Monday, March 05, 2007

Rang Barse

Yesterday Indians celebrated the colorful festival of Holi! Holi is celebrated each year at this time of the year and people throw colored water and powder at each other in celebration during this festival. Of course, as is common with most Indian festivals, there is a lot of fun, food, music and dancing.

While Holi is celebrated to welcome the onset of Spring, it has it's origins in ancient Hindu mythology. As the legend goes, King Hiranyakashyap was the king of demons and a staunch enemy of Hindu god, Vishnu. His son, Prahlad was a devotee of Vishnu and as such the king ordered him to death. Prahlad survived a fall from a mountain, a herd of elephants and other attempts at his life. Finally, the king's wife, Holika was assigned the task of killing the boy. Holika had a boon that would allow her to remain unharmed even if she was set on fire. So she held Prahlad and sat on a large bonfire. But miraculously, Prahlad survived while Holika burnt to ashes. During Holi, a large bonfire is let to commemorate this event.

The association at the building had organized a Holi event at our complex. This was a two-day affair that started on Saturday with a talent show for children and a dinner. It was a great opportunity to meet with many of our neighbours. The talent show was cute. Next day, the festivities started at 10am in the morning when over a hundred people took part in the throwing of colors. Mona and I have not celebrated Holi in 20 years and of course the kids have never experienced this. Needless to say, they had a blast. They had a complete license to do what they wanted and they made full use of it. Against the background of loud Bollywood music, we had a blast playing holi for hours.

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