Celebrating Holi & other Indian festivals in the United States

Celebrating Holi & other Indian festivals in the United States

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This last month we celebrated Holi in the East Bay.  Yep, I know, Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season and typically falls in the latter part of Feb. or March (this year it was on Mar. 8th), but in the San Francisco/Bay Area we have to wait till the weather warms up enough to give us a chance to enjoy this outdoor Spring festival.
Holi is one of the major festivals of India & is celebrated with extreme gusto and joy.  Holi got its name as the 'Festival of Colors' from Lord Krishna, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, who liked to play pranks on the village girls, drenching them in waters and colors. (Guide to the Holi Festival 2012 by Sharell Cook, Aboutcom.guide)  Smearing colored powder or gulal on friends and dear ones is the basic idea of Holi; no one is spared.  Both the young and the old enjoy throwing water balloons, dry colors and washable dyes on everyone in sight on the day of Holi.  In India, people wander the streets, with tin drums, armed with tons of colors and big syringes filled with colored water and at the end of the day, no one remotely resembles themselves.
Holi is also synonymous with bhang (a paste made from cannabis plants) which is consumed by many either in the form of a drink or in the form of ladoos (sweetmeats).

IF YOU'RE TRAVELING TO INDIA DURING HOLI SEASON, THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT: It's a very carefree festival that's great fun to participate in, if you don't mind getting wet and dirty.  You'll end up saturated in water, with color all over your skin and clothes.  Some of it doesn't wash out easily, so be sure to wear old clothes.  Single women should avoid going out alone in public places during Holi, as inebriated young men pose a safety threat.  There have been incidents of men misbehaving by inappropriately touching women and making a nuisance of themselves.

If you take the right precautions, Holi can be a great experience!

 

TOP 5 THINGS NRI'S (NON-RESIDENT INDIANS) HATE ABOUT INDIA

TOP 5 THINGS NRI'S (NON-RESIDENT INDIANS) HATE ABOUT INDIA