By Shilpa Iyer @harabuhouse
A Holi Holiday
Holi is a Hindu festival which is celebrated on the last full moon day of the Winter season. Holi symbolizes many things – the arrival of Spring to some, while to others it celebrates good over evil.
Of course, the arrival of Spring is a harbinger of burgeoning new life and vibrant colors in contrast to the coldness and darkness of Winter.
Although the arrival of Spring is celebrated all over India, Holi in particular is celebrated in the northern parts of India. Agricultural communities pray for good harvest and fertile lands their livelihood depends on, while other communities in India mark Holi as their New Year. Many Hindu celebrations also have a religious element to the festival.
The word “Holi” originates from the name “Holika” who was the evil sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu. Holika wanted to kill her brother’s benevolent son, Prahlad. She attempted to do this by engulfing herself and Prahlad in fire on a pyre. Holika’s plan was foiled when her protective cloak was accidentally blown away and she was engulfed in the flames.
Though Holika died her intended victim Prahlad survived. This triumphant day of good over evil is celebrated when bonfires are lit the night before Holi and people come together to sing and dance.
On the morning of Holi, people gather around on the streets spraying colored powder, and pouring colored water on each other. The atmosphere is fun and lively with explosions of bright colors thrown everywhere. Once the street celebrations are over, everyone returns home to bathe. Families then get together to feast on delicious delicacies and sumptuous desserts.
The first image that comes to mind when we think of Holi is the vibrant and playful splashes of color – an invigorating collage of turquoise, pinks, reds and yellows.
Just like the Holi festival, Spring is a wonderful time for new beginnings. After the long cold months of drab winter, injecting a bit of color into your home might just be the answer to jump starting out of those winter doldrums.
Energized to add a bit of Holi-inspired décor to your home? Here are some ways to start.
A spare wall was the canvas for this relatively easy color splotch treatment, created in one of West Elm’s store fronts in New York City, and is a wonderful and inexpensive way to inject a bit of that Holi spirit into your home. Draw those bright colors in by adding a bowl of cut flowers or a stack of colorful books to the side table.
For a more subdued approach, try adding artwork such as this watercolor by Jessica Durant. The watercolor technique and the pink and yellow hues are reminiscent of the colors of Holi.
For those ready for a complete makeover inspired by the vibrant colours of Holi, here are a few bold color examples.
This particular room happens to match this year’s Pantone Color of the Year (Radiant Orchid) highlighted with accents of sumptuous gold.
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