The Legend of Holika and Prahlad

The Legend of Holika and Prahlad

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Festival of Colors

Festival of Colors

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Significance of colors

Significance of colors

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Holi Pooja Process

Holi Pooja Process

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Tradition of Bhang

Tradition of Bhang

Tradition of Bhang

Associated with Lord Shiva, bhang has now become synonymous with holi. To the extent that bhang drinks have now become an official Holi drink. Culled from the leaves and buds of cannabis - the very intoxicating bhang helps to escalate the spirit of holi - a festival which does not recognise any restrictions. Lip smacking thandai, pakoras and vadas, all having bhang as a very essential ingredient, are savoured by all on the day. The tradition of consuming bhang on holi is particularly rampant in North India where holi itself is celebrated with a gusto unseen anywhere else. But, the hub of bhang is Varanasi or Banaras, the land of Shiva worship, where bhang is prepared on its famous ghats. Anywhere on the ghats one can find large number of men engaged in the process of preparing bhang. Using mortar and a pestle, the buds and leaves of Cannabis are squashed and ground into a green paste. To this mixture milk, ghee, and spices are added. The bhang base is now ready to be made into a nutritious, refreshing drink - Thandai, a healthy alternative to alcohol. Bhang is also mixed with ghee and sugar to make a tasty green halva, and into peppery, chewy little balls called 'golees'.