Daily Archives: March 20, 2011

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Happy Holi!

Hi everyone!  Today marks the last day of a beautiful Indian festival called Holi.  It’s a religious celebration, but at the same time, its super fun and very colorful.  During this time, people gather around a huge bonfire, throw colored powder and colored water on one another, and go a little crazy in the streets!  Holi was originally an agricultural festival celebrating the arrival of spring.  So if you think about it, the colors you throw on one another signify the liveliness of spring.  You’re essentially saying, “Buh-bye gloomy winter, HELLO sun and warmth!” 

I really like Holi celebrations because people loosen up and have fun.  It’s a nice change from a lot of the other Hindu religious celebrations that tend to be serious and full of protocol.  Holi is a time when you see people dancing in the streets, laughing, playing, and having fun!  I have never seen it celebrated in India, but I’ve heard my parents stories, and let me tell you, this was definitely one of their favorite times of year.  Hindus here in America still celebrate Holi, but I imagine it’s not quite the same.  When I lived in Atlanta, we would go to the temple at night, stand around the bonfire, and then literally throw colored powder on everyone around us.  :)

Please don’t think that I’m trying to minimize the religious significance of this holiday.  I know that Holi carries very great religious importance, but I’m honestly not very educated on its history, so I can’t add much value there.  But if you’re interested in learning more about this celebration, please check out Wikipedia (I read through the page, and it’s very well written and easy to understand).

As y’all know, I’m not in Atlanta right now, which means I didn’t feel like celebrating all by my lonesome self.  :(  I did, however, stop by a Lakshmi temple near my hotel today(Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth).  And just as I expected, people were walking out of the temple with pink, yellow, green, etc. faces!  [Side note: Most people don't throw color on people they don't know.]  I needed to make a stop at Trader Joe’s on my way home, so I really really hoped no one would try to throw color at me.  Lucky for me, I was able to leave the temple color free!  :)

I felt kind of weird taking pictures at the temple, especially since I didn’t see anyone else doing it.  But I found these pictures on the web and thought I would share.  I know my descriptions of Holi probably didn’t paint the most vivid picture, but these should help!  Enjoy!

All the colors of Holi!

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See the rainbow!

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Holi bonfire
 
So as us Indians say, “HOLI HAI!!!”  (This means “It’s Holi!!!”).  I hope y’all enjoy the rest of your Sunday!