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 Holi : The Festival Of Colours
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Author Topic: Holi : The Festival Of Colours  (Read 111610 times)
Khushi
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours
« Posted: March 04, 2007, 10:49:22 AM »


Holi (Hindi: होली) or Phagwah (Bhojpuri) is an annual and popular Hindu spring festival. It takes place over two days in the later part of February or early March. As per the Hindu calendar, it falls on the Phalgun Purnima (or Pooranmashi, Full Moon). It is also called the Festival of Colours. In West Bengal, it is known as Dolyatra (Doljatra) or Boshonto Utshob ("spring festival").







On the first day, a bonfire is lit at night to signify burning Holika. On the second day, known as Dhulandi, people go around until afternoon throwing colored powder and water at each other. A special drink called thandai is prepared, sometimes containing bhang (Cannabis sativa). People invite each other to their houses for feasts and celebrations later in the evening. Rangapanchami occurs a few days later on a Panchami (fifth day of the full moon), marking the end of festivities involving colours.

This festival occurs at the onset of spring. This period, during which the weather changes, is prone to cause viral fever and cold. Thus, the playful throwing of the coloured powders has a medicinal significance as the coloured powders are made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors.

In 2007, Holi will be celebrated on March 3rd, the burning of Holika will be on March 4th, and then Dhuleti on March 5.

Although a Hindu celebration, other religions in India celebrate it as well. In fact, some of the best Holi celebrations are said to happen in Punjab, where Hindus and Sikhs celebrate together. This celebration in Punjab typically involves Dholi's and other musical instruments as kids and adults celebrate

« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 10:54:42 AM by Khushi » Logged

« Reply #1 Posted: March 04, 2007, 10:53:13 AM »
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours : Significance
« Reply #1 Posted: March 04, 2007, 10:53:13 AM »

Significance

In Vaishnava Theology, Hiranyakashipu is the king of demons, and he had been granted a boon by Brahma, which made it almost impossible for him to be killed. The boon was due to his long penance, after which he had demanded that he not be killed "during day or night; inside the home or outside; not on earth or on sky; neither by a man nor an animal; neither by astra nor by shastra". Consequently, he grew arrogant, and attacked the Heavens and the Earth. He demanded that people stop worshipping gods and start praying to him.

Despite this, Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlad, was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. In spite of several threats from Hiranyakashipu, Prahlad continued offering prayers to Lord Vishnu. He was poisoned but the poison turned to nectar in his mouth. He was ordered to be trampled by elephants yet remained unharmed. He was put in a room with hungry, poisonous snakes and survived. All of Hiranyakashipu's attempts to kill his son failed. Finally, he ordered young Prahlad to sit on a pyre on the lap of his sister, Holika, who could not die by fire by virtue of a shawl which would prevent fire affecting the person wearing it. Prahlad readily accepted his father's orders, and prayed to Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, everyone watched in amazement as the shawl flew from Holika, who then was burnt to death, while Prahlad survived unharmed, after the shawl moved to cover him. The burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi.

It is also said that later Lord Vishnu came in the form of a Narasimha (who is half-man and half-lion) and killed Hiranyakashipu at dusk (which was neither day nor night), on the steps of the porch of his house (which was neither inside the house nor outside) by restraining him on his lap (which is neither in the sky nor on the earth) and mauling him with his claws (which are neither astra nor shastra).

In Vrindavan and Mathura, where Lord Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna). Lord Krishna is believed to have popularized the festival by playing pranks on the gopis here. Krishna is believed to be complained to his mother about the contrast between his dark colour and his consort Radha's fair colour. Krishna's mother decided to apply colour to Radha's face. The celebrations officially usher in spring, the celebrated season of love.


A painting from the collection of Smithsonian Institute depicting Krishna-Radha and Gopis celebrating Holi

There is another story about the origin of holi. Kamadeva is a god of love. Kama's body was destroyed when he shot his weapon at Shiva in order to disrupt his penance and help Parvati to marry Shiva. Shiva then opened his third eye, the gaze of which was so powerful that Kama's body was reduced to ashes. For the sake of Kama's wife Rati (passion), Shiva restored him, but only as a mental image, representing the true emotional and mental state of love rather than physical lust. The Holi bonfire is believed to be celebrated in commeration of this event.

Rituals of Holi

In this festival main emphasis is laid on the burning of Holika or lighting of Holi. The origin of the traditional lighting of Holi is attributed by some to the burning of demonesses like Holika, Holaka and Putana who troubled little children or to the burning of Madan according to others.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 10:55:59 AM by Khushi » Logged
« Reply #2 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:09:26 AM »
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours : Natural Colours
« Reply #2 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:09:26 AM »

Natural Colours

Imagine after a game of Holi your skin begins to glow and your hair get an added bounce or lustre... Most people cannot imagine this scenario as for a large majority of us it is nearly a nightmarish experience to get rid of the colours and to get their initial skin type back.

It is to be noted that Holi can become more soothing after the play with colours with the use of natural colours. As natural colours are obtained from skin friendly sources such as turmeric or haldi, flower extracts, sandalwood, mehndi besides several others. Besides, natural colours are cheap and can easily be prepared at home.

