The festival of colours to mark the advent of springtime is all set to be observed in South East Asia and the Indian diaspora from Wednesday, March 20.
The celebration is not just jubilation at the rejuvenation of nature from the gloom of winter, but is also a time to merry make and usher in peace and love for each other.
This spring celebration is called the Holi Festival and is revered world over. It is a blessed time to foster love for fellow beings by literary sprinkling colours on each other and dancing in ecstasy.
The festivity will be observed by Hindu faithful and friends in Kenya. A Holi Mela (fete) is set to be held at the SSD Temple Grounds to set the ball rolling for merry making and group dancing to the beat of Holi songs. The highlight of the festivity remains a spirited exposition by participants to colour each other with dry colours or spraying coloured water. This in the true spirit of Holi — symbolically to wish everyone happiness and love. Kenyan faithful will also attend religious ceremonies at temples and community centres throughout the Republic.
Holi, besides being a seasonal festival that announces joy and gaiety, has a strong religious reverence for the Hindu faithful. It is associated with various mythological legends. Foremost is the legend of the demon king Harnaykshyap who demanded his subjects to worship him. His son Prahlad, a pious devotee of Lord Vishnu, went against the father’s wishes and earned his wrath. The father sentenced him to die in a blaze of fire. The demon’s sister, Holika, who had a heavenly boon that made her immune to fire, stepped into the blaze in a show of strength and ego. Prahlad was saved miraculously by the Lord whilst Holika perished.
This episode of the legend reminds devotees of the victory of virtuous and good over forces of evil.
In another religious reverence, the much loved and adored yet naughty and mischievous Lord Krishna started the tradition of playing with colours. He applied colour on his beloved Gopi Radha’s face, and it became a custom for the devotees and faithful. Lovers during the festival show their love and affection to their beloved in a similar fashion to this day.
Above all else, the traditional Holi celebration is not complete without consuming the intoxicating Bhang, as it is believed it further enhances the spirit of love and enjoyment. However, in the evening, sobriety rules supreme and people meet friends and relatives to greet and exchange gifts and sweetmeats.
For more happiness and culinary fun, East FM’s Karoga Premier League 2019 is at Spice Roots this afternoon. Be there for a great time watching the presenters and listeners of the station battle it out for honours in the art of cooking. Happy Holi.