Behind the game of colours, pichkaris, laughing faces and joyful moments lies a deeper meaning for this festival. Indian culture is filled with stories that give messages on how we can conduct our life to make it positive and fulfilling. Holi is one such festival where triumph of good over evil is depicted through the story of Holika. King Hiranyakashipu—a demon king, who could neither be killed by a man or an animal, grew arrogant and demanded that everybody should worship him as god. The king's son, Prahlada, disagreed and chose to remain devoted to Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu was infuriated and subjected his son to cruel punishments. Finally, Holika, the king's sister, tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. While Holika protected herself with a cloak, Prahlada remained exposed. As the fire blazed, the cloak flew from Holika's body and encased Prahlada, thus saving his life. Later, Vishnu appeared in the avatar of Narsimha, half man and half lion, and killed the king. This is why Holi begins with the Holika bonfire, which marks the end of evil. Holi marks the day where we celebrate the destruction of all evils - including our own inner demons that can sometimes harm us. Even in contemporary times, the message emanating from this bright & colourful festival holds true for us. The only thing that has changed is the demons we face in our day to day lives. Whether it is overindulging in sweets or spending too much time in front of the screen, our habits are slowly becoming an embodiment of negativity that we need to get rid of.
Incorporating plenty of colours in your diet is one of the easiest and most effective way to ensure wellbeing and keep myriad of diseases at bay. This Holi, as you celebrate with colours, resolve to bring colours to your plate to stay in the pink of health. Follow this simple rule of rainbow eating to get a wide range of nutrients through your diet. Let’s take a look at some colourful options.
Holi - the festival of colours, celebrated in March is a commemoration of the conclusion of winter and the start of spring. It’s a celebration of renewal and new beginnings, and an occasion to let the negative and the evil evaporate. The festival sees people light bonfires and smear colour on one another. The bonfire is lit the night before and has a religious facet to it. The next day is a colour fest followed by feast.
Gujiyas are crescent-shaped deep-fried goodies with a crisp exterior that gives way to a mildly sweet stuffing of all things delicious such as khoya, dried fruits, nuts and coconut. This is a delicacy prepared mainly during Holi in the Northern states of Bihar, UP, MP and Rajasthan. It is also prepared during Diwali. Versions of this sweet are prepared in the South, too, and it goes by the names of ‘somas’, ‘garijalu’ and ‘kajjikaya’. There may be minor variations in the filling and flavours but the basic recipe remains the same. A similar preparation is called kaaranji in Marathi and gughra in Gujarati.