Ancient India was fully aware of the benefits of the fragrant natural colours for our skin and health and also there therapeutic value. The ingredients of Gulal were purposely chosen for their emollient qualities. In Vrindavan, Holi is still played with actual flower petals chosen for their fragrance and colour such as rajnigandha and rose.

By using these safe, natural colours we can help to save our environment and conserve our bio-diversity. When colours containing harmful chemicals such as lead oxide, oxidised metals, industrial dyes and other toxic chemicals get into the river water they cause water and soil pollution. Risking the lives of myriad life forms through the food chain.
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« Reply #3 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:11:11 AM »
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours : How to make Natural colours
« Reply #3 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:11:11 AM »

How to make Natural colours


Green
Dry Colour:
Use mehendi / henna powder, separately or mix with equal quantity of any suitable flour to attain a lovely green shade.

Make use only pure mehendi and not the one mixed with amla (meant to be applied to our hair) as this would be brown in colour. Dry mehendi will not leave colour on your face as it can be easily brushed off. Only when it is a paste (i.e. it is mixed in water) will it leave a slight colour on your face. Thus, it can be used as a pucca / fast colour.

Many people like smearing other person's hair with colours. How about doing it with mehendi powder and saving a trip to the parlour?

Other methods
Dry and finely powder the leaves of Gulmohur (Delonix regia) tree for a green colour.
Crush the tender leaves of the Wheat plant to obtain a natural safe green Holi colour.

Wet colour:

    * Mix two teaspoons of mehendi in one litre of water. Stir well.
    * Green colour can also be obtained by mixing a fine paste of leaves like spinach / palak, coriander / dhaniya, mint / pudina, tomato leaves, etc. in water.

Yellow
Dry colour:
Mix two teaspoons of haldi / Turmeric powder with double quantity of besan (gram flour). Haldi and besan are extremely healthy for our skin, and are also used widely as a ubtan while taking bath.

You can use the ordinary haldi or "kasturi" haldi which is very fragrant and has enhanced therapeutic effects. Besan can be substituted by atta, maida, rice flour, arra rot (ground nut) powder, fuller's earth (multani mitti) and even talcum powder.

Another Method

Flowers like Amaltas (Cassia fistula), Marigold / Gainda (Tagetus erecta), Yellow Chrysanthemums, Black Babul (Acacia arabica) yield different shades of yellow. Dry the petals of these flowers in shade and crush them to obtain a fine powder. Mix appropriate quantity of the powder with besan, etc. or use separately.

Dry the rind of the Bael fruit (Aegle marmelos) and grind to obtain a yellow powder.

Wet Colour:

    * Add one teaspoon of haldi to two litres of water and stir well. This can be boiled to increase the concentration of colour and further diluted.
    * Soak Amaltas (Cassia fistula) or Marigold / Gainda (Tagetus erecta) flowers in water. Boil and leave overnight.



Red
Dry Colour:

    * Red Sandal Wood Powder / Raktachandan / Lalchandan (Pterocarpus santalinus) has a beautiful red colour, is extremely beneficial for the skin and is used in face packs, etc. This can be used instead of Red Gulal.
    * Dry red hibiscus flowers in shade and powder to make a lovely red colour. To increase the bulk add any flour to it
    * Sinduria, called Annato in English has a water chestnut shaped fruit which contains lovely brick colour red seeds. These yield both dry and wet colours.

Wet colour

    * Put 2 teaspoons of Red Sandal wood powder in a litre of water and boil. Dilute and use.
    * Peels of Red Pomegranate boiled in water give red.
    * For a bright orangish-red, mix thoroughly a pinch of chuna / lime powder (the one that we eat with our paan / betel leaves) with 2 spoons of haldi/ turmeric powder and a few drops of water. Use only after diluting with 10 litres of water.


Extracting red from flower petals

    * Buras (Rhododendron arboreum) known as Burans in the Garhwal hills and Brans in the Kumaon hills gives a lovely red colour when soaked in water overnight.
    * Red hibiscus flowers soaked in water overnight give a red which also has medicinal value.
    * The Palita Madar / Pangri / Indian Coral tree/ (Erythrina indica), found commonly in coastal regions, has large red flowers. Soak the flowers in water overnight.
    * Boil wood of Madder Tree in water for a deep red.
    * Red colour can also be obtained from juice of tomatoes and carrots. This can be diluted with sufficient quantity of water to remove the stickiness.


Blue
Dry Colour

    * The Jacaranda flowers can be dried in the shade and ground to obtain a beautiful blue powder. The flowers bloom in summers.
    * The blue Hibiscus which is found in Kerala can be dried and powdered just like the red hibiscus

Wet Colour

Crush the berries (fruits) of the Indigo plant and add to water for desired colour strength. In some Indigo species the leaves when boiled in water yield a rich blue.

Magenta
Wet Colour

    * Slice or grate one Beet root. Soak in 1 litre of water for a wonderful magenta. Boil or leave overnight for a deeper shade. Dilute.
    * Boil the peels of 10 - 15 pink Onions in half litre of water for an orangish-pink colour. Remove the peels before using to remove the smell.
    * Soak Kachnar (Bauhinia variegata) flowers (pink variety) in water overnight, or boil for a pinkish colour.

