manipur. Go through the following lines to know more about the traditions of Holi.
Customs & Traditions Of Holi Festival
According to the traditions of Holi, the people gather around on a day
before the festival as we know it, is the evening of bonfires. People
light up bonfires of dead leaves, twigs and wooden sticks, dance and
sing around it to welcome the spring season, commemorate the saving of
Prahlad (a mythical character) and burning of his wicked aunt Holika.
People take embers from this holy fire to kindle their own domestic
fires. In some communities, barley seeds are roasted in the fire to eat.
It is believed that the yield of the upcoming harvest season can be
predicted by reading the direction of the flames or the state of the
roasted barley seeds.
The ashes of the Holi fire are believed to have some medicinal
properties. Next morning, it is 'Dhuledi' or the main festival of
colors, when adults and kids smear colored powder on each other and
splash water jets known as 'pichkaris'. Traditionally, only natural
colors prepared from flowers and herbal products were used. However,
today, artificial colors have taken over the herbal counterparts. Now,
people often use colored foams and balloons filled with colored water to
pop-up at anybody they can play prank upon. The color frenzy of oranges
and reds, greens and blues and purples soon wash away all the enmity and
hatred amongst the festival and serves to bring the community closer.
Mouthwatering sweets and delicacies form an important part of the
festival. One can relish on a wide variety of lip-smacking sweets, the
most prominent being 'Gujias' (in Northern India) and 'Puran Poli' (in
Maharashtra). 'Thandai' (a cool drink made by mixing almonds, spices
with chilled milk and sugar) is mixed with 'bhang' (an intoxicating
substance that creates an alcoholic effect for a long time, after
consumption) is served during Holi, as a part of its customs. People
also relish on the pakoras and vadas made of Bhang. Although the
consumption of bhang is intoxicating for the body, people do consume it
on Holi, to de-stress themselves and enjoy the day without worrying
about the drudgery of everyday life.