Why Holi is Celebrated?
Holi gets its name from Holika, demon king Hiranyakashyap sister. Hiranyakashyap had got a boon from Lord Vishnu that he would not be killed by man or animal, at day or night, inside or outside, above or on the ground.
So Hiranyakashyap said that only he should be worshipped, not God. His own son, Prahlad continued to worship Lord Vishnu. This made his father angry. He asked Prahlad to jump from a mountain, but he remained unhurt.
Even when Hiranyakashyap made Prahlad jump in a well, he was unharmed. Hiranyakashyap tried to poison Prahlad. The poison turned to nectar in Prahlad’s mouth.
Story of Holi & History behind it!
Then, Hiranyakashyap ordered that wild elephants should trample Prahlad, but he was not hurt. Next, Prahlad was put in a room with poisonous, angry snakes, but still nothing happened to him.
Finally, Holika made Prahlad sit on a pyre with her. She was protected by a shawl that kept her from being burnt. The shawl flew from her to Prahlad. So, Holika burned, Prahlad was safe.
Lord Vishnu appeared as half-man, half-lion and killed Hiranyakashyap at dusk, on his porch steps. A Holika bonfire is lit every year to remind us of the victory of good over evil. Holi is celebrated on the day after the bonfire.
REGIONAL NAMES FOR HOLI
Dulandi Holi in Haryana – This is the Bhabhi (brother’s wife) and Devar(brother-in-law) festival where bhabhi playfully beats the devar.
Lathmar Holi in Barsana – This is when the girls of Barsana (hometown of Radha) greet the boys /men from Nandgaon (hometown of Krishna) with Lathi (wooden sticks) instead of colors.
Hola Mohalla in Punjab– According to the Nanakshahi calendar, this festival marks the beginning of the Sikh New Year which usually takes place on the first day of Chet(month of March). Hola Mohalla was started by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singhji,who was at that time battling the Mughal empire.This day reminds the people of valour and defense which their Guru showed aganist the Mughals.
An annual festival is held at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab. Hola Mohalla is a 3 day grand festival where Sikh participants demonstrate their martial art such as GATKA (mock fights), tent pegging, horse riding and other military exercises. All around Punjab kirtans, music and poetry competitions are organized.
*Abeer means the colorful sky at the time of sunset and these colors mark the joy and abundance.
RECIPES OF HOLI – DAY
GUJIYAS – Holi without Gujiya recipe is incomplete. On the festive occasion of holi eating gujiya is like a tradition. Gujiya’s are sweet dumplings prepared with mawa- coconut mixture and glazed with sugar syrup.
ANGOORI GULAB JAMUN – Small spongy pearl shaped anguri/angoori gulab jamun are prepared with mawa/khoya and soaked in sugar syrup. Why they are called Angoori? Because they are shaped just like “Angoor”- “grapes” and are petite in size, way smaller than the regular gulab jamuns.
MILK PEDA – A popular Indian sweet prepared during festive season. Milk peda also referred to as doodh peda is traditionally made with mawa and flavored with cardamoms and nuts.
MOTICHOOR LADOOS – Motichoor Ladoo an Indian festive sweet that can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Small pearl size boondi balls are fried and later dipped in sugar syrup to form this delicious delight.
KAJU KATLI – Kaju in hindi means cashews and katli means “slice”. So here we bring a simple cashew nut fudge recipe prepared with four simple ingredients -cashews, milk, sugar and water. Take a bite out of these creamy and soft kaju katli and you will get a heavenly “melt in your mouth” taste.
KATORI CHAAT – Need an appetizer or snack for a Holi- day party, try Katori chaat recipe or Tokri chaat!! ‘Katori or tokri’ refers to a bowl or canopies which are filled with potatoes and chutneys.
DAL KI KHASTA KACHORI – This holi try these crispy and delicious deep fried puffed up puris stuffed with lentils and aromatic spices.
THANDAI – Delicious Thandai recipe infused with perfect balance of aromatic Indian spices and flavored with nuts. All the nuts, seeds and spices are grounded to a fine paste and added to boiled milk.