Powerful Life Lessons Celebrating Holi Teaches Every Kid

Powerful Life Lessons Holi Celebrations Teach Every Child

This festival of colors brings a tinge of happiness when people think the celebration of Holi. We often forget the many life lessons the Holi celebrations teach our children.

Growing up I played Holi a handful of times. Once when I was ten and we threw balloons and glasses full of water on passers by from the terrace of a cousin’s home. Once in Bhopal at age 11, when my cousin applied so much silver paint on me that it took my mom 2+ hours of rubbing before all the colors came off!

Then twice during college when my friends and I threw colors and eggs on each other. And I pretended to get drunk on Bhang Lassi and scared the living daylights out of my friends who had never seen a person high!

You find that people either love this festival or hate it, depending on how their childhood memories are with the celebration. If they were roughhoused with, they usually prefer to not play growing up either. Owing to my life as an immigrant I didn’t have many opportunities to be scarred!

Significance of Holi in North Indian Culture

Holi in Nothern India is celebrated to mark the advent  of spring with the flowers beginning to bloom. The many colors in the air reflect the bloom around you.

The meaning of Holi has it’s origins in two stories. And both carry a lot of meaning for most Hindu families, specially to strengthen the bond between couples. One is of the love of Radhna Krishna, whose love is eternal and renowned for being full of naughtiness. The other is the story of Prahlad whose demon father time and again forced him to renounce his love for God Vishnu and pray to him as God.

Celebrating Holi in My Home

This festival of love actually became a tradition after marriage as my husband and I religiously celebrate. This is perhaps one of the most no fuss celebrations as all you need is colors.

Kids like all things, added so much more meaning to our celebrations.

I remember vividly the first times my son and daughter applied color to my face. It was a feeling like no other!

 

life lessons holi

Copyright Aditi Wardhan Singh

Since my son turned 2, every year our celebrations have only gotten grander and bigger with more of our friends being included as our family grew from two to four. The festival has only grown in splendor, laughter and grandeur.

I often have a potluck party at my home with my friends and we apply color to each other. If possible, we also serve the special drink called thandai (the non intoxicating version). The kids specially those who are not maybe North Indian get a kick out learning about this festival. Some also get scared but the results are always hilarious!

The night before Holi is Holika Dahan, where we are supposed to light the bon fire. It is hard to do that here in USA but in a few years, I hope to celebrate this aspect with a firepit.

Since the past three years we have been going to the local temple to celebrate with friends as well. We dance on Indian film music and enjoy the revelry. Throwing and applying colors on strangers who, on this day, treat us like their best friends.

 

7 Simple Ways Children Everywhere Can Enjoy the Festival of Holi

Life Lessons Holi Teaches In A Multicultural Environment 

Holi is celebrated around the world, not just on this day but all year round as “Color Run”. There are many reasons this beloved festival has grown on the people of the world. It is wonderful how most festivals provide unique opportunities to teach kids about life. 

It is celebrated today not just by North Indian Hindus but by everyone who enjoys celebrating life in all it’s colorful glory!

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GOODNESS AND FAITH ARE PARAMOUNT

I read the story of Prahlad every year. We watch videos and make sure the kids understand what both of these mean in today’s lives. The story might be mythological but when explained in today’s context, kids learn about how often bad influences affect us and we need to have faith in our own principals to carry us through. Life lessons holi teach us are very profound.

EVERYONE IS EQUAL 

I make sure to explain to my kids that the meaning of Holi is to show that once color is applied everyone is the same. The skin color of all becomes the same and we all are equal in all manners. Once you have children, specially this significance evolves also to one of acceptance and love.

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS

The Holi festival as I mentioned has evolved. There was a time when people used to get really dirty throwing mud and eggs or worse but with time with repeated dos and don’ts discussed today everyone who celebrates does so in an environmentally healthy way.

This is a great time to teach kids about why using organic colors is important.

BE KIND TO ANIMALS

I tell them how Holi used to be celebrated where many people would hurt animals by applying color to them or throwing them in water. How important it is to not do the same and to always, always think of the consequences of your festivities on animals.

NO MEANS NO

Many people, specially in India, choose to remain locked indoors for everyone knows if you go out you are bound to end up with color on your face or wet clothes!

If someone doesn’t like to celebrate, you should not put color on them. This applies to many other aspects of life where someone might not want to indulge in something they enjoy. An important lesson in today’s world.

STRANGERS AREN’T ALL SCARY

The best part about Holi is this festival is everyone plays it with equal enthusiasm. Even if you go to the a place where it is celebrated not knowing anyone, you are greeted like a friend and get colored just as if people already knew you. Your faith in humanity gets restored with that much positive vibes going around.

