Holi!!! I have been looking forward to doing this holiday since I started the blog. I really didn't know a great deal about the holiday except the fun tradition of throwing dry colored powder- the color runs are stealing this idea and running with it- bad pun totally intended. Anyway it was all the fun I was hoping it would be. But before we get to our fun color war, let me tell you a little about the holiday.
Holi is a colorful festival that comes at the end February or early March. The ancient origin of the festival is celebrating the end of winter and coming Spring and also the triumph of good over bad. (If you've read my other posts on Hindu holidays you may notice a theme of Hindu holidays and celebrating good!)
Holi usually starts with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi. People will gather, sing, celebrate, and dance. Then the next day more fun continues with the carnival of colors and everyone chases each other with dry colorful powder and sometimes with water guns and balloons. There will often be groups playing music and in some regions the men sing provocative songs to the women and the women pretend to ward them off with sticks.
I found the mythical significance of Holi on the site holifestival.org. Here is the run down pulled right from the site:
"Foremost is the legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap. The legend says there once lived a devil and powerful king, Hiranyakshyap who considered himself a god and wanted everybody to worship him. To his great ire, his son, Prahlad began to worship, Lord Vishnu. To get rid of his son, Hiranyakshyap asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap, as she had a boon to enter fire unscathed. Legend has it that Prahlad was saved for his extreme devotion for the lord while Holika paid a price for her sinister desire. The tradition of burning Holika or the 'Holika dahan' comes mainly from this legend.
Holi also celebrates the legend of Radha and Krishna which describes the extreme delight, Krishna took in applying colour on Radha and other gopis. This prank of Krishna later, became a trend and a part of the Holi festivities.
Mythology also states that Holi is the celebration of death of Ogress Pootana who tried to kill infant, Krishna by feeding poisonous milk to it.
Another legend of Holi which is extremely popular in Southern India is that of Lord Shiva and Kaamadeva. According to the legend, people in south celebrate the sacrifice of Lord of Passion Kaamadeva who risked his life to revoke Lord Shiva from meditation and save the world.
Also, popular is the legend of Ogress Dhundhi who used to trouble children in the kingdom of Raghu and was ultimately chased away by the pranks of the children on the day of Holi. Showing their belief in the legend, children till date play pranks and hurl abuses at the time of Holika Dahan. "
I found an article with lots of fun pictures of Holi here.
For the food, I made this recipe of sweet saffron rice, skipping the cardamon. Two of my three enjoyed it, but sadly no one helped make the dish, so no pictures, but never fear I have extra photos of our powder paint fun!
I found the powder paint on Amazon. Link for it here. I then invited some of the kids friends over and divided the paint into cups, then let the kiddos go crazy. It was awesome and they were begging for more paint at the end. I definitely think we will do this again just for fun this summer, and then hose everyone down after.
I have Purim all researched but sadly we got behind in our baking and crafting. So it shall be posted soon, but late- or for the positive spin like 360 days early!!!