The festival of Holi is celebrated once a year during spring time in India. It has a strong mythological, cultural and social significance. It is a day when people of all ages, religions and backgrounds come together to play with dry and wet colors, water balloons, and much more. Everyone would be outdoors, laughing, giggling, soaking in bright colors, leaving all reservations at home.

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As in all gatherings, food becomes an essential part of any celebration. Street food and snacks are most popular on Holi day. Drinks such as bhang (for adults only) and thandai (a combination of milk, sugar, water, almonds, watermelon seeds, cardamom powder and rose petals) are served throughout the day to keep one refreshed and cool.

Fried foods and snacks are very popular on this occasion. Papri (homemade crispy pita chips), bhajia (onions coated with chickpea flour, seasoned and fried), pakora (vegetable fritters) and dahi-bhalla (lentil fritters soaked in yogurt) are enjoyed throughout the day. Chaat is a delicious concoction of fried pita chips with boiled potatoes, chopped onions, and plain yogurt seasoned with chaat masala, tamarind and mint chutneys. Desserts include kesar chawal (rice sweetened with jiggery and saffron), and gujiha (fried pastry filled with nuts and sugar syrup) are also prepared in almost every home and served to guests.

This year Holi falls on April 27, 2013. Happy Holi to all our readers around the world!

(Written by Sucheta Rawal for Examiner)


Recipe for Thandai as seen at the Taste of Atlanta.