Riot of colours: Hindus in K-P prepare to celebrate Holi

Some in Hazara Division celebrated festival on Wednesday to herald end of winter, victory of good over evil


Our Correspondents March 23, 2016
Some in Hazara Division celebrated festival on Wednesday to herald end of winter, victory of good over evil. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/FILE

ABBOTTABAD/ PESHAWAR:


Hindus across the province are all geared up to smear and splash colour on each other to celebrate Holi on Thursday (today). The festival heralds the end of winter and the victory of good over evil.


“We are prepared to enjoy the festival and have also ordered gulal [coloured powder],” Sandhiya, a resident of Kalibari, told The Express Tribune as she prepared clothes for her children. “We have also arranged for sweets as Holi is a festival of colours as well as happiness.”

While taking empty dishes to Balmeek Mandir in Kalibari for special prayers for Holi, Aneel, another resident of Kalibari, told The Express Tribune, “Those who cannot attend the functions [that are arranged for the festival] celebrate it at home.” He said people in India can arrange functions wherever they want to as they are a majority there.

“But here, families gather in houses to celebrate the festival,” Aneel said.

Spirit of celebration

Hindu Rights Movement Chairman Haroon Sarbdiyal said they have arranged a function in Nowshera on Thursday where they will celebrate the festival with gusto. “Even the government is helping us in this regard and we are thankful to them,” he said. “We will also perform a play on the history of the Hindu festival.”

An event has also been arranged in Mardan. However, the festival will not be celebrated on a large scale in Peshawar due to security threats.

Vibrant colours

A large number of Hindus in Hazara Division began celebrating Holi on Wednesday. There are a few dozen Hindu families in Abbottabad, Mansehra, Torghar, Battagram and Haripur that celebrate the festival every year.

In Abbottabad, many Hindus started their day by praying to Lord Krishna. The celebrations began once the gharoli – a clay pitcher filled with coloured water – is broken. After this, people from all ages smeared gulal on each other.

Women and children wore colourful dresses and shouted “Holi hai” as they sprayed colour on each other.

Prashad – a religious offering that is prepared for the festival – was distributed among children of not only Hindu families but also to those from Muslim families.  Heema Darshan Lal, a resident of Abbottabad, told The Express Tribune Hindus from Abbottabad and Mansehra visited Shiv temple in Chitti Gatti in Gandiyan. They covered the effigies of Lord Shiva and other gods in different colours.

Legend has it

The festival draws its roots to more than one legend. Nayer, a teacher in Peshawar, told The Express Tribune Holi is celebrated because Lord Krishna went in Jamuna River to kill Sheshnag, a mythical five-headed cobra, because he would kill anyone who would go to the river to
drink water. However, it is believed the cobra apologised to Lord Krishna.

However, another legend suggests that when Lord Krishna was a child, he visited his future wife Radha on this day and smeared her face with colour because he would envy her complexion.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2016.

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