With Holi knocking on our doors, this is perhaps the best time to share our thoughts about the occasion !
Some Mythology gyan
The Term Holi stems from “Holika”, who was said to be the evil aunt of Prahlad, the son of demon king Hiranyakashipu. Unlike other Ideal sons of the country, Prahlad was not ready to worship his father as God, and hence had fallen in the bad books of his father. His aunt, desperate to get rid of him, tricked him into sitting in a fire with her. She was protected by a fire proof cloak, while he was supposed to burn. But, a timely gush of wind blew off the cloak from her to Prahlad, burning her down to ashed and saving him as a result.
(Moral of the story: You don’t play with fire, unless you have a favourable wind that is !)
And next morning people applied the ash to their foreheads, which over time got replaced by colors. And hence- the festival of Holi- which symbolizes victory of good over evil. Or for the non believers, the beginning of spring !
The festival is celebrated in different forms throughout the country.
In Gujarat, a pot of buttermilk is hung high on the road, and people try breaking it by forming human pyramids- a custom seen oft in movies!
In Bengal, it’s usually celebrated as Dolyatra, which falls on the day before the Holi (so that you can actually have two days to smear your friends as much as you like).
It has been heard that in Bihar people use mud, even cow dung instead of colors- but the author hasn’t had any firsthand experience. (Citation needed)
In Odisha the Idol of Lord Jagannath replaces that of Radha and Krishna, which is the norm in most of the country.
In the north eastern states of the country, people burn a thatched hut to symbolize the beginning of week long festivities. ‘Children’ also visit houses to collect gifts or money !
In various parts of the country, people still make a bonfire of twigs the night before, to symbolize the burning of Holika. The wood for the fire is typically collected over several days.
Rules of the game
- Firstly you need to stock up on the colors- wet, dry (abir), black, gold- whatever pleases you.Word of advice : keep in mind that vibrant dry colors look better on photographs- so keep those in your repertoire if you want some really good DPs !
- Dress code: White. Obviously. You need a clean palette to make a painting.
- Oil: Though appearing next day in the society without any color whatsoever is a blemish, you do need to maintain that delicate balance between being a socially active creature and an office outcast! Specially for the ones who do not wish to present a black face to their bosses/clients.
A healthy layer of oil substantially applied beforehand reduces the scrubbing time when your senses dawn, and you need to clean up.
- Headgear: Both for that glam quotient and to protect your new hairstyle.
- Aim : Not to miss any part of the body during applying those colors. It is a sign of impotence on the part of the player if the other party escapes with a hint of skin looking like skin. Use the element of surprise- first impacts matter most.
- More the merrier: Holi is always better played in groups! So plan beforehand, as smearing complete strangers is best avoided! Going to Holi events is another great idea, which is fast catching up in the metros. They take care of the colors, gears and even the drinks! Packages are in!
- Bhang: No holi is complete without adequate sips of this ‘seasonal’ drink. As has been highlighted time and again by our Bolly stars.Word of advice: Keep the pills ready- you are in for some serious headache the next day 😀
- Evenings : After you have managed to clean up adequately, it’s time to visit friends, or find out what made Leo win the Oscars, at long last !
- For people who abhor all of the above- there are lots of good weekend getaways nearby – and since this year you have got a nice long weekend ahead why not make the most of it!
Still with us ? Thanks for being such ardent readers of our blog, but I guess it’s time you took the plunge 😉 and get yourself immersed thoroughly in whatever color comes your way !
Happy Holi 😀 !!
(Archya, in his own words, is the trying-to-be-global bangali babu, who is attempting to carve out a niche for himself in blogosphere, having had mixed results in Medicine Practice. In short, a struggling artist.
For his other articles on Blong…Shong, Click Here)