Sunday, August 7, 2011

One of My Favorite Festivals: Holi

        Today I am going to give an insight on one of my favorite festivals. Not only is it one of the most ancient festivals, but is also the most popular. Let me give you a little bit of history, don’t worry this part is interesting, not boring. So, here it goes.

        This festival was originally named “Holika.” The festival of Holi was and is celebrated to this day. People have tried to find information containing the exact origin, but cannot be found.  This festival has changed over time. In the early days, and I mean early days, Holi was a rite that was usually performed by married women for the happiness, well-being, and prosperity of their families. Holi is also mentioned in some ancient texts, including “Narad Purana” and “Bhavishya Purana.” There was also a stone that was found at Ramgarh and this stone mentions Holi. This may have been a celebration that was celebrated before even Christ, which is weird and cool at the same time. This festival is referenced in ancient paintings and some murals. A temple has a panel with the scene of Holi on it. Pretty cool, right? There are also other illustrations and paintings that reference Holi. Since Indians, including myself, strongly believe in mythology, there is a cultural significance to this festival. All the stories show the victory of good versus evil. The tales instill faith in God and his mercy. This festival Holi also gives us a sense of unity and brotherhood. Holi is a festival of spring. It is celebrated on the full moon day of Phalguana.  
        Now for the fun part, the celebration and the customs! People light bonfires and will dance and sing around it. This is to welcome the spring. The next morning is the main festival of colors. Everybody takes part in this festival. They smear colored powder on each other and splash water jets on everybody. It is a tradition to use only natural colors from various herbs and flowers. As the years go on, most natural products turned into artificial ones. This festival serves to bring the community closer. There are also many mouthwatering sweets and drinks. People can consume as much as they want on this day, after all it is a celebration. I hope to have some great sweets, including Thandai, which is a cool drink made by mixing almonds, spices with chilled milk, and sugar. Music and songs are also vital parts of the Holi festival. My favorite is “Rang Barse.” It means shower of colors. It goes like this:
Rang barse bheege chunar wali, rang barse
Are kaine maari pichkaari tori bheegi angiya
O rangrasia rangrasia, ho
Rang barse bheege chunar wali, rang barse!

Sone ki thaali main jona parosa
Are, sone ki thaali main jona parosa
Haan, sone ki thaali main jona parosa
Are, khaye gori ka yaar ,balam tarse, rang barse!
Holi hai!!!
O, Rang barse bheege chunar wali, rang barse!

Launga ilaichi ka, are launga ilaichi ka
Launga ilaichi ka? Haan
Are launga ilaichi ka beeda lagaya
Haan, launga ilaichi ka beeda lagaya
Chabe gauri ka yaar, balam tarse
Holi hai!!!
O, Rang barse bheege chunar wali, rang barse!

Are, bela chameli ka sez bhichhaya
bela chameli ka, sez bhichhaya
Are, bela chameli ka sez bhichhaya
Haan, bela chameli ka sez bhichhaya
Soye gori ka yaar, balam tarse, rang barse!
Holi hai!!!
O, Rang barse bheege chunar wali, rang barse!

It is hard to translate the entire thing, so I won’t. It talks about all the colors and how important they are.

        Holi is one of my favorite holidays. We are able to stuff ourselves with food and have fun with colors. And we don’t have to worry about day to day life. I truly enjoy this holiday, and can’t wait until next year to participate in it!

1 comment:

  1. This colorful powders seems so interesting! Since it comes from natural parts of earth, does it stain the skin, or is it easily washed off?