With people breathing in the festive mood, masked in different colors, shops and bazaars at their best and cities painted in a distinct aura, undoubtedly gives the message of the advent of one of the biggest and grandest festivals of India- the festival of colors, Holi.
Brimming with joy, and having numerous dishes at hand is what makes this festival a longed one among children and elders alike. Welcoming the Spring season, this merry festival falls in the Phalgun month as per the Hindu calendar and mellows down the cold, wintry times.
Today, it is a much- celebrated festival across the globe and is observed by people from different communities and faiths!
Deriving its name from Holika (the sister of Demon king, known as Hiranyakashyap), Holi has a long folklore. As per the popular belief, the king had a son named Prahlad, who was a devout devotee of Lord Vishnu. This was not liked by his father and as a result Hiranyakashyap tried killing him on multiple occasions.
Finally, when he couldn't accomplish his task, the demon king took the help of his sister, Holika and asked her to take Prahlad on her lap and sit among the flames of fire. Now , Holika had a boon according to which she could not be hurt by fire.
But the truth is that evil always ends and so it happened with Holika. When she took Prahlad, she was covering her body with a shawl to protect herself from the fire. On the other hand, Prahlad kept chanting Lord Vishu’s name and as the fire became fierce, a gust of wind blew away the shawl from Holika and covered Prahlad from the fire, thus, killing Holika.
Thus, stands tall the rich mythology of Holi and its traditions that followed!
Holi Celebrations Across The Country!
Growing up years are always fun to remember and especially when you have Holi celebrations to look forward to. Although each of the states in our country have their own way of celebrating Holi, what binds them together is the sheer happiness and newness that people feel during the festival.
So, at my place the preparations would start way before the festival, and more so for us kids who had no other motive but to buy new clothes and colors and wait for the school holidays to begin.
However, the real celebrations would start with Holika Dahan on the night just before holi. Dancing, and singing around the fire with near and dear ones is still clearly etched in my heart and soul and this is precisely the true picture of everyone’s house.
The next day is even more joyous as people get up early, bathe, wear white clothes and play with colors. Now, this coloring was much fun for us because it would involve both colored water as well as dry powder. Children and sometimes elders can be seen playing with water guns, balloons or even buckets full of colored water. Whole day one can hear songs playing across the city.
When evening comes, the merriment reaches its zenith with people visiting each other’s houses and enjoying different delicacies together. We as kids used to put abeer on elders' feet while they blessed us by giving sweets and even money as Holi gifts.
Indeed, Holi is one such festival that has a charm of its own which is hard to fathom!
Holi And Its Delicacies!
With every shade possible, Holi has one more aspect and that is its super exotic dishes that adds up to the happiness around. So, if you have truckloads of thoughts as to what to cook this time and are totally screwed up about it, just relax because we have come to your aid.
Here we are with some of the Holi specials that you can try at your place this festive season:-
Made with semolina, flour and dry fruits, Gujia is a staple of Holi celebrations. This is something that one can try and enjoy the day in the best way.
This is another exotic dish that is prepared every time Holi comes by. This extremely luscious pancake is an ideal way to celebrate the festival and brighten up the event.
This is one of the most loved as well as prepared beverages during holi. This sweet concoction is easy to make and will leave no stone unturned to add up to your celebrations.
Similar to a coated doughnut, Balushahi is a great dish to make during Holi. Rich in taste and texture, it will surely leave you craving for more.
Well, Holi seems incomplete without Thandai. This refreshing drink is a great escape from summer heat and also a cool way to celebrate the festival.
A variant of chaat, Dahi Bhalla is another popular dish made during Holi. This simple yet tasty item,dipped in yogurt and chutney is a relishing thing to make for the event.
Spicy and tangy in taste, Chhole Masala is a delectable namkeen dish that can be prepared without much ado. A combination of chickpeas and mouth-watering gravy, it is a heavenly dish to cherish.
Sattu Ki Kachori
Sattu Ki Kachori is a traditional dish that adorns the tables during Holi. You can surely try making these out and undoubtedly your taste buds will ask you for more.
Thus, from Muh Meetha to Namkeen dishes, Holi seems like an epitome of all the savoury dishes. No wonder why it remains a much-awaited festival for people of age groups!
Signifying the victory of good over evil and welcoming a new life with the arrival of Spring season, Holi is a way of life in India. Resplendent with different colors, it also marks a new beginning for us all where there’s no place for hatred and bad deeds, just happy and soulful people, full of life and colors!