Saffron
Wet Colour

    * The Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma), known as Tesu, Palash or Dhak in vernacular languages, is the source of the wonderful, traditional colour for Holi. The flowers are soaked overnight in water and can also be boiled to obtain a fragrant yellowish - orange colored water.
      The dried flowers can be dried and powdered for a orange powder. Legend says that Lord Krishna used to play Holi with Tesu flowers, and the flowers also have a lot of medicinal properties. Tesu blooms during month of March.
    * Boil flower petals of red variety of Semul / Silk Cotton (Bombax ceiba ) in water.
    * Collect and dry the stalks of Harashringar / Parijatak (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis) flowers during the early winter season. Soak them in water to get a pleasant coloured orange.
    * Mix a pinch of Sandalwood powder from Ujjain (also used in our temples) in one litre of water for an instant, beautiful and fragrant saffron colour.
    * Soak a few stalks of Saffron / Kesar in 2 table spoons of water. Leave for few hours and grind to make a fine paste. Dilute with water for desired colour strength. Though expensive, it is excellent for our skin.

Brown
Wet Colour

    * Kattha (Acacia catechu), the one eaten in pan, when mixed with water will give a brownish colour.
    * Boil Tea or Coffee leaves in water. Cool and use.


Black
Wet Colour

    * Boil dried fruits of Amla / Indian Gooseberry in an iron vessel and leave overnight. Dilute with water and use.
    * Extract juice of black grapes and dilute with sufficient quantity of water to remove stickiness
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« Reply #4 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:12:25 AM »
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours : Chemical Colors
« Reply #4 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:12:25 AM »

Chemical Colors


Holi Colours
A visit to a doctor after the festival of colours is common in India. Diseases, specially of the skin and eye are bound to happen with the quality of colours that are now available in the market.

It may be noted that chemical colours came into vogue as they were earlier thought to be harmless. Besides their being convenient and cost effective options as against the natural colours. These days manufacturers mix harmful chemicals in colours and play with the health of the consumers for the sake of profit. The chemicals added by them are so injurious that if unfortunately they enter a human body, they may cause fatal infections.

These days most Holi colours sold in the market are oxidized metals or industrial dyes mixed with engine oil. These chemicals are known to cause serious harm to persons health.


For example -
Green colour is obtained from copper sulphate -which may cause allergies in eye or even temporary blindness.

Purple is obtained from chromium iodide - which may cause bronchial asthma or other forms of allergy.

Silver is obtained from aluminum bromide - a known carcinogenic.

Black is obtained from lead oxide - may cause renal failures or learning disability.

Red is obtained from mercury sulphite - may cause skin cancer or Minamata disease (mental retardation, paralysis, impaired vision...)

Shiny Colours are a result of powdered glass being added to the colours.

Besides, many water colours have an alkaline base capable of causing severe injuries. Colours in the form of pastes have toxic compounds mixed in a base of engine oil or other inferior quality oil, capable of causing skin allergy, temporary blindness.

Further, when washed, these colours containing toxic chemicals enter the river, thereby soil and water pollution.

Even the way we play Holi is becoming dangerous. Throwing water filled balloons has become rampant, which is very harmful. People should realise, what is fun for them could cause injury to the eyes and ears to the other person, specially when thrown from a distance and with force.

People must realise that the colours have been added to Holi to make the festival more joyous and enjoyable and not to cause inconvenience to others. So, next time you play with colours use good quality or natural colours and play according to the convenience of others.
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« Reply #5 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:13:35 AM »
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours : Holi Celebration
« Reply #5 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:13:35 AM »

Holi Celebration

Holi celebration takes place with lot of joy and verve throughout the country. The enthusiasm of the people reaches its peak and matches with the nature which is in full bounty at the time of Holi.

Holi is being celebrated in Indian since time immemorial but the popularity of Holi celebrations seems to be rising with every passing year and so is the level of hoo-ha. As no other festival gives so much liberty to the people to let their hair loose and enjoy their hidden crazy self.

Differences of any sort are drowned in the coloured waters of Holi and people just enjoy being a play animal. To further enhance the festive spirit of Holi celebrations we have a social sanction to get a kick with the tradition of bhang. Then there is total wildness as people dance to the rhythm of dholak and sing traditional folk songs in loudest possible pitch.

Children particularly enjoy the festival as they throw water filled balloons at passersby...and if anybody stares..they have ready answer, 'Bura na mano Holi hai..' and evoke a smile on the irritated face. Besides, they have their water missiles, called pichkaris to drench the person from far and escape further drenching.

In the midst of these colouring games are savoured the mouth watering holi specialities like gujiya, malpuas, mathri, puran poli, dahi badas etc and downed with glasses full of thandai.

In some states there is also a tradition of breaking the pot full of buttermilk which is hung high on the streets. A group of boys form a human pyramid and one of them break the pot. All this while womenfolk throw buckets of colour water on them and sing folk songs.

And after a wild and eventful day, evenings are celebrated in a dignified manner by visiting friends and relatives. People exchange sweets and hug each other conveying the warm wishes for Holi. These days there people also participate and organise Holi Meets and enjoy the festival till late in the night.