It is a wonderful time to step out of your comfort zone. Under the watchful eyes of parents, many kids open up to having fun with people they have just met.

life lessons holi

Copyright Aditi Wardhan Singh

GETTING MESSY IS FUN

My kids usually hate getting their hands dirty. They have gotten so used to using wipes that often things are icky. This day allows kids today, in the spin and span, sanitized environments to let lose and get messy.  It teaches them it is okay to get dirty. This is the only festival where the dirtier you are is reciprocal to the amount of fun you have had. 

After all, life is very messy and it is important to know when to enjoy the it and when to purge the mess!

SELF CARE IS IMPORTANT

There is a great amount of prep that goes into preparing to play Holi. . Wear sunglasses and shut your eyes whenever someone is applying color on you.  Oiling your hair or Wear old full sleeved and full length clothing to give your skin maximum protection from the colors.

Even when indulging in foods and the sweet milk drink, it is important to use moderation in everything you do.

EVERY LOVING RELATIONSHIP HAS ROOM FOR LAUGHTER

In Holi when you play pranks on your loved ones and friends, it is a great way to teach kids how to not take themselves and those they care about seriously. How not to get offended on silly little jokes and that there is always room for naughtiness and laughter in a loving relationship.

Find out ALL about HOW anyone can celebrate this festival easily HERE  – Crafts | Books | Songs | Experiments

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What is your Holi celebration like? Do you have a temple near you that celebrates? Are you going to celebrate with your kids this year? Are you going to share the … 

What is the significance of Holi? What do kids learn from celebrating Hoil? What is the Festival of Holi ? Family | Celebration | Indian Festivals

Guide to Meditation & Fasting During Navratri

Guide to Meditation & Fasting During Navratri

Navratri, literally meaning “9 nights” is the beginning of the fall harvest, the change of seasons. When we align our system to Nature, we rest in balance. We feel energized, light in our body, and ease in our movements. We will spend the nine divine days of Navratri honoring the victory of positivism over negativity. The victory is of the absolute reality over the apparent duality of self and consciousness.

Whether in silence or active in the world, spend just a few moments to honor yourself and body during these precious nine nights.

We will detox by taking some disciplinary actions like juice detox, khichidi detox, on fruit diet, one day at a time. Traditionally, these days include chanting of divine mother (Eg; Lalita Sahastra namam, Kadgamala, Devi Kavacham, etc), and fasting.

Today I will share my celebration of Navratri, that include bringing the mind, body and spirit in tune.

 

First Day

Self
Today is among the first three days of self-purification in which goddess Durga is worshiped in her terrifying, destructive and powerful aspect. We pray to the goddess to destroy our imperfections. We pray to make us pure.

Body
See where you can make shifts in your lifestyle habits that allow for your system to rest. Small changes make bigger results. Eat lighter, increase fruits and vegetables, increase water intake, sleep earlier or reduce time in front of the computer or TV. Rest to your digestive, and nervous system, and even eyes can go a long way. Set an intention for these nine days.

Mind
These nine day we will be practicing dissolve the discriminating ego, our judging intellect and our doubting mind into Divine Knowledge that makes us hollow and empty to come into awareness of Who Am I.

Second Day

Self
It is with the power of the above that we pray to destroy the negative tendencies of selfishness, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger, and ego we hold in our heart and mind.

Body
Eating foods that suit our constitution and are gentle to our system along with movement/exercise help to keep the whole body in balance. Proper digestion, and elimination are an important indicator of overall health and well-being.

Mind
Meditation, and journal writing are all effective ways of letting go of thoughts and emotions that do not serve us. Practice surrendering the events, thoughts and emotions to the divine which are not in your circle of influence, will help to see the shift in you.

Third Day

Self
We renew our commitment to acquire triumph over all of our negative tendencies.

Body
What works for one does not always work for another. Tapping into the wisdom of our own body gives us the guidance to know what works for us. Take note of the foods you eat, and how it makes you feel: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Take note of sleep habits and your daily energy levels. This simple understanding of our body allows us to function optimally; we feel light and energized.

Mind
We attract prosperity and abundance and protect courageously the Inner Child to enjoy the journey in this body by dropping the cowardice and weakness.

Fourth Day

Self
The next three days, we move from self-purification to self- transformation. Our worship is now devoted to Goddess Lakshmi, the prosperity-bestowing form. Devotees pray for removing obstacles and bringing success in their paths.

Body
By changing bad habits to good ones come from putting attention on what is already working for you than trying to fix what is not.

Mind
Observe the transition of thoughts. Your thought and action affects your cosmos out there. The cosmos around you is what makes your world within you.

Fifth day

Self
Goddess Lakshmi does not merely bestow material prosperity, but also grants qualities which we as spiritual seekers require, namely calmness, peace, equanimity, compassion, and love.

