Apart from throwing them at each other, Holi colours
also have other beautiful uses. In Hardwar - Utteranchal, a special Holi ceremony
was recorded this year, actually originating from the region
of Bareilly - Uttar Pradesh. Family members created a beautiful
yantra pattern with the Holi colours upon which the cowdung
firetower is placed. The animated recording (364 kB) may take
a while to download, but the waiting is worthwile :
The work starts with a border and
in the middle. Several Swistika symbols are used also, of
course only the form that turns clockwise (sunwise) and represents
the energy of creation. The Swastika that was used by the
nazi's is turning against the sun and represents destruction.
Finally chains of cowdung-"pearls" are put on top
of it, with some paper inside and some paper sticks for lighting.
The cowdung itself is also decorated with Holi colours. All
that happened in the evening of the 28th of March.
On the next morning, the men of
the house go out towards the river Ganga
where a huge Holi-bonfire has been burning. They make 7 rounds
of the fire, lighting some large reed sticks and bringing
some embers back to the house. With these the cowdung pile
on the yantra is set afire. Now it is the turn of the women
of the house to start the seven rounds around that fire. After
that Holi sweets are distributed and Holi colours are thrown
at each other. Then the men of the house visit friends and
neighbours to celebrate Holi further in likewise fashion,
suffering on the way from colour-attacks by the local youth.
Meanwhile the women of the house entertain similar visitors
coming from other houses.