Holi celebrations that starts with the burning of Holika on the eve of Holi thus culminates with the lot of funfilled activity and bonhomie. However, at some places specially Mathura and Barsana Holi celebrations continue for a week as each major temple organise a Holi bash on different day. Lovers of the festival enjoy every moment to the hilt.
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« Reply #6 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:14:41 AM »
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours
« Reply #6 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:14:41 AM »

Festival of Colours


HOLI HAI... Come holi and the streets will reverberate with the chants of Holi hai...

Colours will fill the atmosphere as people throw abeer and gulal in the air showing great joy and mirth in the arrival of this Spring Festival.
Holi marks the end of the winter gloom and rejoices in the bloom of the spring time. It is the best time and season to celebrate; Holi provides this opportunity and people take every advantage of it.

Days before Holi, the markets get flooded with the colours of every hues. This aptly sets the mood of the people till the actual day of Holi. It is such a colourful and joyous sight to watch huge piles of bright red, magenta, pink, green and blue every where on the streets. Buying those colours seems as you are bringing joys and colour to your home and into your life.

Children take special delight in the festival and demand every colour in loads. They have so many plans in their mind. They have to be the first to apply colour to Mama, Papa, siblings and a big bunch of friends in their colony. Nobody could miss being coloured by them and of course, they need colour for that.

These days it is easy to buy colours from the market but still some people do take up the task of making colours at home, usually from flowers of tesu and palash. These home made colours, have a special fragrance of love in them.

The other option is to buy gulal which comes in bright shades of pink, magenta, red, yellow and green. 'Abeer' is made of small crystals or paper like chips of mica. This is mixed with the gulal for a rich shine. Mischievous ones, however, go for silver and gold paints on which no colour could be applied.

Whatever be the choice of colour, nobody remains in their original texture at the end of the play. And everybody takes delight looking at the other. Really, the other name of the festival is FUN.

And, it is not just children, but the young and the old alike who take delight in this joyous festival of colours. Seniors too, move in their tolis. Their enthusiasm is at times greater than that of their children as they forget the bars of age and follow their hearts. To youth, holi gives a chance to explore the heights of their enthusiasm as they climb the human pyramids to break the pot of buttermilk and to express their love to their beloved by applying colour.

For, Holi knows no bars, everybody feels it is their right to enjoy and enjoy they do. Songs, dance, drinks, food everything goes in excess when it is time for Holi. It can be said, "Life turns Colourful" when it is time for Holi.
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« Reply #7 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:15:57 AM »
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours : Holi Pooja Process
« Reply #7 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:15:57 AM »

Holi Pooja Process

History of HoliHoli Pooja takes place a day before the Holi Festival. This day is called as 'Holika Dahan'. There is no special pooja performed on the Holi day. This day is only meant for celebrations and play of colors. Holika Dahan is the major ritual performed at the time of Holi which is also considered an important Holi Puja. People light bonfires on the eve of Holi festival to celebrate the victory of 'good' over 'bad' which is called Holika Dahan.

Holi Pooja Process or Holika Dahan Process
Holika Dahan preparations begin almost 40 days before the festival. People start gathering woods on the important crossroads of the city. Holi Pooja or Holika takes place on an auspicious time in the evening a day before the Holi festival. Given below are the steps and rituals for the Holi Pooja:

   1. Holi Pooja can be performed at any place.
   2. A log of wood is kept at a prominent public place on the Vasant Panchami day.
   3. People extend the log centre with twigs, dried leaves, branches of trees and other combustible material.
   4. On the day of Holika Dahan, an effigy of Holika and Prahlad is placed on the huge heap of woods.
   5. Effigy of Holika is made of combustible material while Prahlad's effigy is made of non-combustible material.
   6. On the eve of Holi, the heap is set alight and the people chant Rakshoghna Mantras of the Rig Veda to cast away the evil spirits.
   7. Left over ashes are collected by people next morning. These ashes are considered holy and are smeared on the limbs of the body as Holi Prasad.
   8. Smearing of body limbs is an act of purification.


Holi Pooja is performed in a different manner in some communities. Marwari women offer Holi puja in the afternoon and evening i.e. before setting fire to 'Holika'. It is called 'Thandi Holi'. The whole puja process is considered very auspicious for the married women. It ensures well-being and healthy life of their husband.
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours : Holi Calendar
« Reply #8 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:16:51 AM »

Holi Calendar

Just at the beginning of the year, people start looking for the Holi Date in their Calendar. This is because Holi is the first major Hindu Festival of the year. If you too wish to find out when is Holi 2007 or When is Holi in 2007 here is a Holi Calendar just for you! The page offers you Holi Calendar for 2007, 2008 and 2006 too.

Please note that the Holi Calendar given below gives you the main date of Holi celebrations. This day is celebrated with play of colors. Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi is celebrated a day earlier. On the day of Holika Dahan people burn logs of wood to symbolize victory of good over evil and observe Holi Pooja.

