Holi is a popular and fun-filled Indian festival celebrated at the beginning of spring to honor the fertility of the land and to win the blessings of the Gods for good harvests. Also known as the Festival of Colors, people all over the world celebrate Holi by drenching each other with colored water and bright, vibrant colors and paint. The San Francisco Chronicle has a good article on Holi and it’s significance and also some spectacular photos of the festival as it is celebrated in India.
We decided to share Holi with Ria’s little preschool friends a few weeks ago. The children had a blast and truly captured the spirit of Holi on a beautiful San Francisco spring day. How can children (or adults) not enjoy sanctioned water spraying and getting messy, dirty and colored up? In order to circumvent using commercial synthetic colors which have been known to have negative health and environmental impact we made our own colors with food products. Using white flour and red food color we made a pink powder and with chickpea flour (besan) and tumeric and yellow powder food coloring we obtained a light yellow powder. Colored water was made with liquid food coloring. The colors were not as bright and vibrant as they typically are but they served their purpose remarkably well. Though everyone did smell like giant pakoras (Indian fritters made with chickpea flour and spices) at the end !!!