Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Festival of Colour.

Today is the religious spring Hindu festival of Holi (Dhuli Vandana in Sanskrit), celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month. The Holi festival is ancient in origin and celebrates the triumph of 'good' over 'bad'. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renews relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other 'Happy Holi'.

Holi is celebrated by people throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other. Bonfires are lit the day before, also known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion. On a side note, if you haven't read any of the Hindu religious texts I urge you to as they are most beautifully written and an absolute joy to read.

Though there has been references to a festival like this in Sanskrit texts like ratnavali where people sprayed coloured waters using bamboo syringes,the origin of the modern holi festival has been traced to ancient Bengal. It was a gaudiya vaishnav festival, in accordance to Vaishnaviya Tantra. People went to Krishna temples, applied red colour to the idol and then distributed the red coloured powder or Abir along with malpua prasad to family and friends. Red signified the colour of passion and Lord Krishna is the king of desires. The ritual signified that all our desires should be diverted for the attainment of Krishna and for the well being of society.

I have always found Holi to be a most amazing holiday, so rich and well...colourful. It is a beautiful aspect of a most beautiful culture.

Best Regards,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St.Patrick's Day.

Happy St.Patrick's Day everyone.

May luck be our companion
May friends stand by our side
May history remind us all
Of Ireland's faith and pride.
May God bless us with happiness
May love and faith abide.
~Irish Blessing

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