One of the biggest festivals of India, Holi is celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun which is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar.Holi festival may be honored with various names and people of different regions might be following different rituals and traditions. But, what makes Holi so distinctive and special is the spirit of it which stays the same everywhere in the country and even across the globe, wherever it is celebrated. How to celebrate holi
How to celebrate holi
The whole country wears a festive look when it is time for Holi festival. Marketplaces get abuzz with action as frenzied customers start making arrangements for the festival. Collections of various hues of abeer and gulal can be seen on the roadside days before the festival. Pichkaris in several new and innovative design too come up every year to attract the children who wish to get them as Holi memorabilia and of course, to drench everyone in the town.
Ladies start making early arrangements for the holi festival as they cook many traditional sweet snacks like gujiya, mathri and papri for the family and also for the friends. At some places especially in the north ladies also make potato chips and papads at this time. How to celebrate holi
Season of Bloom
Everyone gets pleased at the arrival of Holi as the season itself is so vivid. Holi is also known as the Spring Festival – as it indicates the arrival of spring the season of faith and joy. The bitterness of the winter goes as Holi signs of bright summer days. Nature too, it seems exults at the arrival of Holi and wears its best things. Fields get covered with crops ensuring a good harvest to the farmers and several beautiful flowers bloom colouring the surroundings and filling sweet scent in the air. How to celebrate holi
On the night of Holi, called Chhoti or Small Holi individuals gather at intersections crossroads and light large bonfires, the celebration is called Holika Dahan. This ritual is also followed in Gujarat and Orissa. To render gratefulness to god of Fire, Agni, gram and stalks from the harvest are also offered to Agni with all obedience. Ash left from this bonfire is also deemed holy and individuals apply it on their foreheads. Individuals believe that the ash protects them from sinister forces. How to celebrate holi
Play of Colours
Great enthusiasm can be seen in people on the following day when it is the time for the play of colours. Shops and offices remain shut for the day and individuals get all the time to get crazy. Bright colours of gulal and abeer pack the air and people take turns in splashing colour water over each other. Children take special pleasure in spraying colours on one another with help of their new pichkaris and throwing water balloons on the passers-by. Women and senior citizen form groups are known as tolis and move in colonies – applying colours at each other’s face and forehead and exchanging greetings. How to celebrate holi
There is a tradition of making sweet dishes and snacks to celebrate Holi with more excitement. And if you are celebrating it for the first time here are selected Holi Recipes to help you celebrate the festival to the hilt.
Saankhein – Ingredients :
- 1 cup soaked chana dal
- 1/3 cup soaked urad dhuli
- 1/3 cup soaked moong dhuli
- 1/3 cup soaked arhar dal
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ajwain
- oil for deep-frying
- salt to taste
Drudge the soaked lentils to a dough-like persistence without using water. Make the dough a little grainy.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients and shape the dough into somewhat flat rounds. Heat oil over a high flame put in as many balls as fit in without touching each other. After about 10 seconds turn them upside down and lower heat. Cook to make it firm but do not turn them brown. How to celebrate holi
GUJIA – Ingredients
- 1kg khoya
- 500 gms maida (flour)
- 3tbsps kismis (raisins)
- 200 gms almonds (cut into thin strips)
- 200 ml water.
- 6 tbsps cooking oil. ( keep some more aside for deep frying)
- 500 gms sugar.
Add six tablespoons of oil with maida. With the help of your fingers, mix them well so that the mixture takes the form of breadcrumbs and binds to a particular extent. Now put some water and mix lightly. Keep adding water as needed and mix into a soft dough. Set aside and cover with a moist cloth.
Put the 1kg of khoya in a deep-frying pan and cook to a light brown colour. Add sugar to it and mix well. Add almonds and kismis and some other dry fruit. Cook for a few minutes and then let it cool.
Roll out the mixed dough into a chapati, thicker and smaller than a regular chapati. Fill half the chapati with the khoya and dry fruits mixture, fold the chapati and seal the round, wrapping the edges inwards.
Cook these gujjias, a few at a time, till their colour changed into a deep golden brown. Let them drain further on a spread out the newspaper, till all the oil is soaked up. How to celebrate holi
PAPRI – Ingredients :
- 1/2 kg besan.
- 1 tsp(heaped) salt
- 1 tsp mustard oil.
- 1 small tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp methi leaves.(chopped fine)
- 1/4 kg maida.
- 1 cup water
Mix besan, red chilli powder, salt, and oil well. Mix the mixture into dough. Knead for approximately five minutes. Add the methi leaves. Mix for another three minutes. Make the dough into a big round ball and let the dough on the plate to soften it.
Heat oil in a frying pan, on high flame. While oil is heating, spread some oil on your palm and roll out the dough into a flat long strip about one inch thick. Keep rubbing oil on your palms to put the roll moist. Smooth each piece out into a round shape and roll it into chapatis. How to celebrate holi
Fry very lightly, using the flame from medium to low as required. Do not let the papris turn red or brown. They should seem like golden yellow when ready. Remove oil and store in an airtight box.
Without these snacks celebration of Holi feels incomplete.