Holi is a Hindu spring festival, originating from the Indian subcontinent, celebrated predominantly in India and Nepal. It is called the Festival of Colours. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. Holi is celebrated with a special fevour and gusto in North India especially in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states.
It is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest. It lasts for a night and a day, starting on the evening of the Full moon night of the Hindu month of Phalgun. The first evening is known as Holika Dahan (burning of demon holika) or Chhoti Holi and the following day as Holi, Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi celebrated with colours and feasting.
While Holi is celebrated in almost every part of India, Holi in Braj is especially famous. Braj is a historical region which covers the area of Mathura, Vrindavan and some nearby areas. Mathura is the birth-place of Lord Krishna, and Vrindavan is the place where he grew up in his childhood.
As the story goes, when Krishna was young, he cribbed to his mother about Radha (his friend) being fair while he himself was dark-complexioned. His mother (Yashoda) suggested him to colour Radha with colours in a playful manner. So, Krishna from his village, Nandgaon, used to go to Barsana (Radha’s village) to colour Radha and her friends. In turn Radha and her friends also used to playfully beat Krishna with sticks. And hence the tradition evolved called ‘Lathmar Holi’. ‘Lathmar’ literally translates to beating someone with sticks!
Barsana Holi celebrations start about a week before the actual date of Holi. Barsana is a village near Mathura, and it was the village of Radha. It is famous for its lathmar Holi in which women beat men (playfully) with sticks.
Celebrations in Barsana is followed up by similar celebrations in Nandgaon (Krishna’s village) on the very next day. Nandgaon has found a reference in religious texts as the place where Krishna spent most of his childhood days. According to legends, after Krishna went to Barsana to put colour on Radha and her friends came to Nandgaon on the next day to put colour on Krishna. And hence, Holi celebrations shift from Barsana to Nandgaon.
Satvik diet is a diet based on foods in ayurvedic and yogic literature that contain the quality (guna) sattva.] In this system of dietary classification, foods that decrease the energy of the body are considered tamasic, while those that increase the energy of the body are considered rajasic.
A satvik diet is meant to include foods and eating habits that are “pure, essential, natural, vital, energy-containing, clean, conscious, true, honest, wise”. A satvik diet can also exemplify Ahimsa, the practice of non-violence, or not causing harm to other living things, which is one reason that yogis often follow a vegetarian diet.
A satvik diet is a regimen that places emphasis on seasonal foods, fruits if one has no sugar problems, dairy products if the cow is fed and milked in the right conditions, nuts, seeds, oils, ripe vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and non-meat based proteins.
A satvik diet is sometimes referred to as a yogic diet in modern literature. In ancient and medieval era Yoga literature, the concept discussed is ‘Mitahara’, which literally means “moderation in eating”.