Saturday, 20 August 2011


by Chitragupt Pariwar (Hum Kayasth) on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 3:03pm

Holi a festival of colours is celeberated in the month of March . Holi festival is celebrated to spread love, friendship and happiness among people

The origin of this festival lies in an ancient mythological story. Once there was a young prince named Prahalad. He was the son of demon king Hiranakashyap. Prahalad was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. His father didn't like this.

Therefore he asked his sister Holika to kill the child. Holika was blessed with a boon that fire would not burn her. So she sat on a burning pyre with Prahalad in her lap. The boon failed and fire burnt Holika while Prahalad escaped unhurt due to blessings of Vishnu. The festival is to celebrate the safe escape of Prahalad and a victory of good over evil.

Holi also falls in the beginning of the harvest season.Therefore new ears of corn are roasted in the fire and distributed as prasad amongst family and friends.

The Preparations for Holi starts ahead, as per our traditional custom -eight days before Holi. All these days have separate celeberations or preparation attached to it.The celeberations start from the day of BARO KE AADHE. Whereby in some families Deviji's poojan is done.

The chronological observance of days is Ashtami -Naumi -Dashmi -Ekaashi -Dwaashi -Teras -Chaudas - Poono -Pardwa(Holi Day)

For Holi Mathur speciality of Kaanji water and Badas, goojas and paapris are prepared. Kanji water is prepared on the day of Ashtami also known as Bade Paawni Ashtami. So that they are ready to be consumed till the day of Holi. After preparing kaanji badas, Gooje-Paapri are prepared

For newly-wed couples and their families Holi has an added importance. In the first year of marriage newlywed daughter comes to her parents house before Holi. Girl’s mother does the ritual of making Dandia on every Holi. When their daughter is blessed with child, they also make clothes for them.

On the day of Dwaashi girl wearing her dandia and after taking kothali (some money) go to  sasural carrying along with Gajak, Daaru(liquor) and Dhav (a kind of musical instrument). Instead of dhav any other instrument which she can play,like harmonium, Tabla, Sitar  is sent. Girls compose songs on Holi at their parents house and sing them at their in-laws sasural after playing holi. During fun and laughter Ladies also sing Radha - Krishna colourful holi songs 

In Gazak Daaru 9 or 11 large decorated thaals (plates) filled with Papris, Goojas both Vegetarian and non-Vegetarian snacks like samosa's, chunkhi matar, shaami kebab, tangri kebab, kachori, aloo rolls etc  are sent along with a bottle of Whisky .

However In earlier times a large basket of Garlands made of dry Fruits like cashew nut, chooare, dry coconut , makhane , dry anjeer etc used to be sent along with gazak daaru ,which the new daughter-in-law used to put around the necks of her elders like babaji,tauji,chaachaji,phuphaji,jijaji etc,to mark her respect for them.

Mother-in-law in return sends colours, raw vegetables, fruits,along with cloth balls and dolls to their daughter-in-laws parents house. They also give new saree and some jewellery to their daughter-in-law.

In the evening on this day (Dwashi) all the family members (Devar-jeth) collect together and do the ritual of dever jeth rang chirakana .All the male members of the house sprinkle color and water first on the family God and Goddess and then on all the family members.This is a kind of mark for beginning of Holi.All the daughter in laws wear dandia.

On teeres (13),chaudas (14) or poonu the son in laws and daughters (weather sister or bhua or cousion) are invited for dinner .The son in law, daughters their children bring with them some rang gulal (colours),toys and water pistols etc. After eating dinner all the ladies and unmarried daughters of the house wear  dandia  and gents wear white caps or hankey on their head. Then the son-in-law and their sons sprinkle colour and little water, first on the family god then on all the other members of the family. After this piyala .(some money  is given to the son-in-laws and grand sons.

In traditional times the custom was to offer drink to the son-in law in silver cup which was filled with Wine or Whiskey and a gold coin (asharfi) used to be kept in it. Son in law had to finish his drink and take out his asharfi. He had to perform this act for every pyala offered to him. In the process drink with different flavours were also offered to him.

However may be at that time wine/whisky was made at home and might have been of milder nature. But that is the story behind the word PYALA.

On the eve of  , as per auspicious time (mahurat). Holi is burnt

Holi pyre made of wooden logs and cow dung coal is made. A satia of aata is made infront of it and a earthen lamp is placed on it. Garland made of tiny goojas is offered to the pyre and after sprinkling a little cold water and unboiled milk  on it. First cold diya pooja and then lit diya is offered. Then Holi is burnt.

Everybody takes green gram sticks('boot') in their hands and takes seven rounds of the burning Holi pyre meanwhile baking their sticks during these rounds ,after that Coconut is offered to the pyre and coconut sweet is distributed as prasad. This is done only in those family, where burning Holi has been a tradition for years. Mostly people go to a place and worship where community Holi is burnt in a public place. Holika’s story is read out at that time.

Next day on  padwa  Holi is played. On Holi the daughter-in-law of the family with the help of her husband’s sister or brother locks her elder-in-laws in pairs i.e. mother and father in law, sister and brother in law etc and doesn't leave them out till she gets her neg (gift in cash or kind). This is done for fun.

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