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March 16, 2009

The colors of summer make for vibrant Holi

By Harsha Mishra

Reporter, Youth Journalism International

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Celebrating Holi are, left to righ, Harsha Mishra, Shashi Pandey, Kandpal, Pulkit Pandey, Kirti Pandey and Priya Kandpal..

Youth Journalism International

BAREILLY, Uttar Pradesh, India – It’s official – summer is here.

The cycle of seasons in India is once more completed and it’s time to celebrate the arrival of summer.

In India, almost all the seasons has an accompanying celebration to welcome it.

Winters are welcomed with Diwali, spring with Basant Panchami, and summers with Holi.

Holi is celebrated all around the country in one form or the other, but everyone who is celebrating shares the same feelings of peace and harmony. They also forget their cares for a few moments and get wet in the colors of love.

Holi is not meant for the worship of any particular god but is just a tradition of getting naughty on a day and having some fun. This tradition was started by lord Krishna, and is being continued by his successors.

The celebration starts as soon as the colors are in the market. There are a whole lot of them – red, green, blue and yellow. The markets also gets filled with all sorts of pichkaris, or toys for children to enjoy themselves by spreading colorful water on others.

While some celebrate Holi as if it is one of the most important festivals in India, many think of it as an excuse for getting drunk and doing a bit of mischief around.

Actually, Holi is a festival of mischief, fun and colors.

“People get out of their houses in morning and form groups going to each house wishing, singing, dancing, rubbing ‘gulaal’ on each others face and chatting, having the tit bits served from every house. It’s fun, and a kind of get together,” said Neha Dewan, in grade 11 at the Air Force School in Bareilly.

“It’s quite fun roaming in just shirts and lowers after a long time,” said Anugya Tripathi, who is in grade 11 in the Gulab Rai Montessory School in Bareilly.

Tripathy said cooler clothing is nice as it is rather hot during the day.

Only after Holi has summer really begun.

This festival is celebrated in different ways in different cities of India. In some areas, it is celebrated as a funny fight between husbands and wives where wives pretend to beat their husbands using long sticks. In other places, it is celebrated as a “foolon waali Holi,” with flowers are used instead of colors. In short, it is a funny festival, celebrated in a light mood. Holi is the day when people are bound to forget all their envies and forgive all their rivals (if they have any) and hug each and every person around.

“The only thing that almost everyone hates about this festival is the time which is wasted in bathing after playing, as it takes a lot of energy to wash away the color that has got on and into you,” my sister Richa Mishra said.

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Youth Journalism International

My family started the preparations for Holi by making many delicious dishes.

Gujiya, the most delicious and important dish of the festival, is almost everyone’s favorite on that day. It is made with milk and sugar, wrapped with a coating.

Next, we made chips and all the chili things for the group of men that would come to our house in the morning.

In our locality, it is a tradition that all the men and boys get together with instruments like a dholak, or small drum, and sing songs of blessings and wishes. This carnival travels to all the houses in the community.

Then we covered our heads with oil and face and hands and legs with cream so that the color wouldn’t get on us. Finally, wearing our dress made specially for playing Holi, we slept so that we could be fresh the next day to enjoy the festival of colors.

In the evening, everyone visits each other, and gives warm wishes and in this way, the festival ends with harmony, happiness and peace all around.

So happy Holi to all!


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