I vividly remember that smell of Gulal on our faces and those water balloons on our back, splashing colored water on our old T-shirts and hitting us like a gun, but that was a fun gun.
Seriously, every year in between our final exams, we've always waited for Holi and the day before Holi, when all the elderly people of home making sweets and gujiya, we kids were busy filling water balloons and working on the strategies of throwing those balloons on everyone from the terrace.
The day of Holi would begin with putting Tilak on the elderly though I must admit-all young at heart.
We with gulal in one hand, pichkari in another, filling water tanks with colors, doodling on the faces of cousins (when they are sleeping), throwing balloons on everyone passing by( Thank God that "Bura na mano Holi hai" line was there otherwise we could have got beaten up with a pichkari) putting each other in small water pools and seeing the adults bouncing around after having the BHAANG wala laddu or thandaai , truly some fav memories.
It's not that, we don't play Holi now, we still play it like this every year with family and friends but honestly we are now the adults and no one now letting us try that Bhang, and no one is secretly putting bhang in my laddu. Sighhhh!
By the way, bhang is an edible preparation of cannabis that is prominently used to infuse drinks like lassi and thandaai on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and Holi.
No doubt, we Indians have a colorful and vibrant culture but you will never experience a more vibrant occasion than this during the country's favorite festival of Holi. It celebrates the arrival of spring and it signifies the triumph of good over evil, that spans over two days, where on the first day is "Holika Dahan", where people put Upale in burning fire. On this day every Indian forgets their caste, creed or religion and come together to play with dried Gulal powder and water.
I think that's the basic notion behind every festival that people will forget their disagreements and come together to celebrate happiness with each other.
This festival is more about fun, loud music, dances, and traditional arts rather than just rituals. But every religion, every City, every state have their unique way of celebrating and enjoying this exciting festival.
Lath Maar Holi
Barsane, a small town near Mathura, and according to the mythological stories this town is the home of "Radha", and here people have a very different way of celebrating the Holi.
Here the women of the area use the Lath or bamboo sticks to defend themselves from men who are putting colors on them and drench them in the colored water.
Elephant festival of Jaipur
Holi in Rajasthan has a different way of celebration in different regions. But in the capital of Rajasthan, it is dedicated to Elephants. Yes, a popular Elephant festival that takes place a day before Holi. This festival involves various entertaining activities like elephant polo, elephant races, and tug of war.
During this festival, Elephants are decorated and embellished with vibrant colors, jhools ( saddle cloth), and Jewellery, and the most beautifully decorated elephant is awarded.
Holi in Mathura, has a special significance as it is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and Vrindavan, the place where Lord Krishna spend their childhood. Here people believe that the festival was initiated by Lord Krishna and various temples are dedicated to this deity to celebrate the festival. The holy celebrations start a week before the actual festival and attract many people from different places.
So what’s your favourite part of HOLI ? Do share your favourite moment of story in the comments and let’s spread the beauty of Gulaal through your beautiful experiences