Spring is here! Although today is officially the spring equinox, spring temperatures have been with us now for a few weeks. We’ve been spending as much time as possible enjoying the sunshine and warm weather before it gets hot, although some afternoons it seems like we once again went straight from winter to summer in terms of temperatures. Nonetheless, we’re excited about the new seedlings growing in the garden and all the beautiful blooming trees and shrubs, and a few weeks ago joined our friends for a Holi celebration.
Holi is also known as the festival of colors or the festival of love. This ancient Hindu religious festival has become popular across the world due to the festival’s vibrant colors and playful nature. As with many spring holidays, the festival signifies not only the end of winter with the arrival of spring, but also the victory of good over evil.
Traditionally Holi starts with a Holika bonfire on the night before where participants gather together to sing and dance. The next morning the color festival starts; participants carrying color powder, water guns and water balloons filled with colored water roam the streets throwing color at people. Groups carry drums and musical instruments from place to place, singing and dancing. In addition to color throwing, people will share conversation and Holi delicacies, and the holiday stretches into the evening when people will dress up and visit friends and family.
Our Holi celebration took place in Conestee Park with color powder we had ordered online. I had tried an online recipe utilizing flour and food coloring, but in the end it was worth the money to order a set, as there were a dozen bags of different colors with none of the mess making it at home entailed. I was surprised at how easily the powder washed out of all the clothes, but be warned – showers beat baths, and the water running down the drain can be quite shocking, especially if you were throwing a lot of red powder!
Wishing you a happy Holi and a wonderful spring!
* In parts of the world today there will be a solar eclipse and a supermoon in addition to the spring equinox! The Faroe Islands and Svalbard (Norway) will see a total solar eclipse, and Europe, northern and eastern Asia and northern and western Africa will see the partial eclipse. A Supermoon refers to the full or new moon on its closest fly-by of Earth, making it look bigger than it normally does.