A colourful first experience, and it certainly won’t be the last! Last Sunday, some of our team invited us for a vibrant day out to celebrate Holi Festival at the Esplanade Park by the river. The festival is also known as the “Festival of Love” or the “Festival of Colours”.
Originating in India, Holi is a traditional Hindu festival over two days that celebrates the beginning of Spring. It is a celebration of colour, love and happiness, as well as the triumph of good over evil. It is an special time for people to rejoice, play and laugh, and meet others. It is also a time to let go of old conflicts and grudges, mend the bridges, forgive and forget, giving thanks to the Gods for good harvest.
This fun-filled festival is now celebrated around the world, where people gather together to throw coloured powders on each other. This is one part of Holi, which is split into two events: Holika Dahan and Rangwali Holi.
Holika Dahan takes place the night before Rangwali Holi. Wood and dung-cakes are burned in a symbolic pyre to signify good defeating evil (in Hindu Vedic scriptures, the God Vishnu helps burn the devil Holika to death). It also symbolises the love the God Krishna has for the Goddess Radha.
The next morning, people gather in public spaces and take part in Rangwali Holi. A wonderful event where people chase each other around, throwing handfuls of coloured powders (known as gulal) at one another, while getting drenched in water. The four main powder colours are used to represent different things. Red reflects love and fertility, blue is the colour of Krishna, yellow is the colour of turmeric and green symbolises spring and new beginnings.
There's no doubt you'll work up a ravenous appetite after running around all day whilst smelling the aromas of India's street food. We feasted on authentic Indian food including Bhatura and Chana Masala (fried bread with chickpeas), Pani Puri (fried balls with potato, chutney and tangy soup), Pav Bhaji (toasted bread with thick curry), Momo dumplings and Korma curry with rice.
We were certainly underprepared for our first Holi Festival so we have curated a list of Top Tips for you -
Happy Holi to you and your family!