Miltonians gathered on Saturday at the Milton Fairgrounds to throw colours! Holi, also sometimes called “the festival of colours” is the Hindu spring festival celebrating the arrival of spring throughout North India on the full-moon day of Phalguna (February–March) (1), and elsewhere in the world at or near the same time. Participants throw coloured water and powders at one another, and, on this one day only, license is given for the usual rankings of caste, gender, status, and age to be reversed. All differences and disagreements are dissolved. Dancing, a sense of renewal and energy, peacemaking and throwing colours is much like throwing all cares and worries into the world, covering all attendees, young and old, in vibrant colours to inspire and celebrate forgiveness and social harmony.
Sponsored by Vibrant Connections, Milton’s Holi celebration brought attendees from Brampton, Hamilton, Milton and other nearby municipalities. Melding the typical chilly Canadian spring weather with the traditionally outdoor Hindu celebration, the dampness and cold didn’t deter. The traditional greeting is “Happy Holi.” The call to throw colours was made, celebrants made their way outside and the air was then filled with fine, brightly-coloured dust as it was thrown, painted on, rubbed on faces and arms, into hair and on clothing. The music was blaring, and soon after the colours, dancing erupted inside (where no colours were permitted to be thrown–outdoors only).
Vendors sold their wares: jewellery, clothing, local products, and services. Food items were offered such as samosas with tamarind sauce and traditional Paan–a betel leaf filled with sweet (or other) food items like spices and lime to act as a digestive aid. It is aso said to sweeten the breath. Chewing the mixture of areca nut and betel leaf is a tradition, custom or ritual which dates back thousands of years from India to the Pacific.(2)
(1) Encyclopædia Britannica
(2) Royal Paan, Milton
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