In this edition of Centric Commemorates, we learn about celebrating Holi from our Centric India team members. This year Holi starts on Tuesday, March 7 and ends on Wednesday, March 8.
Holi. As soon as I hear the word, the vision in my mind is directly brought to colours, Gujiya (one of the traditional sweets specially made for this festival), flowers, balloons filled with water, dance parties, Bhaang Thandai (a favorable drink adding more fun to the festival), happiness, joy and togetherness. And this is what exactly how it is celebrated in the diverse, cultured nation of India.
Holi celebrates the arrival of spring, the end of winter, the blossoming of love, and for many, it is a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. The festival is also an invocation for a good spring harvest season.
It celebrates the eternal and divine love of god Radha Krishna. The day also signifies the triumph of good over evil, as it commemorates the victory of god Vishnu as Narasimha Narayana over Hiranyakashipu.
This is one of the very favourite festivals, especially to my kids who enjoy playing with colours, water and are mad about dancing and fun.
Wishing you all a very happy, joyous and colourful Holi!
— Shveta Arya
Holi – An Indian festival that binds people together from all religions, colors and races. Holi signifies triumph story of good over evil, as it marked the grace victory of lord Vishnu as Narasimha who killed Hiranyakashipu, an evil king of Ancient Indian history.
It starts with buying colours, sweets for guests at home and Holi-themed clothes. Then it’s time for shopping for ingredients for homemade sweets and eateries. My mother use to make Gulab jamuns (a famous Indian sweet) and namkeen (a salty mixture of fried food items) at home which was my all-time favourite.
There is a tradition to make a bonfire the night before Holi day called Holika Dahan, where a group of youngsters or organizers collect charity a week before from all the nearby houses to get Holika and Pralhad idols (mythological Indian characters) and decorate the fireplace in a common ground area where everyone can assemble.
The burning of the Holika idol is a like reliving the ancient memory where Holika and her brother Hiranyakashipu conspired to kill Pralhad a devotee of lord Vishnu, but despite having a fireproof garment, Holika hoaxed herself to death, and Pralhad safely moved out of the fire by the grace of lord Vishnu. By gathering at this event everyone tries to rid of all their selfish desires, saving the pralhad idol by pulling out of the fire and using the bonfire to mark the start of the Holi celebration.
When I was a kid, I use to buy sprinklers and spray guns commonly known as Pichkaree with Gulaal (a powdered form of colors) packets, masks and hard colors that we’d dissolve in a bucket full of water. I played Holi like hooligans on the road with my gang of friends and used to welcome every trespasser with Pichkaree full of color and smashing them with small balloons again filled with colors.
From my childhood to my corporate journey today, I experienced different kinds of traditions and Holi celebrations across India. But one thing remained common in all of them, it’s the same excitement and enthusiasm in people. I have seen people reuniting at times of celebration and forgetting all the differences between them.
So, let’s spread love, joy and happiness and come together this year to celebrate Holi, by clicking lots of pictures, creating some good memories and letting go of our selfish desire.
— Sagar Patel
Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is celebrated in the month of Falgun per the ancient calendar which (usually) is in March. The festival begins with Holika dahan, a ritual bonfire on Holi eve where people gather to offer prayers. The morning after it’s celebrated by applying and throwing colors at each other. It’s also a time of great joy and happiness where people come together to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, sharing warm hugs and traditional sweet and savoury dishes.
For me, Holi is all about having a lot of fun with family and friends and relishing loads of food! Back home, the preps start days before Holi with making of various sun-dried potato, sago, rice and lentil crisps, fried snacks and a traditional sweet called Gujhiya, which is pretty tedious and engages almost all family members (and often neighbors) to churn out the delicacy!
On the color day, we prepare buckets filled with color, load water guns, set up plates with dry colors called Gulal, and engage in the riot of colors along with friends, dancing to the beats of dhol and savouring the delicacies all along! This often extends till noon when folks depart to clean up and get ready for visiting relatives in the evening. Holi remains the most awaited fun festival of the year and creates great memories every time!
— Abhinav Singh
Growing up I was always excited to play Holi with my siblings, friends and cousins, and now I am so excited to play it with my sweet baby.