So go ahead mark the Holi Date 2007 in your personal calendar and start preparing for Holi 2007!!
Holi 2007
Sunday, March 04, 2007

HOLI CALENDAR 2007
MARCH 2007
S    M    T    W    T    F    S
            1    2    3
4    5    6    7    8    9    10
11    12    13    14    15    16    17
18    19    20    21    22    23    24
25    26    27    28    29    30    31


HOLI 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006

HOLI CALENDAR 2006
MARCH 2006
S    M    T    W    T    F    S
         1    2    3    4
5    6    7    8    9    10    11
12    13    14    15    16    17    18
19    20    21    22    23    24    25
26    27    28    29    31    31    


HOLI 2008

HOLI CALENDAR 2008
MARCH 2008
S    M    T    W    T    F    S
                              1
2    3    4    5    6    7    8
9    10    11    12    13    14    15
16    17    18    19    20    21    22
23    24    25    26    27    28    29
30    31                        
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours : Regional Names of Holi
« Reply #9 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:18:14 AM »

Regional Names of Holi


Popularity of Holi can be gauged from the number of names Holi has in different states. Also of great interest is the story behind each of these names.

As one moves across from one state to another, one can surely discover the myriad shades of human emotions behind the story that goes with each of these names of holi. These stories will make you feel proud of the rich cultural diversity of India. Besides, what is to be appreciated is the underlying strong bond of unity that binds this uniquely culturally diverse country.

Even the Gods that are worshiped on Holi differ in different corners of the country. The way the festival is celebrated also differs but the spirit is same - the one of love and brotherhood. Inspite of their uniqueness in different states, the festival is considered to be the one which enhances the secular fabric of India.

Let us now unravel the traditions of Holi by learning the story behind the different names of Holi -

    * Lathmaar Holi
    * Dulandi Holi
    * Rangpanchami
    * Basant Utsav
    * Dol Purnima
    * Hola Mohalla
    * Shimgo
    * Kaman Pandigai
    * Phagu Purnima
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Re: Holi : The Festival Of Colours
« Reply #10 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:23:00 AM »

Dulandi Holi

Holi recieves this name in the state of Haryana. Here, bhabhi - the brothers wife gets an upper hand on the day of holi. And, devar's - husband's younger brothers need to watchout.

The bhabhi's on this day get a social sanction on Holi to beat their devars and make them pay the price of all the pranks they played on them for the entire year. Bhabhi's roll up their saris in the form of a rope in a mock rage, and give a good run to their devars.
In the evening, devars are supposed to bring sweets for their dear bhabhi.

Besides, there is also a tradition of breaking the pot of buttermilk hung high in the street by forming a human pyramid.


Rangpanchami

People of Maharashtra commonly know this festival of colours by the name of Rangpanchami as the play of colours is reserved for the fifth day here. Locals of Maharashtra also know Holi as Shimga or Shimgo.

The festival is particularly popular amongst fisher folk. They celebrate it in on a large scale and revel in the festivities by singing, dancing and merry-making. This special dance provide them means to release all their repressed feelings, needs and desires. People also utter sound through their mouths in a peculiar fashion by striking their mouths with the back of their hands.


Basant Utsav

Holi by the name of Basant Utsav is celebrated with fervour in the state of West Bengal. The tradition of Vasantotsav, meaning Spring Festival was started by poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan, the University he founded.

What is appreciated is the grace and diginified manner in which Vasant Utsav is celebrated in West Bengal as compared to boisterous Holi witnessed in most parts of India. Boys and girls joyfully welcome Spring, the season of hope not just with colours but with songs, dance, chanting of hymns in the serene ambiance of Shantiniketan. Anybody who got a chance to witness this elegant way of celebrating Holi in Bengal remembers it with fond memory for the rest of his life.


Dol Purnima

Holi is also known by the name of Dol Purnima in West Bengal.

Early in the morning, on the Dol Purnima day students dress up in saffron-coloured clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. They sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments presenting an enchanting view to the onlookers and a memory to cherish for years.

The festival is also known as 'Dol Jatra', 'Dol Purnima' or the 'Swing Festival'. The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the idols of Krishna and Radha on a picturesquely decorated palanquin which is then taken round the main streets of the city. The devotees take turns to swing them while women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. Throughout the procession men keep spraying coloured water and colour powder, 'abeer' at them.


Lathmaar Holi

In what is known as the hub of holi in India - Barsana, Holi is known as Lathmaar Holi. Sounds violence?? There is more violece than the name signals off. The stick is in the hands of the women on this day and the men need to work a lot to save themselves from the immensely charged up womenfolk.

The birth place of Lord Krishna's beloved Radha, Barsana celebrates Holi with extreme enthusiasm as Krishna was famous for playing pranks on Radha and gopis. In fact, it was Krishna who started the tradition of colours by first applying colour on Radha's face.

Womenfolk, of Barsana it seems, after thousands of centuries want to take a sweet revenge of that prank of Krishna. Even men have not left their mischief and are still eager to apply colour on the women of Barsana.

Following the tradition, men of Nandgaon, the birthplace of Krishna, come to play Holi with the girls of Barsana, but instead of colours they are greeted with sticks.

