SAYING HELLO TO ‘HOLI’ MARCH
In this edition of Made in India, we’re saying hello to March. A sixth of the year is already done, the shortest month of the year is already behind us, and very soon we’ll be wondering where the first half of the year went.
If you feel that way, don’t fret. If it’s passing by in a blur, it means you’re having fun. So enjoy it!
There are a bunch of Indian festivals to look forward to in the month, so keep your calendars marked in extra bright colours. You don’t want to miss them.
First of all, there is Holi, the famous festival of colours which brings out the ‘unity in diversity’ theme of India. Just like all colours can come together to form a beautiful palette of hues, so can people of different backgrounds and religions and points of view co-exist in harmony, celebrating our sameness and differences alike.
So get in and participate in the festivities. Throw coloured powder and water on your friends. Invite your loved ones over, or visit them for a quiet celebration. Dance around the bonfire and ward off evil, and above all, be happy and carefree. It’s happening on the 6th of March, so pencil in the date so that you don’t miss it.
A shout out must also go to Trivandrum when it goes up in smoke on the occasion of Attukal Pongala, the world’s largest gathering of women for a religious activity. It has earned a place in the Guinness Records for the turnout in 1997, when about 1.5 million people attended the festivities. Even if you cannot or don’t want to, make sure you celebrate it at home. This is happening on the 5th of March.
Later in the month, from the 15th to the 24th, the ten day Kerala temple festival, Thirunakkara Arattu, will take over Kottayam district with its procession of elephants, drummers and general well-intended noise. Other attractions of the festival are traditional Kathakali dancers, which perform throughout the night on the third and fourth days of the festival, and folk arts such as the Mayilattom (peacock dance) in the temple compound.
And then, towards the end, Ram Navami, the birthday of Lord Ram, will bring the month to a religious close, on the 28th of March.
Partake in all of these, be good, and have a happy, peaceful March indeed.