Holi (20-29 March), also known as the “festival of spring”, the “festival of colours”, and the “festival of love” is a popular ancient Hindu festival signifying the triumph of good over evil.
Holi celebrates the arrival of spring, the end of winter, the blossoming of love, and for many it’s a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. The festival also celebrates the beginning of a good spring harvest season.
As well as representing the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil, it is also said to be the enactment of a game the Hindu god Lord Krishna played with his consort Radha and the gopis, or milkmaids.
Celebrants light bonfires, throw colourful powder called gulal, eat sweets, and dance to traditional folk music. A man, covered in the bright colours of Holi, showers the crowd with a handful of red powder during the festivities.
Some of the foods eaten at Holi include
- Thandai – an Indian cold drink prepared with a mixture of almonds, fennel seeds, watermelon kernels, rose petals, pepper, poppy seeds, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar.
- DahiBhalle – lentil fritters soaked in yoghurt
- Puran Poli – sweet flatbread
- Rasmalai – dessert consisting of soft paneer balls immersed in chilled creamy milk.
- Badam Phirni – like a rich rice pudding with almonds, cardamom, saffron and sugar
- Coconut Milk Murukku – deep fried snack made with rice flour and dal flour
- Bhang Pakora – made with gram flour, turmeric, dried mango powder, chili, onions and potatoes