Completely aware of what welcome awaits them in Barsana, men come fully padded and try their best to escape from the spirited women. Men are not supposed to retaliate on the day. The unlucky ones are forcefully led away and get a good thrashing from the women. Further, they are made to wear a female attire and dance in public. All in the spirit of Holi.

The next day, it is the turn of men of Barsana. They reciprocate by invading Nandgaon and drench the womenfolk of Nandgaon in colours of kesudo, naturally occurring orange-red dye and palash. This day, women of Nadagow beat the invaders from Barsana. It is a colourful site.


Hola Mohalla

Holi gets this joyful name in the state of Punjab. The festival is celebrated in an entirely different manner, it's meaning and significance also shifts a little here.

Hola Mohalla is actually an annual fair that is organised in a large scale at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab on the day following the festival of Holi. Practise of holding a fair of this kind was initiated by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru. Purpose of the fair was to physically strengthen the Sikh community by holding military exercises and mock battles.

The festival is celebrated for three consecutive days, in which members of Sikh community display their physical strength by performing dare-devil acts like bareback horse-riding, standing erect on two speeding horses, Gatka (mock encounters), tent pegging etc. This is followed by music and poetry competition to lighten the charged up atmosphere.

A number of durbars are also held where Sri Guru Granth Sahib is present and kirtan and religious lectures take place. This helps strengthening the soul of community. On the last day a long procession, led by Panj Pyaras, starts from Takth Keshgarh Sahib, one of the five Sikh religious seats, and passes through various important gurdwaras like Qila Anandgarh, Lohgarh Sahib, Mata Jitoji and terminates at the Takth.

For people visiting Anandpur Sahib, langars (voluntary community kitchens) are organized by the local people as a part of sewa (community service). Raw materials like wheat flour, rice, vegetables, milk and sugar is provided by the villagers living nearby. Women volunteer to cook and others take part in cleaning the utensils. Traditional cuisine is served to the pilgrims who eat while sitting in rows on the ground.


Shimgo

The funfilled and enthusiastic people of Goa know Holi by the name of Shimgo in their local dialect Konkani. Here too, people play with bright colours to welcome the arrival of spring. This is followed by rich, spicy chicken or mutton curry called shagoti and sweet preparations. Some people also know Holi by the name of Rangpanchami.

The most interesting facet of Holi or Shimgmotav in Goa is the huge procession which is carried out in Panjim. Highpoint of this is performances of troupes and cultural drama depicting mythological and religious stories. People from every cast and religion participate in this festival with great enthusiasm.


Kaman Pandigai

In the state of Tamil Nadu, people worship Kaamadeva for his supreme sacrifice on the occasion of Holi. People know Holi by three different names Kaman Pandigai, Kamavilas and Kama-Dahanam.

The Legend
People of Tamil Nadu have great faith in the legend of Shiva and Kaamadeva. The story goes that Shiva went into deep meditation after the death of his consort, Sati. Due to Shiva's indifferent attitude gods became tensed and worried. Also, daughter of the mountains, Parvati started mediating to get Shiva as her husband.

To get Shiva back to his original self gods seeked the help of Kaamadeva- the god of love. Fully aware of the repurcussions of such an act, Kaamdeva agreed to help gods for the good of the world. He shot his powerful arrow on Shiva when he was in deep meditation. Enraged, Shiva opened his third eye and burnt Kaamadeva to ashes. However, the arrow had the desired effect and Shiva agreed to marry Parvati.

Rati, Kaamadeva's wife though felt sad about the whole episode. She narrated the pathetic tale to Shiva and requested him to revive Kaamdeva. To which Shiva happily agreed.

In Tamil Nadu songs are sung on holi depicting Rati's extreme sorrow and people offer sandalwood to Kaamadeva to easen the pain of burning. People also believe that Kaamdeva was revived on the day of Holi and hence celebrate the festival in his name.


Phagu Purnima

Phagu Purnima is another name for Holi where Phagu means the sacred red powder and Purnima or Pune is the full moon day, on which the festival ends.

At some places like Bihar, Holi is also known as Phagwa as it is celebrated in the later part of the month of Phalgun and the early part of Chaitra in the Hindu calendar. This corresponds to the English months of March-April.

The concept of New Year (Samvatsar) varies in the different provinces of our country. In some provinces, the month commences from the 'Krishna-Paksha' on the other hand in some provinces it commences from 'Shukla-Paksha'. For the former, the year ends on 'Purnima' of the month of Phalgun. The new years begins next day - Chaitra, 1st day of the Krishna Paksha. For them on this day the last year has died. For this reason in some provinces like Bihar and UP. Holika dahan is also called 'Samvatsar Dahan'. On this day all the bitterness and evil memories of the last year are burnt in the fire and the New Year is begun with a celebration.
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« Reply #11 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:24:17 AM »
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours : Holi Gifts
« Reply #11 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:24:17 AM »

Holi Gifts


The festival of joy and colour - Holi has some specific gift traditions too. What though is common throughout India is the exchange of mithai or sweets.

Exchange of Sweets
Sweet sellers make special arrangements for the day by preparing attractive gift packages containing mouth watering delicacies. A heavy rush can be witnessed at sweet-shops, on the eve of Holi as the market places remain closed on the day of Holi for the play of colours.

