Sunday, March 23, 2008

Holi festival

Holi festival, also called the Festival of Colours, is a popular Hindu spring festival observed in India and Nepal. In West Bengal, it is known as Dolyatra (Doljatra) or Boshonto Utsav ("spring festival").
Holi - the festival of colors - is undoubtedly the most fun-filled and boisterous of Hindu festival. It's an occasion that brings in unadulterated joy and mirth, fun and play, music and dance, and, of course, lots of bright colors! With winter neatly tucked up in the attic, it's time to come out of our cocoons and enjoy this spring festival. Every year it is celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March and glorifies good harvest and fertility of the land. It is also time for spring harvest. The new crop refills the stores in
every household and perhaps such abundance accounts for the riotous merriment during Holi. This also explains the other names of this celebration - 'Vasant Mahotsava' and 'Kama Mahotsava'.
On the first day bonfires are lit at night to signify burning the demoness Holika, Hiranyakashipu's sister.
On the second day, known as Dhulhendi, people spend the day throwing colored powder and water at each other. The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. Thus, the playful throwing of the colored powders has a medicinal significance: the colors are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors. A special drink called thandai is prepared, sometimes containing bhang (Cannabis sativa).
Rangapanchami occurs a few days later on a Panchami (fifth day of the full moon), marking the end of festivities involving colours.
Holi takes place over two days in the later part of February or March. As per the Hindu calendar, it falls on the Phalgun Purnima (or Pooranmashi, Full Moon), which will occur on March 22 in 2008. On the first day (22 March 2008 CE), symbolic burning of evil takes place, while the fun part of playing with colors takes place on the second day. (In 2007, Holi was celebrated on 3 March, the burning of Holika was on 4 March and the Dhuleti on 5 March.)
Holi, the festival of colours is undoubtedly one of the most fun filled festival. It is an occasion that brings joy and mirth, fun and play, music and dance and of course……………Lots of Colours…………….. rich and vibrant, flung into the air and smeared with laughter of friends and loved
ones.

In multi-racial Singapore, certain groups of Indians do celebrate this festival and as Singaporeans, we should try to find out and understand more about different races as well as their festivals and not assume that each race celebrate only a few festivals, like Thaipusam for the Indians.

Singapore is a rich cultural melting pot and living here, one gets to enjoy the rich arrays of gourmets from the different races and one also has the benefits and opportunities to get to know more about each other’s races. The onus is for one to be more proactive, ask and understand and share with the different religions and races of Singapore.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

I agree with you totally,we celebrate HOLI at Cambridge Timah,No.19 ,Toh Tuck Drive.Children from various countries and background love to play with clours and they love the Indian sweets such as'Ladoos' served on this special day.

Anonymous said...

We will be playing 'HOLI' tomarrow at 10 am at Cambridge CDC, No.19,Toh Tuck Drive ,which is located near Bukit Timah CC,oppposite Canadian International School.Do join us.

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