The Hindu festival of Holi is a festival of colours and spring. It marks the victory of light over darkness, that is, good over evil. It is celebrated through a Holi party at home with friends and family, often with Holi theme party ideas. The festival, being celebrated on 18th March 2022 this year, has various mythological and cultural significance.
The Origin Story Of Holi
First and foremost is the mythological story involving Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap. Hiranyakshyap was a devil king who wanted to be worshipped as a god. To his disappointment and anger, his son, Prahlad, started worshipping Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakshyap requested his sister, Holika, to enter into a fire with Prahlad to burn him to death. Holika had a blessing wherein fire would leave her unscathed. However, when Holika did enter the fire with Prahlad the opposite happened. Prahlad was left unhurt because of his undiluted devotion for the Lord, while Holika got charred to her death because of her vicious ambition. Since then, the burning of Holika or ‘Holika dahan’ became popular.
Mythology also mentions that the festival is a celebration of the death of Ogress Pootana who died after his attempt to kill baby Krishna after feeding him poisonous milk. Another mythological story that holds great significance in the southern states of India is that on this day Kaamadeva, Lord of Passion, was sacrificed as he had tried to revoke Lord Shiva from meditation. Thus, Lord Shiva saved the world from destruction.
Yet another mythological tale says that Ogress Dhundhi troubled children in the kingdom of Raghu. However, he was chased away by the same children with their pranks on the day of Holi. As a result, children still celebrate the festive day with pranks.
Holi is more than being a source of fun, joy, holi theme party ideas, and an occasion for family and friends to come together. The body feels some stiffness on the day because of the rising temperatures, owing to the fire. You are also meant to play loud music and speak loudly. This is believed to rejuvenate your system. Not just that, biologists opine that when liquid colours enter the pores on the skin, it strengthens the ions, imparting health to the body. They also say that the fire during Holika Dahan tends to encourage the growth of bacteria in your body. During the parikrama of the fire, the heat kills the bacteria, leading to the cleansing of the body.
5 Holi Party Ideas To Have The Best Celebration At Home
Here are some interesting party ideas and holi theme decorations you can enjoy at the festival this year.
1. Welcome Organic Colours
Give the harmful synthetic colours a miss and, instead, play with organic colours. They are not only safe for your skin and hair, but it is easy on the environment too. What’s more, you can think about saving water and playing only with dry colours.
2. Try A Bollywood-Themed Holi
Bollywood has songs for every occasion, including Holi. There are a host of songs that celebrate the day and its festivities. Play such songs and groove to them to your heart’s content.
3. Choose Biodegradable Plates And Cutlery
Holi is already a mess and we enjoy it that way. Why not make the day a tad bit easy for you, the host, by choosing biodegradable plates and cutlery over the reusable ones?
4. Introduce A Photo Booth
Now, how exciting will that be? After all, festivities remain incomplete without endless photographs to make memories. Make the booth a crazy colourful one with pichkaris, gulaal, and water balloons, and rest assured that this area will be the most ‘happening’ part of the event.
5. Make The Food Colourful Too
Let the food mirror the colours of the day. And count in the drinks too! Introduce a twist to the menu with beetroot thandai, kiwi jaljeera, or gajar ka halwa to add a flush of colours to the food too.
Authentic Holi Delicacies To Add To Your Party Menu
Here are some authentic holi delicacies that you can try out for your holi theme decoration party at home.
1. Dahi Bhalla
- ½ cup urad dal
- 4 tbsp moong dal
- 1.25 to 1.5 cups water for soaking
- 6 to 7 tbsp water for grinding or add as required
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- Salt as required
- Oil for frying
- 2 cups yoghurt
- ⅓ cup pomegranate arils
- ⅓ cup sweet chutney
- ⅓ cup green chutney
- 20 to 25 papdis
- ½ cup cooked chana
- 1 large potato – boiled, peeled and chopped
- Chaat masala to taste
- Roasted cumin powder to taste
- Red chilli powder to taste
- Black salt to taste
- 2.5 cups water for soaking vadas
For Green Chutney
- 1 cup coriander leaves
- 1 – 2 green chilies
- ½ inch chopped ginger
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 to 2 teaspoon water for grinding chutney
- Salt to taste
For Sweet Tamarind Chutney
- ½ cup seedless tamarind – tightly packed
- 1.75 cups water
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder (saunth)
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
- 7 to 8 tablespoon jaggery or as required – adjust as per your taste (gud)
- rock salt (edible and food grade) or black salt or regular salt as required
- 1 teaspoon oil
Preparation Time: 5 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
For Sweet Tamarind Chutney
- Soak tamarind in water overnight or for at least 4 to 5 hours.
