Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
Holi, the festival of color is just around the corner again. It is one of my most favorite festival. Growing up, this was a day I use to look forward to. Not a year had gone by when I would not celebrate it. Even when I was pregnant, I went out and got colored. Why not? The day celebrates augment of spring, it celebrates colors, and it celebrates life, what is there to not love? Both my kids have been exposed to the colors since they were babies, of course I took a lot of care but as soon as they could walk, they were allowed to play with colors. The first year of their life, they played a lot with flowers and with colors prepared at home from beetroot etc. but after that I have just let them be. They need to get absorbed in the environment; they need to be a part of the madness to completely enjoy it. If you ask me what Holi is in one sentence, I would say it is being a child!
My 7 year old since last few years waits anxiously for the festival. Like last year, this year too we have started preparing for it way in advance. Now what is there to prepare for Holi some would ask? Since last year we have started a tradition at home. We make a lot of preps and colors at home for Holi. This is our little tradition. So as soon as my son learnt that Holi is approaching, he wanted to start preparing the colors at home. Since last few days, every day after coming back from school we spend hours and hours on it.
We make colors from flowers and vegetables. I pluck the flowers and he crushes them. I will get the beetroot and he will grate it. Together we spend hours as the flowers and vegetables leave color, ink the water it is left in and changes forms.
Yesterday we went for a walk together and plucked some marigold and decided to experiment with it. We came back home and plucked the petals. Then inside a Ziploc bag, we covered the petals with slightly hot water. Then came the best part, I sealed the bag and gave a rolling pin to him. He sat for good one hour, crushing the petals and watching them bleed the color in the pouch. It was one of the best time we have ever spent together. He was full of wonder as the water was gradually changing color and turning yellow. It was after months that we spent so much time together alone, doing some activity. It made me realize how much I have missed it. So I made a mental note of dedicating a few hours daily to some or the other Holi activity for next few days.
Today I got beetroot and the whole afternoon was spent on working on it. Together we grated the beetroot and then I gave him a big bowl of grated beetroot. He kept on crushing it and extracted as much juice as possible from it. Together we created quite a mess but he loved playing with the texture and color.
Tomorrow we are planning to get some of his friends over and we will try to make green color from the leaves that we have collected.
Day after tomorrow we have decided to do some craft fun. We will be attempting some homemade Holi toys. It might turn out to be a disaster since both of us are not good at it but that’s the fun of it. I know we will be creating a lot of mess and a lot of happy moments together.
I believe that is what the festival is about. It is about colors, fun, happiness, freedom and mess!
Holi is not only about just that one day of playing with colors, it is about so many days preceding it and following it. It teaches our kids to be bold, to create a mess, to be creative, to bond, to be compassionate and above all to be free.
Holi is a celebration of childhood. It celebrates the child in us. It symbolizes Khul Jaye bachpan. Let us promise that this year we will leave all our worries aside (Exams, grades etc) and give this one festival to our children to be completely free. Let them live khul ke (live freely); let them enjoy khul ke (enjoy freely).