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Celebrate Holi – the Festival of Colours – with a Colourful Indian Meal
Posted on 15th March 2017
The Sunday and Monday at the beginning of this week saw Hindus celebrating Holi – the festival of colours. This celebration of spring lasts for a night and a day. Have you seen pictures in the newspaper or online of a carnival of people covered in coloured dyes? Those people are Hindus celebrating Holi by throwing brightly coloured powders at each other. At Chakra, our menu is colourful all year round, but come along this week and celebrate Holi with us.
The Legend of Hiranyakashipu
There are many great stories associated with Holi, but this is our favourite. The evil king Hiranyakashipu had five special powers:
- He could not be killed by human or animal.
- He could not be killed inside or outside.
- He could not be killed during the day or during the night.
- He could not be killed by ashtra or shashtra (broadly speaking: weapons that are thrown or handheld weapons).
- He could not be killed on land or in water.
Somewhat understandably, this made Hiranyakashipu think that he was invincible like a God. His son however refused to worship the evil king. He remained devoted to Vishnu.
Hiranyakashipu punished his son, so Vishnu decided to vanquish the evil king. Vishnu turned himself into an avatar that was half man/half lion (solving 1); he took the king to a threshold at dusk (2 and 3); sat the king on his lap (5) and killed him with his lion’s claws (4).
Good vs Evil
The festival of Holi symbolises the victory of good over evil. There is a big bonfire on the first night. The playfight with coloured dyes takes place on the following day. Then everybody cleans up, sobers up and pays visits to friends and family where sweets are exchanged.
Holi is a big festival in India and Nepal and other parts of Asia. The many cultures of India have thousands of local festivals and traditions – many of which are unknown in Europe. More familiar in the West are the fantastic flavoursome and colourful dishes that Indian cuisine has given the world. At Chakra, we like to give a contemporary twist to these traditional flavours – serving up traditional dishes in unexpected ways.