The word “Holi” in India, that too during the months of Feb-Mar means only one thing, that’s the amazing festival of colors. When it’s normally linked with the Lord Krishna and his playfulness, I strongly believe that just playing Holi with colors isn’t limited to the religion; that’s the great thing of this festival. This is one day of a year when there is no differentiation between known/unknown. Anyone who wants to play used to be welcomed with warmth. Is it still celebrated with as much warmth and as widely? Of course yes, but only in some places. I have heard that it’s still celebrated widely in most of northern India, Maharashtra and some of the eastern states.
Primarily in the cities and towns the popularity of Holi is decreasing and it’s not baseless, there are reasons behind it:
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the annual exams in most of the schools take place during the same time or scheduled just after Holi. Keeping in mind the competition in every field now a day, parents give utmost importance to studies and exams than playing Holi. Then naturally the children will be fully busy in studies and Holi has no takers. I too am a parent and probably would do the same in this situation.
Then there are some risks associated with Holi celebrations too. Sometimes anti-social elements commit unpleasant and unlawful activities in the shadow of the colors of Holi, that’s one deterrent for many.
Rampant use of chemical colors is another reason people stay away from this. Natural colors are either not available every where or there is no awareness in the public about it. So they buy the chemical based colors and if one plays with it without being cautious, then it can cause skin and eye irritation. This too keeps some away.
Now a days another major problem is that of availability of water. Mainly in the cities and towns water problem is definitely there, more or less. If water scarcity is a known problem in your area, then you’ll definitely stay away from playing Holi.
Given below are some pictures that gives an idea about how people used to look like after playing Holi, during my childhood and how it normally looks like today.
Here is how it looked like in my childhood:
And this is how it probably looks like now:
However, I strongly believe that in spite of these problems we should still encourage children to play Holi under our guidance. I don’t think bathing kids after playing Holi will require a lot of water. Also we can arrange beforehand natural colors for them to play with. The schools can also help by finishing the annual exams of at least the primary classes before Holi. Because children enjoy this festival the most and at least because of them this festival wouldn’t disappear from the modern society. Otherwise probably we’ll be left with only the old pictures of Holi to talk about it with our grand children; hope that day never comes.