In the evening people visit friends and relatives and exchange boxes of sweets or special home made delicacies and renew the bond of love and brotherhood amongst them.

Clothes for Married daughters
There is also a tradition of gifting clothes to married daughters and her family. In some states, a special saree called 'dandia' is gifted to the married daughter along with another saree complete with all necessary accessories.

There is also a particular way in which dandia is prepared. Dandia is essentially a white cotton saree preferably of voile or 'mulmul'. It's borders are dyed with a non-fast colour called Indian Pink. The dandia is made by gathering all four sides of the saree and dipping each side, in turn, into the Indian Pink, allowing the colour to catch two to three inches of the cloth on each side. The colour spreads in uneven splendor towards the middle of the saree but to a limited extent. The effect is that of a slowly spreading blush. When the colour dries, the saree can be further decorated with beautiful designs on the entire body. Other Indian motifs can also be used. When the colour and designs are ready, a border of gold or silver, about two to three inches in width, is stitched on to the edges of the dandia. This border is called a 'gota'. The portion of the saree that covers the head ('pallu'), has a 'kiran' or a fine fringe of gold or silver, attached to it. This adds shimmer to the dandia. This traditional attire is a must for a newly wed bride.

Gifts for Son-in-Law
In some parts of India, there is a specific gift tradition for the sons-in-law too. After a special holi meal, it is customary 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. While married daughters are gifted what is called 'kothli' or travel money by their mother-in-law, or the eldest lady in the family.

Linking Gifts and Fun
If there is a tradition of giving gifts on Holi, there is also a tradition to have some fun before the exchange. At some places, the new bride has her share of joy and fun by playing a naughty joke on her parents-in-law. With the help of the children in the family, the new bride coaxes her parents-in-laws into a room and then locks them up from outside.

Singing specific folk songs for the occasion, the bride then demands her gifts usually a saree or jewelery for opening the door. All in the spirit of Holi !
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« Reply #12 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:25:17 AM »
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours : Holi Gift Ideas
« Reply #12 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:25:17 AM »

Holi Gift Ideas


Holi brings the opportunity to convey the message of love, trust and brotherhood. Holi Gifts also play a very important role when you are planning to develop a special relation or to amend a sour relation. But in such a situation one must be extremely careful about the choice of gift. Your Holi gift should emit a positive vibration and should covey the feeling of love and respect you have for the recipient. Given here are some unique Holi Gift Ideas and helpful tips for selecting Holi Gifts for your dear ones. Take inspiration and then decide a Holi Gift that will help you strengthen relationship you share with your loved ones.

Tips for Selecting Holi Gifts
Here are some useful tips to help you out in selecting an appropriate Holi gift for someone dear:

    * A gift should always be selected keeping in mind the spirit of the festival. It should portray the true picture of the festival.
    * The gift itself should convey the message.
    * It should be selected keeping in mind the relation you share with the recipient.
    * For dear ones staying far off, Holi gifts can be send through post through online shopping site. You can also send a Holi card to share the feeling of the festival.
    * List out all the people and the type of Holi gift you wish to presented to them.
    * Decide your budget and then decide for a beautiful gift accordingly.
    * A very special gift should be presented to make it the most cherished possession.
    * If possible get to know about the likes and dislikes of the recipients. This makes your tasks simpler.
    * You can also impress the receiver simply by gifting things which they have been craving for months.
    * Always remember, price of the gift is not the most important factor it is the feelings behind the gift that matters the most!!


Ideas for Holi Gifts
In case you are still not able to think of a special gift for your dear ones here some novel Holi gift ideas just for you.

Mithai / Sweets/ Chocolates: Sweets always go with the festival mood in India. To enliven the spirit of the Holi festival gift your dear ones a box of sweets like gujjiya. It is the most popular and favorite gift of Holi. A chocolate box can also be presented which is an all time favorite gift item.

Apparels: In India, people love to gift clothes on different festivals. At the time of Holi, special saree called Dandia can be gifted to married daughters. 'Lakhnavi Chikankari' kurtas/kurtis can be gifted both to men and women and make a wonderful gift option for your sweetheart. Beautifully designed suits, skirts and shirts also fall in the category of Holi gift options.

Dry Fruits: Any moment can be made special with dry fruits as a gift. Dry fruits fall in the category of classy gift items. Pack the dry fruits in a designer box to make a lasting impression.

Holi Color Pack: An attractive Holi color pack symbolizes the importance of colors and the spirit of the festival. These days Holi colour packs are readily available in the marker. These usually include magical colors, sprays, gulal, water colors and balloons.

Cassettes and CDs: To bring in the fun and verve to the festival gift a cassette or CD of special Holi songs.

Holi Gift Hampers: A huge variety of Holi gift hampers are available in the market. These hampers consists of beautifully designed trays with sweets, idol of Lord Krishna, diyas, gulal, abeer etc.

Wall or Door Hangings: Wall Hangings are always considered a good gift item to be presented on a festive occasion. For Holi, wall hangings of Lord Ganesha or Lord Krishna is a good option. Traditionally crafted door hangings can also be gifted as people love to adorn their houses on festivals.