Body
Today we take the opportunity to practice eating with awareness. So often we stuff food into our mouths while distracted, agitated or hurried. This diminishes the pleasure that food gives us and the nutrition it provides for the body. Take notice of the scent, texture, taste of your food while taking slow, gentle breaths. Place your fork down between bites. Eating with awareness is a form of love and compassion towards your body.

Mind
Surrender to the universe that bursts open with Universal Inspiration to create newness with every breath.

Sixth day

Self
Today is the third and final day which honors the Mother Divine as Lakshmi, the energy that manifests as the complete well-being of a person.

Body
In our diets, the more we eat from natural, whole food sources, the less we require in overall food intake. In our lives, the more we engage in activities of service and truth, the less we require in life. Keep food and life simple. Continue with yoga/ Exercise.

Mind
Observe the tendencies of mind clinging to the negativity, angry about the past and anxious about the future. Realize that you can drop them and can move forward.

Seventh Day

Self
We moved from self-purification to self-transformation and now we prepare ourselves to receive self-knowledge. Our prayer is devoted to Goddess Saraswati. She is the one who gives the essence (Saara) of the self (Swa), the one who gives the essence of self. She is the bestower of the true light of knowledge, wisdom and understanding.

Body
Keeping a gentle awareness of our body gives us the understanding of what foods best suit us, how much sleep gives us adequate rest, how much exercise or movement provides energy, and those activities that uplift our spirit. Take this knowledge of yourself as a toolbox for well-being. This toolbox and all the knowledge in it is yours, and it’s the duty of self-knowledge to always be there for you.

Mind
We surrender our doubting mind, judging intellect and Discriminating Ego to dissolve into recognizing and being whole and complete and balanced.

Eighth Day

Self
Today, we continue our worship for Goddess Saraswati. We first have to purify ourselves to get to the path of wisdom. Goddess Saraswati bestows the shakti (energy) to devotees so that they can attain knowledge.

Body
Take a moment in the day or just before going to bed to check in with yourself of physical and mental/emotional symptoms as indicators of what is going on in the body and mind. Physical symptoms are bodily sensations– Imbalance: heaviness, sluggishness, weakness. Balance: energy, stamina, steady breathing. Mental/Emotional symptoms are feelings, thoughts– : tense, restless, agitated. Balance: calm, relaxed, focused

Mind
In order to merge in to our pure self we release our weak self that attracts violence and abuse in any form.

Ninth Day

Self
Today is the  final day which honors Goddess Saraswati. She is often depicted as being seated on a rock. Knowledge, like a rock, is steadfast support. She plays the veena, a musical instrument, which mellifluous notes bring harmony and peace to the mind. Similarly, spiritual knowledge brings relaxation and celebration to ones’ life.

Body
The nine days of Navratri gives us the opportunity to pause, reflect and reset our mind, body and self. With the help of the traditions, masters and powerful goddess energies, we set clear intentions, put forth attention and receive the biggest gift of all: knowledge of the Self. The simplicity of knowing the appropriate foods and exercise for our body and the correct practices for our mind brings assurance and the confidence that no other type of knowledge provides. With renewed energy and knowledge, we are able to move ahead.

Mind
In these nine days we dissolved into the divine by dropping the discriminating ego, judging intellect that separates us from others and conquering the doubting monkey mind. Let’s pray to the DIVINE MOTHER to keep us on this practice though out.

Happy Dussehra

The 9 days lead us to the celebration of Dussehra, the day of victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishaasur. For the spiritual seeker, misery in the mind is the true fight or conflict. We dedicate our life to spiritual practices, service, Satsang (being with likeminded people) and knowledge as the way to overcome this conflict. We become victorious and feel full in celebration of life.

Wanting, Doing and knowing of the self are all manifestations of the same energy that is YOU. At any given time one of these will dominate.

  • When the ‘Wanting’ dominates then we will be experiencing sorrow and sadness.
  • When ‘Doing’ dominates then we will experience the anxiety and attachment to results.
  • When ‘Knowing’ dominates we will experience the awareness and happiness.

Last but not least when our ‘Wanting’ and ‘Doing; are dedicated to the highest good of society and to serve humanity our consciousness automatically elevate and self-knowledge will day.

Guide to Meditation and Fasting during Navratri | Raising World Children | Fasting | Meditation | Navratri | Indian Festivals

 Durgamadhavi Mamidipalli is a certified yoga teacher, Marma therapist, Relationship and Spiritual coach. In 2013, Durga took the leap of faith and founded Be Free Now LLC by leaving her flourishing career in corporate to do what she loves doing the best healing and serving the World. Through her coaching and other modalities she is able to assist others in getting in touch with their innermost being and through a deeper knowing within themselves, eventually feel empowered. The awakening love and joy they experience within themselves will continue to grow through sharing.” You can connect with her at www.befreecoaching.com https://www.facebook.com/befreecoachingandhealing/