Updated: Jun 12, 2022
In India festivals are not just events, they are occasions where family and friends get together and celebrate in unison. Holi is not just a festival of colors, it is a festival of fun, food, parties, get-togethers, and family reunion. Where some festivals and rituals divide cultures, Holi is a festival that is beyond caste, creed, color, or religion. Holi is celebrated across the nation with great enthusiasm.
Every state has its unique way of celebrating Holi. In some parts, it's played with colors and in others with flowers. In some parts of Northern India, Holika Dehan is an important ritual and part of Holi pooja whereas some parts play the traditional style known as the Lath Maar Holi. Where big cities like Delhi, and Bombay have a culture of hosting Holi parties with dance, food stalls, and games, small cities still have households splashed with colors and water all over.
With the onset of the Hindu month of Phagun, begins the preparation for Holi. In Hindu culture, festivals mark the victory of good over evil or adapting the good and letting go of the evil. Holi is also about cleaning your mind and house of any negative energy. Hence, the preparations begin with cleaning the households and getting rid of dirt and waste. This is a step towards cleaning your aura and making room for new things.
In India, festivals are synonymous with food! No celebration is complete without food and feasting. Holi is a festival of getting together, and there is an influx of guests coming over to meet and greet. Indians are very hospitable people and can never let a guest leave the house without feasting. Holi food preparations begin days before Holi and a lot of dry snacks are prepared.
Snacks specific to Holi, like Gujiya, malpua, bhang, Puran Poli, Shakar, and namak pare, ladoo, besan sev, mathri, khasta, dal samosa, etc., have a longer shelf life and can be stored and served every time a guest arrives. In most households, all the items are prepared by the women of the house, but some people procure these on an order basis from local halwai or shops.
Try some of India's most authentic local snacks summed up in a Box.
HOLI STORY & HOLI POOJA
Holi got its name from Holika, and there is an interesting story behind it. Holika was the sister of Hrinakashyap an Asura King who commanded his people to worship him as God. The King had a son Prahlad, who was an ardent follower of Shree Vishnu. This infuriated the king, and he tried every way to forbid his son from praying to Lord Vishnu and also made failed attempts to kill him. He then took the help of his sister Holika who had a blessing (Vardaan) of being immune to fire. He asked him to sit on a pyre with Prahlad on her lap and burn him alive.
Prahlad sat on the pyre with Holika and kept chanting the name of Hari (Vishnu). To his dismay, Holika got burned, and Prahlad came out untouched. Since then, the practice of burning wooden logs and praying and taking circles (parikrama) around the holy pyre started to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
People gather around the holy pyre to pray and offer sugarcane crops to the fire. This is done just one night before Holi and is also known as chhoti Holi. People distribute sweets and wish everyone dry gulaal after the pooja.
PHOOLON KI HOLI (RANG BHARI EKADASI)
Many places in Northern India, witness Phoolon ki Holi and Hari bhajan as part of Holi celebrations. Phoolon ki Holi is majorly celebrated in Barsane and Vrindavan. As the name suggests, this Holi is played with fresh flower petals and is accompanied by singing and dancing on Krishna Bhajans. It is a spectacular sight to see, and people from across the world pour in to witness this Holi. It commences on the day of Rang Bhari Ekadasi.
LATH MAAR HOLI
Lath maar Holi is a long followed traditional style of playing Holi majorly in the streets of Mathura. Women and men gather up in cultural attires, and women beat their husbands with sticks, who save themselves with the help of shields.
The story behind lath maar Holi is interesting and dates back to the time of Lord Krishna. Krishna with his friends, use to visit the house of Radha Ji to throw color on her and the Gopis. In their defense, Radha Ji and the gopis used to drag Krishna and his friends out of the streets beating them with the sticks. Since then, it became a fun game for the people of the region.
HOLI DAY PREPARATION & CELEBRATION
The morning of Holi starts with elderly members instructing everyone in the family, to oil their hair and face to help the color go off easily. Trays of dry snacks like Gujiya, Samosa, Sev, namkeen, mithai, etc. are placed at the entrance with plates full of gulaal to welcome and wish the guests. Streets throb with Holi songs, and people gather outside their houses to dance, greet and play Holi.
Water tubs or tanks are filled with colorful water, and water balloons and guns (pichkari) are loaded to take shots at the guests or people around. Many societies organize rain dance and DJ setups, and food stalls hosting chaat, golgape, paan, and other food items are put up. Bhaang with thandai and bhang pakora is a symbolic delicacy of Holi that escalates the joy of celebration.
Festivals are fun, but no fun is complete without good food! While you prep up for Holi, gift your family and friends the pleasure of authentic tasty snacks from across the nation. Get your box now !!
Happy Holi From Kaamik Family!!
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