- Squeeze the tamarind pulp in the same bowl with your hands.
- Strain the pulp and keep it aside.
- Heat oil in a small pan on low flame. Add cumin seeds and allow them to crackle.
- Add red chilli powder, ginger powder, and asafoetida, and stir.
- Add the strained tamarind pulp and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the salt and jaggery, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or till the mixture thickens.
- Let this chutney cool down and store in an air-tight container.
For Green Chutney
- Grind all the ingredients required for making this chutney with a little water.
- Keep aside in a small bowl.
For Dahi Bhalla Batter
- Wash 4 tbsp moong dal and ½ cup urad dal in water a couple of times. Soak this overnight or for at least 4 to 5 hours.
- In the morning, drain them well. Add the lentils to the grinder, along with ½ tsp cumin seeds and asafoetida. Additionally, you may add 1 tsp of roughly chopped ginger.
- Mix to a smooth fluffy batter, while adding water bit by bit in regular intervals. On touching the batter, it should not feel grainy.
- Take this batter in a bowl and add salt, and stir briskly for a few minutes to make it fluffy and light.
For Frying Bhalla
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan.
- When the oil becomes medium hot, add a small amount of batter in the oil to check whether it has reached just the right temperature. If it floats to the surface immediately, it means that it’s time to start frying the bhallas.
- Add spoonfuls of the batter in the oil.
- When they turn crispy and golden, turn them and repeat the same for the other side as well.
- Remove with a slotted spoon to drain the extra oil.
- Keep the vadas on tissue paper to drain off the extra oil further.
- Once all the vadas have been fried, take 2.5 cups of water in a wide pan.
- And add the vada to the water and keep them soaked for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Take each vada and press them between your palms to remove excess water and flatten them.
For Making Dahi Bhalla
- Take 2 cups of fresh chilled curd and beat it to a smooth consistency.
- Place these vadas in the curd and keep them in the fridge.
- To serve 1 person, place 4 to 5 papdis on a plate, followed by 2 to 3 vadas.
- Add more yoghurt if required.
- Add some boiled potatoes and chickpeas, along with sweet tamarind chutney and green chutney.
- Sprinkle roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder, chaat masala and black salt, as required.
- Garnish with some coriander leaves and sev, and serve.
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 tbsp almonds – 30 grams, rinsed
- 2 heaped tbsp pistachios – 20 grams, unsalted and rinsed
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds white, (khus khus)
- ¼ cup melon seeds – 30 grams
- 2 tbsp dried rose petals or 2 tablespoons rose water or 2 tablespoons gulkand
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp whole black pepper
- 3 to 4 green cardamoms – husks removed and seeds kept
- 1 pinch saffron – optional
- ½ cup sugar – 100 grams
- 8 cups cold milk or as needed
- Ice cubes as required
- Rose petals or chopped almonds or pistachios for garnish
Preparation Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Pour 1 cup of warm water in a bowl.
- Then add almonds and unsalted pistachios
- Add white poppy seeds, if you want.
- Add ¼ cup melon seeds.
- Add dried rose petals. Alternatively, you can add 2 tbsp rose water or gulkand.
- Next, add fennel seeds and black pepper.
- Blend well and keep aside for a minimum of 1 to 2 hours.
- Put the entire mixture in a blender.
- Add ½ cup sugar, followed by seeds of green cardamoms.
- Next, add 1 pinch saffron and blend well again.
- Take 4 tbsp of the thandai paste in a glass and then add 1 cup of chilled milk.
- Thandai is ready to be served during your Holi theme party.
Additional Tips For A Successful Holi Party
Here are some tips that you can consider to make your Holi party a success.
- Plan your Holi party decoration ideas well in advance and approach the process in an organised way. Make a guest list, send them invites. Decide on the menu and plan whether you want to prepare them at home, or order from outside, or a combination of both. Plan the Holi party decoration ideas.
- Start working on your ideas a few days before so that nothing gets left to the last moment.
- Decide on the theme and let your guests know the dress code. If it’s something fancy, they’ll need time to buy an outfit perhaps.
- After you have decided on the Holi theme decoration at home, make a playlist of peppy Holi songs and other songs to go with the decided theme.
Hosting a party needs a helluva lot of planning and execution. Guestlist. Check. Theme. Check. Food. Check. When you are done with all the work, it’s finally time to mingle and enjoy yourself with your guests. So let your hair down and have a blast! Also, a little tip: Check out this guide to know about removing Holi colours after your party.