Festivals are not merely symbolizations of cultures and traditions; they are a celebration of togetherness and family. Whenever a festival is around the corner, it is not hard to miss the change in environment, which all of a sudden feels like it’s bursting with joy, positivity and all things festive. Holi, the festival of colours is no different.
But there is also a certain feeling of homesickness that is attached with the festivities, particularly for those who are settled outside Lucknow or are away due to other commitments, especially because Holi here is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor.
Holi is a rather important festival for North Indians because as per legends, Lord Krishna spent most of his childhood in Mathura and Vrindavana, situated in the Northern part of UP. The festival signifies the triumph of good over evil and is preceded by Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi, marking the arrival of spring.
Markets bustle with activity as people throng to shops to finish their last minute shopping and vendors line up in every nook and corner of the streets with carts loaded with Gulaal and other bright hues.
People in Lucknow indulge in good food, loud music and lots of colour. While children run around drenching everyone with their colorful Pichkaris, the adults don’t hold back either– smearing “Gulal” on the faces of friends and family, leaving them unrecognizable by afternoon. Bollywood’s golden tracks like ‘Rang Barse’, ‘Holi ke din dil mil jaate hain’ and ‘Holi khele Raghubeer’ to the latest ‘Balam Pichkari’ have become staples at all Holi parties.
Food has always been an important part of all Indian festivals, and Holi celebrations remain incomplete without the scrumptious delicacies. Be it the usual snacks like Samosas, Mathri, Kachoris, Paapri Chaat & Dahi Bhalla or the different varieties of crispy papad, people munch away to their heart’s content.
However, there are two food items that are the stars of the festival – Gujiya and Thandai. Gujiya are pockets of Khoya or a Suji (semolina) filling, covered in Maida which are deep-fried in Ghee (clarified buter). Thandai, on the other hand, is a mixture of almonds, fennel seeds, rose petals, pepper, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar, and has a cooling effect on the body.
Although the traditional way in which Holi is celebrated is slowly changing, it continues to be one of the most beautiful festivals of India which brings together family and friends, giving them an opportunity to reunite and express gratitude for being surrounded by their loved ones.
We at Lucknow Pulse wish everyone a very happy and safe Holi.