Known as the festival of colours, spring, and love, Holi is a popular festival soaked in rich traditions. As thanksgiving for a good harvest, it is celebrated with great pomp and fervour on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun (the 12th month of the Hindu calendar), generally around the months of February-March each year.
On the first day of the festival called ‘Holika Dahan’, a bonfire is lit to symbolically burn away all the evils and usher in positivity for a bright future. The second day of the festival is where people take to the streets and smear coloured dye on each other. But the second day is more than just a riot of colours. It also holds a profound meaning where colours represent a new vibrant life, and washing them off at the end of the day translates into a commitment to live well and cleansing oneself of all evil thoughts.
And no festival is complete without some yummy delicacies to gorge on! In most homes, the spirit of celebration continues throughout the day with staples like Gujiyas (crescent-shaped deep-fried dumplings), Malpuas (pancake-style dessert), Puran Poli (sweet lentil-stuffed flatbread), and Thandai (milk-based cooling drink topped with nuts and spices).
While prepping for Holi, it’s most fun and safe to form a group of people you're comfortable playing with. Wear old clothes that you can dispose of; cover your skin and hair with oil to easily wash off the coloured dyes later. Now, if you think Holi celebrations look the same across India, think again! Let us explore the Holi festivities unique to different regions across the multicultural paradise.