Holi, otherwise known as the festival of colours is an ancient Hindu commemoration. However, with time its popularity has grown all around the world and this celebration of colours and love is observed multiculturally.
Holi is celebrated by putting dry colour or coloured water on each other throughout the day
Holi, like other cultural ritualistic celebrations has a religious significance. It represents good triumphing over evil. The word ‘Holi’ was initiated from Holika, the name of the evil sister of demon king, Hiranyakashipu. Holika was defeated by a fire which is the reason behind celebrating the eve of Holi with a bonfire. The day after bonfire, people continue celebrating with colours, food and drinks.
Holi is celebrated by putting dry colour or coloured water on each other throughout the day. People sing and dance with the whole community as they celebrate this vibrant occasion.
To participate in this event people come out of their homes and enjoy with their neighbours, family and friends. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the tradition of targeting each other with colour. The day after the event people clean up and meet with family and friends to exchange gifts and share sweets.
The main attraction of this tradition is food and drink. For food, people usually prepare dishes like Dahi Bhalle, Aloo Puri, Khichdi, and Methi Mathri to name few.
Indian sweets are centric to the celebration. Sweets like Ram Ladoo, Chocolate Sandesh, Mawa Gijiya and Carrot Halwa are the most popular ones. People mostly go around in their communities and give sweets to others to mark this event.
Another important aspect of the celebration is consuming a traditional and very unique customary Indian drink called Bhang Lassi. Bhang is prepared with Cannabis leaves and flowers and is quite intoxicating. The main purpose of the drink is to intensify the spirit of Holi. Initially, it was mostly popular in North India but with time other parts of India came to appreciate it as well.
Bollywood through the years has featured the festival of Holi in many films, including 2 States, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Bhagban, Mastana, Daata, Souten, Rajput, Mohabbatein and Silsila, to name a few.
One of the most memorable being ‘Holi Ke Din’ from the blockbuster Sholay starring Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Hema Malini.
This Indian traditional festival is now celebrated in all over the world, and UK is no exception. Indians living in UK has become costumed to enjoy and celebrate Indian festivals in UK and make the most of it.
In big cities such as London, Oxford, Manchester, Leicester events are organised to celebrate this festival of colour. Indian restaurants all over the UK serve up Holi special menu to contribute in the celebrations. With globalisation, like other Indian festivals people from all background has come closer by celebrating this fiesta of colour and love.
Some of the Indian festivals that have become popular with time in UK are Diwali, Vaishakhi, Ratha Yatra, Lordhi, Rakhi, Navratri and Karva Chauth. Multiculturally, events are organised in the UK for people of all backgrounds to come together and enjoy the festivities, and Holi is definitely one of the most adored among them.
Social media of course has played a big role in the process of cultures coming together. Facebook among other sites has been used to create events and meet ups on the day of Holi, to celebrate. Various events organised in London has been promoted via Facebook which can only result in successful parties.
This festival not only symbolises the triumph of good over evil but it also welcomes the season of Spring. It is believed that by enjoying this festival of colour the vibrant colours of Spring are welcomed into their lives. Some Hindu communities also celebrate Holi as a beginning of the New Year.
The festival of Holi is also an occasion to end old conflicts and disagreements of past and come together as a community to appreciate one another. Festivals like Holi are the reason why despite of all the clashes between different cultures people take one step towards becoming closer.
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