As originally posted in 2009:
Home, UK 11 March, 2009 10.45pm
Shubh Holi to one and all.
Holi… what a fantastic festival. I have not had the chance to partake in celebrations for a number of years but I still feel joy when I reminisce.
Known as the festival of colours, it is unlike other festivals. Whereas most other festivals are celebrated privately, Holi is more like a carnival. Everyone around you is involved in the celebrations, with you, with their friends. Children act like children, adults get rid of their inhibitions and become child-like. People forget their differences. Happiness, joy and laughter prevail.
There is a frenzy of vivid colours everywhere, coloured powder is rubbed on people’s faces, lots of water thrown around via water balloons and water guns, the coming of spring is celebrated. Certainly, In India Holi marks the day when the weather starts getting much much warmer.
We always attended a bonfire on the eve of Holi, symbolising the cleansing of the atmosphere, removing bad spirits… and then as soon as the suns rays started getting warm in the morning we were all out, throwing small water balloons from our balcony onto any passers by… our water guns filled with coloured water, spraying anyone and everyone in sight. What fun! Oh.. and not forgetting the wearing of bright white clothes before getting into all of this and not a patch of white cloth by the close of festivities around noon.
Songs always play an important part in our lives and Holi would not be the same without the 1981 song, written by noted poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and sang by his son Amitabh Bachchan in the film Silsila. There are certainly many other Holi songs from many other films, but the feelings of Holi are only invoked by this song… “Rang Barse, Are rang barse bheege chunar wali, rang barse”
Being in India during the festival of Holi is highly recommended. An experience not to be missed.