School parent Neeru Chadda celebrated the Holi festival with students last week. Holi is a festival of colours, celebrated across India, though most popular amongst the people living in the Indo-Gangetic plains of North India. It is celebrated at the start of spring (in the northern hemisphere). It celebrates the emotions of joy, love and friendship, using colour as its chief medium.
On the day of Holi, all hostility – active or passive – must cease and people make it a point to meet and greet each other (even strangers and those they usually can’t tolerate) with a smile, and a dab or spray or dunking in colour.
Along with a display of good humour, the key characteristic feature of the Holi celebration is the act of ‘putting colour on those whom one meets’.
Dry coloured powder and coloured water are the two ways of putting on colour. The colours are available in every hue and as these colours transform ones face, hair and clothes, just the sight of such transformation evokes merriment.
The sound of laughter (by all) is the essence of the celebration of Holi. – Neeru Chadda