Every year in later February or early March, India becomes awash in vibrant, bright colors as the Festival of Holi, (or the Festival of Color) is celebrated.
It is not uncommon, especially in Bengal and other northern sections of India, to be sprayed by hoses or otherwise doused with buckets of colored water. Festive streamers line the streets and everyone is happy celebrating this joyful time.
There are as many legends surrounding the history of Holi as there are colors in the rainbow.
Some say it goes back thousands of years to a time when Indian spices were used medicinally and the bright colored spices were placed all over friends and family to keep them well. As the years went on and modern medicine took over the colors turned into a fun time.
At one time it is said that it was a sacred ritual married women performed in an effort to keep happy Raka (the full moon) and by doing so keep her family healthy.
It is also said to be a celebration to the birth and whimsical childhood of Lord Krishna, the Hindu god.
All of the legends carry the same theme - good triumphs over evil.
Regardless of its origins Holi is a fun, joyful celebration.
In this short video, Meera Chatterjee explains Holi, the Indian spring festival of colors.
At a private gathering of some of the local Indian community Holi was celebrated in fine fashion and brilliant colors. Since it can be quite cold in Cleveland in March, this particular celebration was moved to June to allow for outdoor activities and, of course, colors.
There were many Indian treats such as Jalebis (Sweet, pretzel shaped deserts), samosas, couscous, chicken kabobs and so much more. A number of beverages were served including the very refreshing Jal Jeera. In Hindi Jal is water and Jeera is cumin.
There were musical performances and dances but there is no doubt the highlight of the day for children and adults alike came when bright colored powder was brought out. Soon everyone was decorated with the colors.
Let the colors begin!
Enjoy these pictures from this fun event and mark your calendars to celebrate Holi next year.
Hosts Subha and Brojesh Pakrashi
Dr. Gita Gidwani, Subha Pakrashi, Mona Alag and Nisha Jain
Deb Roy and Swati Sathe
Meera Chatterjee, Jaya Ghosal and Manjushree Banerti
Anupa John, Pia Roy and Debbie Hanson
Dr. Gita Gidwani and Dr. Gopal Saha
Kabita Dulla, Swokna Roy and Makto Ghosh
Pulak Goswami with host Sen Pakrashi
Mona Alag and hostess Brojesh Pakrashi
with host Sen Pakrashi
Shanta and Surinder Kampani, Anil Kampani, Meena Kampani
Nabanita Mitra, Sipra Saha, Purahi Baneji and Sujata Mitra
Manju Goswami, Hiran Dutt, Sipra Saha and Indrani Roy
with Surinder Kampani and host Sen Pakrashi
Tamali Chatterjee and Anupa John
Video of a traditional Indian portable Harmonium and Drums performance