There are two essential elements of this Festival of Colours: Gulal (colours) and Gujhiyas. On the eve of Holi, we gather with our neighbourhood and do Holika Pujan (pray to the Goddess Holika) and distribute sweets. After this, we dance to upbeat Bollywood music, share delicious sweets, and enjoy fun-filled chatter with our peers and families. The next day is all about playing with colours!
— Parul Nehra
There has been a kind of tradition set in my family of making Gujiyas (sweet food), Dahi Bhallas (soft lentil fritters dunked in yogurt), kachoris (sweet and spicy deep-fried snack) and Chana Bhatura as a satisfying main meal.
After the meal, drinks such as Thandai along with pitchers of chilled lassi make good thirst quencher. Then we go to Gurudwara to offer prayers and seek blessings for family, friends and well-being of the human race. Let’s hope and pray to God that this Holi may there be peace, happiness and prosperity in everyone’ life as this day signifies the victory of good over evil.
— Jatinderpal Singh
Holi Hai. This phrase in itself excites emotions in multitudes of people, and I am no exception to the fervour. One of the most colourful days of the year, Holi embodies an opportunity to spread cheer, delight and happiness and to greet the onset of spring.
We starting the day with a hop in the step, draping oneself with light clothes so that the entire plethora of colours painted on to you are on display. Family and friends daubing coloured powders over each other and drenching unsuspecting passers-by with a deluge of water. Everyone is fair game for fun, and a little flirtation never hurts anyone. All this merry making is outlined with us continuously gorging on sweets without caring about the weight that would depress later.
Evenings are a little calmer as everyone has settled down, owing to exhaustion over all the fun. The weather allows for ease in outdoor visits and the time is then used to visit friends, wish them the best and sync with each other over another round of devouring, of course.
One of the most awaited days of the year, Holi engulfs the youthful and exuberant culture of the country in the best way possible.
— Kumar Sharma
Holi, as we all know is a festival of colors. Not just colors, Holi brings in immense joy, excitement, some bitter and fruitful moments worth remembering the entire year. Holi brings in a lot of footfalls in the nearby markets. Shops are loaded with Holi colors and toys. Suddenly there is a lot of hustle bustle around the neighborhood, and everyone seems to be very relaxed yet excited, too.
On a typical Holi day, every individual has a different role to play in our family.
The elders of our house (specially females) spend endless hours preparing and discussing about Holi snacks that includes Gujiya, Dahi Vada, Thandai, Vegetable Pakoras and Chole bhature. They are excited about meeting and greeting everyone and spending some quality time together.
The kids become very notorious and are at their naughtiest level. They spend hours planning which colors they need to buy: What will be the quantity of the water balloons? How much water toys do they want? What should be their shapes? They spend hours window-shopping the whole market before they actually buy them. They are the least concerned about the food and more involved in getting all the family members completely drenched and colored from head to toe.
The younger generation seems to be on another cloud during this day. Their entire day revolves around good food, good, loud Bollywood music combined with a tasty sumptuous Thandai Bhaang. As always, they want to dance up to the sky and make some noise. Not to forget, the female members have an even more important role to play.
They are more excited to capture the entire day’s snapshot on their phones. They care the most about creating a wonderful Instagram reel or a story. Their day never ends without a perfectly designed one. Hundreds of pictures and selfies being taken tells that an artist always takes her art very seriously.
That’s a short story on how we celebrate Holi. I am sure it must resemble a lot of other family’s stories, too, as being joyful, happy and energized, as these are common feelings amongst all.
— Varun Oberoi
India is a country enriched in culture and heritage which involves innumerable festivals. My personal favorite festival is Holi, which is most Jovial and dramatic Festival of Colors.
I start this day by dressing up in whites or light color clothes, so that the vibrant colors of Holi are enhanced. Colors and Gujjiyas is definitely the essence of this festival. I love to spend this day with my friends and family. This festival not only spreads enthusiasm, but also, it is so much fun playing with herbal Gulal, water balloons and water gun. Smearing different colors on each other’s face and dancing on those evergreen famous Bollywood Holi songs is so exciting.
Holi is incomplete without a traditional Bhang (drink made of cannabis leaves). We end this festival by sipping this drink and the sleeping for hours lol!
Here is little sneak peek as to how I enjoy playing Holi with my friends and relatives followed by scrumptious food.
— Nivedita Sachdeva
Through these stories, we’ll seek to learn, understand, and empathize. We’ll celebrate our differences and realize that though we have varied backgrounds and perspectives, we are one team.