Holi is a two-day spring festival, also known as the festival of colours, which starts on Purnima (Full Moon day) falling in the Hindu Calendar month of Phalgun (somewhere between the end of February and Mid-March, in the Gregorian Calendar).

This ancient festival is mentioned in the Puranas, and by the poet Kalidasa during the 4th century reign of Chandragupta II; the celebration of Holi is also mentioned in the 7th-century Sanskrit drama Ratnavali and in Dashakumaracharita, as well.  It is also believed that Krishna played Holi with the gopis (milkmaids)

Celebrations vary from region to region, but, in general, on the evening of the first day (Holika Dahan), people gather around a bonfire.

Holika was the evil sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu. According to legends, he was the King of Multan and had earned a boon that made him indestructible. He grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worship only him.

Hiranyakashipu’s own son, Prahlada disagreed. He was and remained devoted to Lord Vishnu, which infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy. Finally, Holika - Prahlada’s aunt - tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika was wearing a cloak that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada. Holika burned, Prahlada survived. Seeing this, Hiranyakashipu, unable to control his anger, smashed a pillar with his mace. There was a tumultuous sound, and Lord Vishnu appeared as Lord Narasimha and killed Hiranyakashipu. The next day, when the fire cooled down, people applied ash to their foreheads, a practice still observed by some people. Eventually, coloured powder came to be used to celebrate Holi.

The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, and of the fire that burned Holika

The second day of Holi represents a festive ocassion when people celebrate, play with colors, sing and dance. Everybody is welcomed to participate, irrespective of age, status or caste; it is a joyful opportunity to have fun, celebrate spring, celebrate the good that prevails over evil, a moment to forgive and forget, to repair broken relationships. 

Happy Holi!


aaj ki chai could do nothing to warm the heart of the chemistry professor hema malini played in this scene from dillagi (1978)–which btw, was so beautifully shot by the great kk mahajan. anyway, as a woman of science rather than sanskrit, she knows that water is probably better for that dry throat ! however a well caffeinated cup of tea for a man teaching and reciting kalidas everyday is a sound idea too.

 कला की संगीत: Kala’s Jams by sheilak894. [[Love is not easy]]

Ajab Si / Here Comes The Sun - Penn Masalaa [[Here comes the sun]]
Bewafa - Imran Khan [[Jhoota pyaar gita hai tu]]
Bloodstream - Ed Sheeran [[Feel the chemicals burn in my bloodstream]]
Teri Meri Kahaani - Arijit Singh & Palak Muchal [[Teri meri kahaani hai baarishon ka paani]]
Can’t Help Falling In Love - Vitamin String Quartet
I’d Be Lying - Greg Laswell [[I’d be lying if I ran away]]
Galliyan - Ankit Tiwari [[Yahi marna aur jinaa, yahi mandir aur madina]]
Butterflies - Hudson Taylor [[And I’ve been poisoned by butterflies]]
Titli - Gopi Sunder and Chinmayi Sripaada [[Ban ke titli dil udaa udaa udaa]]
Sing (Ed Sheeran cover) - Kodaline [[Sing louder!]]
Kabhi Jo Baadal Barse - Shreya Ghoshal [[Tu lage mujhe pehli baarish ki duaa]]
Flaws (Strings Acoustic) - Bastille [[There’s a hole in my soul… can you fill it?]]
Saiyaara - Mohit Chauhan & Tarannum Mallik [[sitaaron ke jahan mein milenge ab yaara]]
The Crooked Kind - Radical Face [[I feel them sing along when I’m alone]]
Fix You/Ishq Binaa - Penn Masala [[And I will try to fix you… Ishq Bina kya Jina?]]
Ho Hey (The Lumineers Cover) - Lennon and Maisy [[I don’t think you’re right for him]]
Tum Hi Ho - Aditya Roy Kapur & Shraddha Kapoor [[Tera mera rishta hai kaisa]]
Shakalaka Baby - Preeya Kalidas [[Saw your face and the damage was done]]
California Dreaming - Beach Boys [[I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day]]
Guzarish - Javed Ali [[Bas chalna mere sang sang, Hai guzaarish]]
Mere Sapnon Ki Rani (Remix) - The Bilz and Kashif [[Mere Sapano Ki Raani Kab Aayegi Tu]]
Human - The Killers [[I’m on my knees looking for the answer]]
I’m Yours/Tere Bina - Taal Tadka [[It’s our godforsaken right to be loved… Tere bina]]
What’s Up - 4 Non Blondes [[I said hey, what’s going on?]]

Polaroid-style badges for Kalida and Fink, whom my wife and I had the pleasure of spending time with at FC this last weekend, and showing around some of the fun places in San Jose!

As before, if you’d like a badge of your character (or of yourself, I can do people too, if you’re not super into the furry thing), they’re $35, and you can get one by dropping a note in my ask box or emailing me at hello@dawnchapel.com!