Idols: To give a devotional feel to Holi celebrations, idols of Lord Krishna and Radha can be gifted.

Gifts for Kids: If you wish to get closer to the naughty kid's heart then water gun sprinklers, masks and colored hats is what you should think of. These gifts will be cherished by children and will immediately make you their favorite!!

Holi Gifts for Girlfriend: Drench your girlfriend in the spirit of Holi by gifting her a sweet and romantic gift item. A chocolate box teamed with the famous Lucknowi Chikan Kurta is an ethnic and heart touching Holi gift for the special lady in your life. You can also gift your sweetheart a teddy bear, jewelry box or a stylish necklace set.

Holi Gifts for Boyfriend: Gift your boyfriend something special this Holi and make him feel loved!! An interesting Holi Gift idea for your dashing boyfriend could be an ethnic Kurta Pyajama set. Besides, you can go for accessories like wallets, bracelets and cufflinks. Chocolates, dry fruits and sweets are always an open Holi Gift option for him.
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« Reply #13 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:26:34 AM »
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Holi : The Festival Of Colours : Holi SMS
« Reply #13 Posted: March 04, 2007, 11:26:34 AM »

Holi SMS


Holi SMS When it's time to send Holi wishes to loved ones people simply look for some good Holi festival SMS. Well, sending a Holi SMS is the best way to shower your heartiest feelings and blessings on the dear ones and to those who stay far off. Here is a great collection of Holi greetings to share special feeling of the festival with your friends, family and close ones. You can also send us some interesting Holi SMS and enrich our section.



Hindi Holi SMS
Saade rang ko galti se aap naa kora samjho,
Isi mey samaaye indradhanushi saaton rang,
Jo dikhe aapko zindagi saadagi bhari kisi ki,
To aap yun samjho satrangi hai duniya usiki,
Holi aayi satrangi rango ki bouchar laayi,
Dher saari mithai aur mitha mitha pyar laayi,
Aap ki zindagi ho mithe pyar aur khusiyon se bhari,
Jisme samaaye saaton rang yahi shubhkamna hai hamaari.

Lal, gulabi, neela, pila hathon me liya samet,
Holi ke din rangenge sajni, kar ke meethi bhent.

Pichkari ki Dhar,
Gulal ki bauchar,
Apno ka pyar,
Yahi hai yaaron holi ka tyohar.
Happy Holi!!!!

Rangon se bhi rangeen zindagi hai humari, rangeeli rahe yeh bandagi hai humari,
kabhi na bigde ye pyar ki rangoli, aye mere yaar aisi HAPPY HOLI.

Gul ne gulshan se gulfam bheja hai,
Sitaro ne aasman se salaam bheja hai,
Mubaraq ho aapko holi ka tyohar,
Humne dil se yeh paigam bheja hai.

Rango ke tyohar mein sabhi rango ki ho bharmar,
Dher saari khushiyon se bhara ho aapka sansar,
Yahi dua hai bhagwan se hamari har bar,
Holi Mubarak ho mere yaar!

Khaa key gujiya, pee key bhaang, laaga ke thoda thoda sa rang, baja ke dholak aur mridang, khele holi hum tere sang.
Holi Mubarak!
Rango mein ghuli ladki kya laal gulabi hai
Jo dekhta hai kehta hai kya maal gulabi hai
Pichle baras tune jo bhigoya tha holi mein
Ab tak nishani ka woh rumaal gulabi hai.

Chadenge jab pyare rang, ek meri dosti ka rang bhi chadhana.
Lagne lagenge tumhe suhane sare rang,
Aur meri dosti ka rang chamkega hurdum tumhare sang.
Bolo sarararara....
Wish you a very mastiful and colourful Happy Holi!

Apun wishing you a wonderful,
Super-duper,
Zabardast,
Xtra-badhiya,
Xtra special,
Ekdum mast and dhinchak,
Bole to ekdum jhakaas
“Happy Holi”.

Funny Holi SMS
Me ja ja jovu hu,
Mane tharo chahero dikhto hai,
Ii thaaro kusur nathi,
Salo sab chahero aaj rangeelo hai,
Holi Mubarak!

Aapne dil ka haal batana chod diya, humne bhi gehrai mein jaana chod diya. Holi se pehle hi aapne nahana chod diya?

Rang barse bhige chunar wali, rang barse o rang barse bhige chunar wali..rang barse, are rang barse bhige chunar wali..re! Ab ghar jao nahi to jukham lag jayega.

English Holi SMS
Dipped in hues of love and trust has come the festival of Holi.
Happy Holi!!

Bright colors, water balloons, lavish gujiyas and melodious songs are the ingredients of perfect Holi. Wish you a very happy and wonderful Holi.

May God gift you all the colors of life, colors of joy, colors of happiness, colors of friendship, colors of love and all other colors you want to paint in your life. Happy Holi.

If wishes come in rainbow colors then I would send the brightest one to say Happy Holi.

A true and caring relation doesn't have to speak loud, a soft sms is just enough to express the heartiest feelings. Enjoy the festival of Holi with lot of fun.

Best wishes to you for a Holi filled with sweet moments and memories to cherish for long.
Happy Holi!
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