Holi, the festival of colors, is honored every year in the Hindu calendar month of Phalgun, which generally occurs at the end of February or the beginning of March. In India, it heralds the end of winter and the advent of summer.
This year's Hindu festival will be held on March 8 (Wednesday). But the festivities begin the night before, on Tuesday, with Holika Dahan. Continue reading to learn how Indians celebrate the Festival of Colors.
Holi also has a cultural significance. It is a time when people come together, forget their differences, and celebrate with joy and happiness. The festival is an opportunity to renew relationships, forgive and forget past grievances, and start afresh.
Gulal or colors are integral to the celebration of Holi, the Festival of Colors, in India. Gulal is made from natural materials such as flowers, herbs, and other organic substances and is available in many bright colors. The significance of these colors lies in the message of unity and equality that they convey.
When Holi arrives, no one is safe. When the country glows yellow, blue, red, green, pink, and purple, everyone who wanders onto the streets is sprayed with water and colored powder. For tourists, it may be a playground paint fight. Still, this technicolor, free for all, has a profound spiritual component.
One of the most popular rituals of Holi is throwing water balloons and colored water. People also dance to traditional music, sing folk songs, and exchange sweets and gifts. Community people hire photographers and videographers in Kolkata to snap memories of Holi with friends and family.
Another significant aspect of the festival is the consumption of bhaang, a cannabis-infused drink. Bhaang is believed to have been associated with Lord Shiva and is considered a holy drink in some Hindu sects. It is, nevertheless, crucial to consume it properly and in moderation.
Holi is celebrated with much drama and display in Kolkata. Music, dance, and colour bring the city to life. People gather large numbers to celebrate the festival at various community events arranged by top party organizers in Kolkata, including cultural programs, street parties, and food festivals.
In addition to the traditional celebrations, many cities in India organize special events and programs to celebrate Holi. The city of Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, organizes a grand procession attended by thousands of devotees.
There is no traditional food for this celebration. People hosting parties call the local service expert to prepare snacks such as crisp-fried delicious cookies (mathris) and soft lentil dumplings (dahi bhallas) are served on trays in the morning.
Sweetmeats like gujiyas, jalebis, and pistachio barfi are seen to be lucky Holi offerings. Fried pancakes (malpua and rabri) with fennel seeds go perfectly with thickened creamy milk.
Main dishes like channa bhatura and puri aloo fill the spaces between meals, and fried snacks like onion bhajis, samosas, and pepper pakoras. Puran poli is a traditional flat griddle bread in Maharashtra. In addition, many Indian cooks may try to prepare a colorful cake or dessert, reflecting current cuisine trends.
Holi is a festival that celebrates love, friendship, and unity. It is a time to forget the past and start anew with joy and happiness. If you're residing in Kolkata, here are the popular Holi events in Kolkata happening this year: Rangeela 2023, Holi Hai 1.0, Rango ki Ghoomar, and Besharam Rang.
The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout India, and the throwing of colors is a symbol of the message of unity and equality. It is a time to embrace life and enjoy the company of loved ones, making memories that will last a lifetime—wishing you all a Happy and Safe Holi.