Today marks the Hindu festival of Holi, the festival of colour! Holi celebrates good over evil and in India is celebrated by lighting bonfires and play fighting with coloured powders and water. I’ve always dreamed of celebrating Holi in India, it looks like so much fun! All I see in Bollywood movies is streets packed with people throwing coloured powder on each other and singing and dancing. Who wouldn’t want to try that?
Recently I haven’t celebrated Holi like I used to. When I was younger and living in Leicester, we never missed Holi. Whatever the weather may be (and it was usually cold!), my family and I would go the large bonfire lit in the park on Belgrave road. Hundreds of people would gather here to say their prayers and offer a fresh coconut to the bonfire. Then when toasted, we would take the coconut back home as prasad (blessed food) and eat it topped with gor (jaggery – a type of raw sugar cane). It was delicious!
The bonfire would light up the park and warm our cold hands whilst we did our prayers. It mainly consisted of my Mum and Grandma doing the prayers and my brother and I messing around. We would stumble across so many family members and friends and often break out into playful fights with coloured powder. I distinctly remember my college friend always sneaking up on me every year and smearing me with red powder across my face, she was so quick!
There’s so many things I’ve forgotten about the festival, but what I do remember gives me fond memories. Things seem to be different nowadays. I hope that I can teach my daughter about these traditions one day as sometimes I feel my culture is slipping away from me. Maybe it’s because of where I live or maybe times have simply moved on, however I’d like to hope it won’t disappear.
I created this image for a bit of fun, it’s my take on Holi in the shape of Indian vegetables and spices to show just how colourful Indian cooking can be. Now I have to cook them! Anybody got any recipes for me?
Happy Holi to everyone celebrating. Thanks for reading! Have a great day 🙂
My name is Bhavisha Surti and I am a food photographer and stylist based in Milton Keynes. Please subscribe to my blog below and check out my website to see more of my work at www.jbimagery.co.uk. Thank you!