The Many Colors of Spring (and Holi)

Blue is the color of the gods. Green stands for nature and happiness. Red is for weddings, life and festivals. These colors represent spring and spring is the time for the Holi celebrations in India.

Reds, greens, yellows, blues and oranges paint the streets and the people in them in dyes that don’t wash out. All of it is in celebration of the coming of spring and the triumph of good over evil. It is inspired by the god Krishna and the games he played with Radha, his lover. It is a chance to revel in life.

People gather with their families and friends for food, games and colored powder in the celebration that last several days. Creating your own Holi is fun and easy to do.

To make colored powder (gulal):

If you have ever mixed water and cornstarch together you know how they react. The combination becomes a weird mixture that is liquid when sitting still but becomes a solid when it is moved quickly. Mix the two until they reach this point. You’ll have to use your hands to get it to mix well. To test the mixture punch it. If your hand sinks in add more cornstarch. If your hand hits the mixture like a solid you’re good.

Once your mixture is at a good place add color. You’ll have to make separate batches for different colors but the more the merrier.

Let the mixture dry for a couple days until it starts to crack. At this point it will chip apart into powder.

If you’re too lazy to make your own gulal another option is to sign up for a color run. Try The Color Run, The Color Vibe or Color Me Rad so get in some exercise and the chance to experience the joy that comes with having colored powder thrown at you.

Break the pot:

According to Hindu legend, Krishna loves buttermilk. To honor his love hang a pot filled with buttermilk outside somewhere. Hang it high-about as high as a roof. The men should climb on top of each other, forming something like a human pyramid, until someone can reach the pot with their head.

Traditionally, the pot is broken with the head but if that seems unrealistic it is acceptable to break it with your hands. Then let the buttermilk flow.

Eat:

Indian food is some of the best out there. You don’t need anything fancy, though, to experience the bold flavors. Grab some naan and tikka masala sauce from your local grocery (or World Market) and enjoy!

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