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Holi is joyful. When you see all friends with colors over social media you feel crazy. Well I felt the same years back wanted to have a holi festival there in sri lanka. But still coulld come across most of our fellows would like to get chill but not colored. But most were fancy of celebrating same even with locallay available colors . so a long story in short it is something in cards  still not came out as needed .

When I planned tour to india my best options were early march as some holiday (poya )  fallen on 1st of march .after my arrival to india on 1st I went around city. First place was lotus temple .there I met few youngsters with colored faces. When I asked why. With broken english they told it is holi..i could understand a little but just deminished the message as I fallen love with beauty of place .

There after in the eveing when I walked back saw some colors were spreaded by the road side . in the metro some adults are even with colored faces and good dresses . wow.. funny but true..

Then at the entrace of the hostel receptionst was wtiring a notice on a holi party which happened on next day. I really got thrilled and got a mode of fun with that . holi holi holi………………….WOW…….

Iam going to experince holi in land of holi..

Holi also known as the “festival of colors”, is an Indian and Nepali spring festival celebrated all across the Indian subcontinent as well as in countries with large Indian subcontinent diaspora populations such as Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mauritius, and Fiji. It signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. It is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest. It lasts for a night and a day, starting on the evening of the Purnima (Full Moon day) falling in the Vikram Samvat Hindu Calendar month of Phalguna, which falls somewhere between the end of February and the middle of March in the Gregorian calendar. The first evening is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the following day as Holi, Rangwali HoliDhuletiDhulandi,or Phagwah.

Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika Dahan where people gather, perform religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil be destroyed the way Holika, the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was killed in the fire.

Traditional sources of colors

 

Orange and red

The flowers of palash or tesu tree, also called the flame of the forest, are typical source of bright red and deep orange colours. Powdered fragrant red sandal wood, dried hibiscus flowers, madder tree, radish and pomegranate are alternate sources and shades of red. Mixing lime with turmeric powder creates an alternate source of orange powder, as does boiling saffron (kesar) in water.

Palash flower

Green

Mehendi and dried leaves of gulmohur tree offer a source of green colour. In some areas, the leaves of spring crops and herbs have been used as source of green pigment.

Yellow

Haldi (turmeric) powder is the typical source of yellow colour. Sometimes this is mixed with chickpeas, gram or other flour to get the right shade. Bael fruit, amaltas, species of chrysanthemums, and species of marigold are alternate sources of yellow.

Blue

Indigo plant, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus and jacaranda flowers are traditional sources of blue colour for Holi.

Magenta and purple

Beetroot is the traditional source of magenta and purple colour. Often these are directly boiled in water to prepare coloured water.

Brown

Dried tea leaves offer a source of brown coloured water. Certain clays are alternate source of brown.

Black

Species of grapes, fruits of amla (gooseberry) and vegetable carbon (charcoal) offer gray to black colours.

 

Environmental impact

An alleged environmental issue related to the celebration of Holi is the traditional Holika bonfire, which is believed to contribute to deforestation. Activists estimate Holika causes 30,000 bonfires every year, with each one burning approximately 100 kilograms (220.46 lbs) of wood. This represents less than 0.0001% of 350 million tons of wood India consumes every year, as one of the traditional fuels for cooking and other uses.

The use of heavy metal-based pigments during Holi is also reported to cause temporary wastewater pollution, with the water systems recovering to pre-festival levels within 5 days .

 

My story

In the hostel room some friends met given some clues how it celebrates in different parts of India and specially in down south it is not that popular .

On the holi day it was a holiday in India so that all metro were stopped until 2.30 pm and also the public busses .this allowed us to enjoy holi truly .it is a hidden blessing ; Never expected that much of outcome and thrill when it was flown.

I waked up early morning and went out haven’t seen much movement well in few meters away from my hostel there was a gent I met full of colors in his balcony …then the family members .. well it started . at colony security talked to person there who was  still in civil dress good morning.. he just peeped and shouted good morning sir happy holi in his little known English.. Well it like merry x’mas, happy new year , you can say happy holi.. yes happy holi.. I murmured.

Road is empty . in a normal business day it would be at least 20-30 seconds wait before crossing roads.. Of course color lights are functioning J

I walked until close by park it is about 800m away. Fuel shed is open but vehicles to pump. Pump man just smiled . I said happy holi.. he looked at me.. sir.. Happy holi brother I went close to him n said.. then with a BIG smile he said happy holi sir.. How are you? I love it.

At park some regular morning walkers were there .more of dogs. Felt lazy.. I returned home. Still reception is closed; went until my room..

It was 9 am like it was slow… but then there were few came up with some colors on faces then some with colors in hands. So the fun time started. We came to ground floor. At entrance close by gate was colored fully. Just one girl came to me and marker on my forehand with wishing happy holi. Her face was like a water color palette. Many throwing went on with “very  young” crowed .i was just half colored in few minutes. I have not forgotten to color others too.

Just went outside in the road some set of kids playing with colored water . Fun time moved on. They were throwing each other.. Big giggling came from a corner of the road house.. Total family is having the fun.. Kids were fully wet .they didn’t mind of that . just recalled out school days . getting muddy. no complaints .

Then the little crew came up with some water balloons and attacks another set of kids in other side of road. It is a color ball attack. They attacked all over the road then came to our hostel end… then my hostel people attacked them with colors, then color balls prepared on our end. J

Little “holi” war began. We kept aside as far as  away from attack. Still water and colors spreaded on our way.  That war ended like; water and color patches sprayed all over road .

So my hostel people were all over to party and went to a hotel to finish day by 12 noon like. .

We (my self, ranjith of Kerala and Janith of sri Lanka ) waited until 2.30 pm metro to be started and went off  for sight-seeing .

We all like Muppets .we were first bit crazy… but when went out see all over the roads colors spreaded; more people still playing with color dust .when we reached to iscon temple very less people were there . but there were more people on the road.. Young guys going all over with bikes; Attacks each other with colors .at lotus temple more people seen with colored faces. By 2.30 we came to metro station at Neru place . well we are not strangers any more here ..Yes. If we were not with colors we felt like silly .at India gate more people were moving ;of course people with colored faces having a bath in muddy pond close by.. aiyo ..

Holi is funny… But there are many learning for any. It talks about togetherness. It doesn’t care your age for enjoyment. It just keeps you away from your stressed life. Finally world BIGGEST color festival should have to be experienced in its own land at least once…

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