The festival of color is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of PHALGUN. People enjoy playing with colours and celebrate the whole day with much pump and gaiety. Originally Holi was regarded to be the festival to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land. There are several legends behind Holi. One of them say that Holi is remembered for the sacrifice of Holika who burnt herself in fire on this day.
Celebration of Holi festival is characterised by performing Holi puja as per Hindu tradition. Dhulendi, which falls day after Holi Puja, is considered to be the actual festival of colors. Children and youngsters we with each other - use fast and sticky colors to celebrate Holi. It is all fun and joy for them.
There are several legends on Holi which find mentions in Hindu mythology. Holi is regarded to be the opening festival of the Hindu calendar.
Radha-Krishna: Krishna, once asked his mother - why is Radha fair and I am Dark? Mother Yashoda replied to him saying – If you are so much jealous of Radha’s color than go and put dark colors on her and she will also turn dark as you do. Lord Krishna went ahead and did the same. Since then each lover usually puts color on his/her beloved to pay homage to Lord Krishna.
Pootana: When the female demoness called Pootana tried to kill boy Krishna, by giving him her poisoned nipples to suckle. The miracle boy Krishna is said to have sucked her nipples so intensely that he drained the demoness of her life. Hence, the biggest celebration of Holi takes place at Mathura where this incident happened with Krishna. After the death of demoness Pootana, people of Mathura till date celebrate this festival in the evening by lighting bourn fire.
Holi is known by the name of "Kamadahana" in South India, which refers to the day on which Kamadev (Cupid) was burnt by Lord Shiva. In North India, a tradition is followed on the eve of Holi- huge bundles of woods are accumulated and burnt at night mainly in temples. On the other day, people play Holi with colored water. Almost everywhere one can hear the shouts and laughter of people shouting"Holi-hai! Holi-hai!" "Bura na Mano Holi Hai" People gathered in the streets and pump colored water over the body and clothes even to the strangers who pass by, no matter whether he/she is rich or poor. There is no restriction on this day. People compose and sing special Holi songs to mark this occasion.
During Holi festival, people clean up their houses by burning all dirty articles in and around the house in the fire.According to them, this practice destroys disease-breeding bacteria and the sanitary condition of the locality is also improved. People preparespecial recipes on Holi day. Before few days they start preparing delicacies for this day namely gujjia, papri and kanji ke vade.
Gujia: It is a northern sweet dish popular amongst the people.
Puran Poli: These are made in small doughs after which they are fried and served hot.
Papri: It’s a snack containing methi leaves
Dahi Bhalle: This is also the snack which is quite popular among people and eaten with chutnii and curd.
Malpua: It is a sweet dish made of flour served with rabri. This can be stored for weeks to eat.
Saffron Syrup: It is drunk popularly by people on Holi as it is the cold drink.
Bhang: Associated with Lord Shiva, bhang has now become synonymous with holi. Out of several ways of preparing bhang the most popular is the buds and leaves of cannabis squashed and ground into a green paste. To this mixture milk, ghee, and spices are added. This bhang base is turned to thandai
Thandai: It is a cool drink made of poppy seeds, aniseeds, black peppercorns and rose petals, the buds and leaves of Cannabis using a mortar and pestle into a green paste. It is then mixed with milk, ghee, and spices which is latter on served along with ice cubes in the glass.