FESTIVAL OF HOLI
If you are born in India, you are bound to be surrounded by festivals throughout the year – big or small. Festivals not only represent your culture but more than that they bring forward the feelings of joy and excitement within everyone.
From childhood, festivals become a part and parcel of your life. And it is so embedded within you that your body itself starts humming with enthusiasm as they approach every year.
I love festivals. But more than that I love preparing for them. Oddly enough, I don’t enjoy the day of the festival so much compared to the days before it. The anxiety, the pressure to keep everything ready and most of all the shopping for things needed just makes me immensely happy. Those old memories, of the younger me, celebrating festivals together with my family, are still fresh in my mind.
With the coming of the New Year, the first major festival we celebrated was Holi.
It is my favorite festival. The preparations used to start more than ten days before. The major part of the preparation was cooking mouth-watering snacks. First, we used to make ‘papad’- a circular disc-shaped dry snack made up of spicy dough. The whole family was involved in the process. From boiling, peeling of potatoes to mashing and mixing them with spices; with making small dough balls to pressing them in a circular shape; were the task that my parents did. We, sisters used to carry these sheets having the papads, out to the balcony to dry under the sun. Then there were potato chips to be made. One whole Sunday before the festival was dedicated only to making these delicacies.
The beauty of Indian festivals is that they are celebrated not by families but by the whole neighborhood. Every house within our neighborhood helped each other in preparing and getting ready for the approaching festival. In the afternoons my mother and the ladies of my neighborhood used to gather in one house or the other to help in making sweets and snacks. For Holi, the special sweet is Gujhiya. I remember how they helped my mother in making lots and lots of that sweet treat. It used to be a laughing and talking session.
On the day of Holi, we used to get up early and get prepared with our colors and water-guns. We had to be fully loaded for the color-war among the children within our neighborhoods. As a preventive measure from the Holi colors, we used to rub layers and layers of moisturizer all over our body. Due to this, the color used to come off easily. After playing the whole morning with our friends, we used to wash up and get our house ready for the visitors coming in the evening. We waited eagerly for the guests as then we could taste those dishes which our mother didn’t allow us to touch as well. The moment our parents moved to the living room to receive the guests we used to raid the kitchen. And that is how the day used to pass in a blink.
Do you remember how you celebrated the festivals in your childhood? Share your opinions in the comment section below.
This blog post is part of #A2ZChallenge. My theme for the year 2018 is Memories. This post is for letter ‘F’.