Rang Panchami is celebrated on the second Day of Holi. Holi the Festival of Spring is also known as the festival of colours. It is celebrated by throwing colours and colour water on each other in almost all the states of our Country.
So why do we throw colours on Rang Panchami?
It is believed that Lord Krishna developed his specific skin colour because the demon Putana poisoned him with Breast Milk. Krishna was doubtful that due to his dusky skin colour, Radha would like him. Tired of his desperation, his mother asked him to approach Radha and colour his face in any colour that she wished. Thus began the ritual of playing with colours.
In many parts of the Country, children rush outside armed with water colours and water guns to fill their water balloons to colour their friends. Traditionally, these colours were made from Turmeric, Neem, Dhak and Kumkum but these days a lot of chemicals are added to these traditional colours, which harms the skin. A lot of people form groups , playing dholak and sing traditional songs. Some of the traditional sweets such as Puranpoli, gujiya, mathri, malpuas are consumed exclusively on this day. Thandai and Bhaang are some of the cold drinks that are consumed while celebrating with family and friends.
Holi is a community festival, where people come together and celebrate it forgetting their differences. Since, last few years instead of wishing our near and dear ones about Holi and making them aware about the history of Holi, a lot of messages to ban Holi have been circulating. Holi as a festival was never meant to damage the society or the people. It was meant to bring people together, to enjoy, to forget their differences and have some fun. Unfortunately, with time, we forgot how to celebrate the festival.
Once again due to Covid we may not be able to celebrate Rang Panchami this year, but we can always keep the spirit of Holi High in our minds. One can always eat special sweets for Holi, read out stories related to Holi to your children. Video call long lost friends and relatives. Work a little less on that day. Listen to Old Classic Holi Songs or just listen to Rang Barse once again.
Covid may have physically stopped us from throwing colours but it cannot stop us digitally to celebrate the festival.