Celebrating & Enjoying Holi

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Holi Celebrations all across India

 

Holi commences about ten days before the full moon of the month called Phalgun (February-March); but it is usually observed for the last three or four days, terminating with the full moon. Along with Holi, spring season also arrives which is marked as the auspicious season for the Hindus. In this season, all the ‘tesu’ and other trees are filled with sweet smelling flowers. They all proclaim the glory and everlasting beauty of God and inspire you with hope, joy and a new life and leave you with the thought to find out yourself that; who is the actual creator behind them.

Holi is known by the name of "Kamadahana" in South India, which refers to the day on which Kamadev (Cupid) was burnt by Lord Shiva (as told above in legends of holi). In North India, a tradition is followed on the eve of Holi- huge bundles of woods are accumulated and burnt at night mainly in temples. On the other day, people play Holi (colorful) joyfully with colored water. Almost everywhere one can hear the shouts and laughter of people shouting "Holi-hai! Holi-hai!"
People gathered in the streets and pump colored water over the body and clothes even to the strangers who pass by, no matter whether he/she is rich or poor. There is no restriction on this day. People compose and sing special Holi songs (famous bollywood songs) to mark this occasion.
During Holi festival, people clean up their houses by burning all dirty articles in and around the house in the fire. According to them, this practice destroys disease-breeding bacteria and the sanitary condition of the locality is also improved. During the festival boys also dance about in the streets and play practical jokes with the passers-by.
Holi is aptly called the festival of color and joy. Its spirit is uniquely Indian, colorful, exotic, happiness and full of energy. Holi is celebrated by everybody. People prepare special recipes on Holi day. Before few days they start cooking (preparing) many delicacies for this day namely gujjia, papri and kanji ke vade.
There are some necessary customs attached to this festival, where firstly, Hindu’s invite their sons-in-law and their families for a meal on Holi. When the meal is over, it is necessary to give the sons-in-law, what is known as a 'pyala' - a crisp note of any denomination from rupees five to rupees five hundred is offered along with a glass of drink.
Secondly, Married daughters on the other hand; are given what is called 'kothli' by their mother-in-law. Other custom is performed by the new bride along with the children of the family. Here the new bride is supposed to play a prank on the older couples of the family, where the bride somehow tempts them so that they enter the room and she can lock them in. Then she demands a present for setting them free from the closed room. The bride is supposed to sing a song specially composed by her on this happy occasion, in which (song) she demands her ransom.

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