Holi, Day 1

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So here we are, in the middle of India’s second favourite festival, and it goes on for two days, today and tomorrow. I blogged about the festive season coming earlier and you can find that text here- Festival Incoming

Day 1 today. Day for the rituals part of the festival, and tomorrow will be the totally fun making day.

Thousands of women from Hindu Indian households will be performing the offering and tying thread to a five-six foot (or however much the colony can put up) wood pyre and after the day is over, all the people from the colony will set fire to the pyre and roast popcorn nearby. And groundnuts too sometimes.

I was hoping to get some photos, which is hard, because part of the fun making is to throw color bombs, and water bombs, and coloured water bombs at innocent passers, so I didn’t know if I should risk my camera. But, heavens be praised, it turns out most people in my colony will let me go dry and un-pelted with bombs if i ask them not to nicely, because most of these people have sent their kids to my mom for math tutoring. πŸ™‚ Thanks, mommie!

But that still doesn’t mean that some sneak will not throw something at you, probably from a rooftop, from hiding… They do. Ask my shorts, my poor drenched shorts. Holi, people, is not the time for light colours. Specially not white. Not if you love those clothes anyway.

But some people, are just so unfortunate that all their coloured shorts are in the wash at the same time and all their whites are available. Poor people, like me.

Anyway, I took the camera along, to the ceremony. And it came back in one piece. Yes, do pat my back. πŸ˜€

I’ll explain the ceremony as the pictures come along..

Water Offering

That’s my gran by the way. So first u say hi to this pyre and offer some grain and water to it. Of course the water is holy. Have you ever heard of not-holy water in anything religion? Don’t ask me for any explanation about the proceedings, just cheerio, enjoy the pics if you may, an wait for tomorrow.. Hopefully, I’ll shutter in some awesome pics. Tomorrow’s the day, I keep saying.

Offerings being made. Highly vegetarian offerings. Hinduism is a vegetarian eligion, as I like to say. Can you by nay chanc see some paintings, some darker colour on the fingertips of the fairer hand? Okay.. its a long shot… just the married women do most of the stuff in the whole ritual and the kids watch, the men don’t come… and the married women put some simple designs on their hands. These are called mehendi. They happen on every religious occasion.Family

That is my family. I don’t really know yet who is gonna get furious that their pic is on the WWW, and they didn’t put it.. So the least I can do is talk nice. Hehe, just kidding.

The Materials

And that is the tray of all the holy stuff that’s basic requirements for any religious deal. There are two mud coloured small bowls like things? Those are called diyas.. you put oil and a wick and it burns, like a candle. There’s some grain and rice, raw, that’s offered. Vegetarian offering remember? Then, there’s that red cloth.. almost all holy or supposedly holy cloths for Hindus are red, golden and shiny. There is a matchbox… of course.. and some coins. The money that’s put in isn’t big money, it’s coins, of small value but symbolic existence.

Someone Else's Offerings

So that is someone’s else’s offering.. Some other group of women. They’ve made their base near the pyre, and this will all either be collected for the cattle, HOLY cattle, or be burnt with the pyre later in the evening. Though I doubt fruit being burnt..

Taking the rounds

Ooh and this is my favourite part! After the prayer, that happens fixed to one place, there’s this part when the women walk around the pyre, wrapping two folds of a thread, and circling with water… It looks like Ring A Ring Of roses version, for the older women! And mom laughs with me, every time she has to do that.. No reason really…

This time, I was following her around with the camera, but its such bizarre coincidence that I got the best pics when I was NOT following her.. She’s in blue by the way. We are still looking at the pics and wondering what kinda combination is that. (She’s good sport πŸ˜€ )

And around

So finally, how the whole affair ends is with a kid, not from the family, asked to break the end of the thread. This year it happened to be one of the cutest lil kids in my colony, and he’s my friend! Hi5 cutie!

Friend!

The lil guy is so sweet, he came down from his house, three storeys up, just to ask me if he could hit me with a water balloon πŸ˜€

I’m posting a day late.. this all happened yesterday, on the 26th of March.. Today was the big day, will post the meager pictures I got from today soon. These dates are not fixed, they follow some lunar calendar or something.

It’s a good Holi today. But that day’s not over. Let’s see if it becomes awesome πŸ™‚

 

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