New Delhi, Weather from Weather Underground

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What is Holi?

We are in the midst of celebrating our first Holi in India. I remember watching Amazing Race, Season 13 when the contestants had to run through the colors to find their clue. At that time, I couldn't fathom how this could be fun in any way. So, what exactly is Holi? describes it this way. "As the brief spring warms the landscape, northern India cuts loose for a day of hi jinx and general hilarity. The festival of Holi is celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March every year.

Originally a festival to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land, Holi is now a symbolic commemmoration of a legend from Hindu Mythology. Today Holi is an excuse for Indians to shed inhibitions and caste differences for a day of spring fever and Big Fun. Teenagers spend the day flirting and misbehaving in the streets, adults extend the hand of peace, and everyone chases everyone else around, throwing brightly colored powder (gulal) and water over each other.

The festival's preamble begins on the night of the full moon. Bonfires are lit on street corners to cleanse the air of evil spirits and bad vibes, and to symbolize the destruction of the wicked Holika, for whom the festival was named. The following morning, the streets fill with people running, shouting, giggling and splashing."

The days before Holi our nanny and I went around picking up the herbal/safe colors, water guns, water balloons, and white outfits for the girls to wear. For about a week before the children played squirting each other with water in the playground. They loved the "practice" with all the water fun.
Rebekah and her friend Jessica testing their equipment.

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