Holi festival is one of the most colorful celebrations of Hindu calendar year. It has been mentioned even in 4th century literature and Vedic texts Purana. Spring or Vasant/Phagun is in the air and this festival is celebrated on Vasant Purnima, the full moon night. However the celebrations begin a week earlier in Uttar Pradesh. Now is the time to celebrate life, as winter has now gone. Read about the detailed festivities at the end of the post.
Why do we celebrate Holi?
We celebrate it to honor of Shri Vishnu and his devotee Prahlada. Hiranyakashyapu was a king who wanted to be immortal. He wanted everyone to worship him. However, his son Prahlada did not adhere to his wishes and continued to pray to Shri Vishnu. He asked his sister to sit in a bonfire with Prahalada in her lap in order to test his faith. Holika had a boon that fire couldn't touch her if she wore her magical shawl. When the fire was lit, due to Shri Vishnu's blessing, shawl fell on Prahlad and saved him instead of Holika. Even today, Holika fire is lit on the eve of Holi in remembrance.
what is holi color powder made of? are holi colors safe?
If you wonder how Holi colours are made? Traditionally, color powder were made with turmeric, dried flower petals, henna 0r mehendi. As time passed by and chemicals made things cheap and things became toxic. People moved away from natural Holi Gulal to chemical ones. First, colors were temporary and then came permanent glossy ones too. Thus, many people stopped playing it altogether as they did cause allergies and skin problems. You can always make Holi colors non toxic. Playing with organic powder is not bad at all. Especially when you have kids, natural and herbal Holi is always better. Herbal gulal is very easy to make contrary to what you think. Although it comes at a price when bought as organic pack commercially, you can make it very fast too. Read here
how to make holi colours at home?
- 1. You may use corn flour/rice flour/tapioca starch as a base
2. Add food color to the rice flour/corn flour/tapioca flour
3. You will need to press from the back of the spoon to mix the colors.
4. Mix it with a spoon, add more color until you get the desired intensity. Move this mix in a metal plate/bowl to a warm oven(not running) for 15-20 minutes.
5. Pass the mix through a sieve. Store in an air tight container
Have a colorful Holi everyone!
- ¼ cup corn flour/rice flour/tapioca starch
- ½-1 tsp Food colors as per your choice
- Add food color to the rice flour/corn flour/tapioca flour
- Mix it with a spoon,add more color until you get the desired intensity
- Move this mix in a metal plate/bowl to a warm oven(not running) for 15-20 minutes
- Pass the mix through a sieve
- Store in an air tight container
what are holi colours? what do the holi colors represent?
Holi colours are played during dry Gulal and also during celebration with water (pichkari wali). Usually colors come in basic colors. However, with time we have seen all different colors along with metallic silver, golden etc. Holi colour red represents love and fertility. Yellow represents immunity, Blue represents Shri Krishna. Green represents new beginnings.
How do we celebrate Holi in Uttar Pradesh?
This festival is played all across North India but it is a divine celebration across Uttar Pradesh especially Mathura Braj Barsana and Vrindavan. It is celebrated for many days. It begins in Barsana with laddumaar Holi where people throw yellow Boondi on each other on Falgun Shukla Ashtami. This is followed by Lathmar holi is celebrated in Barsana on Navmi next day, Radha rani's village where women hit men with sticks who want to apply color to them. This is celebrated on Dashami in Nandgaon.
Phoolon wali Holi is celebrated on Ekadashi(11th day) before full moon night. Chhadi mar Holi at Gokul where Shri Krishna stayed as a child. This is a milder version of Latthmar Holi. In Mathura, it is played for 4 days starting from 11th day. Women sing songs during Holi Dola in afternoon. A giant procession is organized known as Chaturvedi samaj ka dola. Holika Dahan happens on the eve of Holi also known as Choti Holi. Dhulendi or Rang panchami is associated with the legend of Shri Krishna and Radha Rani playing with colors. Other important celebrations are Dau ji ka Huranga 30 km from Mathura and Charkula dance at Mukhrai which is a circular celebration holding lamps 4-5 storied. A sight to watch and behold!
Of course what is Holi without some great food recipes. Gujiya, thandai and dahi bade make a wonderful treat. Click here to see our top Holi recipes.
Also click here to see recipe videos.